This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The Carpenter Two Ladder Burning Building-Part I
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Overcast and cold with chance of rain
The Carpenter Two Ladder Burning Building Part I
Yesterday, I presented then exceptional and large Ives fire station and horse-drawn pumper. I mentioned that I'd be writing about today's "surprise", and so I have. This is one of the large cast iron toys made in the 1890's that was made by the Carpenter Company. It's titled the "Two Ladder Burning Building".
You have to remember that in the 1890's and into the early next century, there were no real fire safety codes in the USA. Building were made mostly from wood, and would burn very fast when a fire happened. Wood burning stoves were very common as were oil-burning lamps, so fire was more prone to happen that in todays' times. Also , there wasn't the underground water supply system that modern cities have today, so pumpers moved by horses were the norm at the time. Fire trucks with gas-driven engines were come into existence in about 20 years, give or take a few years, and they were rare.
Fires in those days would be big, and naturally, crowds would gather to watch fire crew combat and try to put out the fires. Even I, when I was young would be attracted to watch a fire, just like a moth is attracted to light. And so it was with toys.There were lots of toys, especially cast iron toys in the USA modelled after fire-fighting equipment and figures (people) of the time.
This item is current;y up for auction. It's from the exceptional collection of Mr. Max Berry, whom I have mentioned in several recent posts. What distinguishes this toy is that it has two ladders. I 've seen the Carpenter burning fire buildings but only with one ladder. The description mentions that there were three versions made, so I'll certainly have to kook for the third one or try and buy an old Carpenter catalogue or reproduction.
The lady on the balcony has her arms in a circle. When the fireman on the left side climbed the ladder, his right arm and harm were extended out, and he would "catch" the lady via her hands and arms that were in a circle.
The photo below show you that the lady is now safe in the arm of the left fireman, while the fireman on the right side hgas descended to the bottom of the ladder.
I have no idea what the lady on the wheeled platform to the left would be doing. Perhaps, there was a lever that released as the firemen saved the lady on the balcony, and she rolled out of the building.
Today's toy was made from wood and cast iron metal. It must be quite heavy, since yesterdays' was smaller and weighed in at 14 pounds or 6.36 kg.
I'm not sure that the inside cord and pulley is to the right side, but perhaps it connected to the lever that I "guessed" before might have allowed for the release of the lady on the wheeled platform.
You can see the words and numbers "Patented Jan 19, 1892" in the lower left corner. Also, in the shadows to the left and behind, you can see a small platform inside the building. Perhaps there is a lever action to release the lady on the wheeled platform, after all.
The opening asking bid for this item is in the 5 figures. I'm sure, that like all big toys that were "costly" in 1892, there were not as many sold as the lower-priced toys. Consequently, they were rarer then, an as they are today.
Somebody who wins this fine toy is going to be a very luck boy, or man or girl or lady!