Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Determining a Toy's Age from its' Design and Characteristics - Part II

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Partly sunny, then overcast with minor drizzle

Determining a Toy's Age 
from its' Design and Characteristics - 
Part II

   I've already started the conversation about trying to determine a toy's age from it's design and characteristics. Below is the first part of the series:

  I had started with horse-drawn trolleys. As we shall see, there is an evolution to this type of passenger vehicle as time progresses from the horse, to electricity, and finally to the gas-powered motor.  In part I, I introduced the lithographed paper on wood toy. These type of toys were made from the 1880's-1910's.However, during the same period, there were alternative material that were used.  These were painted tin and cast iron wheels, with stencilling for any lettering that was needed to identify the route of the trolley or the name of the trolley.

One has to realize that at the time, there was no electricity. The major system of electricity for city lighting and transportation would come in the early 1910's.  However, the first electric street car in North America was put into service on Michigan Street in South Bend, Indiana in 1882. By then electricity was well-enough and safely developed to produce on a mass scale, mostly from hydro-electric peer, although the USA had plenty of coal for  steam-powered generators.

Tin was a common-enough metal, and it receives paint quite easily. If you look closely, you can see the hand-painted reins that  were painted on the horses.  It was also very easy to form and cut either with "tinner's snips"or for faster and cleaner cuts (like the windows) through die cast cutting.

What I also learned through writing this post is that
soldering was used to join the hitches from the trolley to the horse or horses.

For those who don't know the English word "soldering", that is a process whereby a soft metal (lead at the time) was melted on to the parts needing to be jointed. Of course today, the main use for solder and the process is in plumbing for jointing pipes and elbows together. However today's solder is a different alloy (mixture of metals) that are much safer to people and the environment.

It's also important to read the condition or any alternations that auctioneers or sellers provide in the description of a listing.In the example below,  Bertoia Auctions that the "horses re-soldered to a replacement hitch". That is how I learned that some of the parts of these toys were soldered.

I didn't search for a "real" horse-drawn trolley, but I'm sure of you did a search for the "real" item
you'd find a photo of one that would have been in operation.  Also,since photography was well-establihed by the 1880's it wouldn' t be too hard to find an authentic photo of an authentic trolley way back then.

Think of this as "homework" for this post.

Of course, as a teacher, I did a search to see if I would find one. I did!
Press the link below that is a Bing Search and you'll find the first entry the one to redirect to.
wikipedia 1880's horse trolley

Thanks for dropping by to visit, and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

No comments: