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.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
A Heavy Truck Repair Shop Owner and his Beautifully Restored Toys
Thursday, January 22, 2015 Sunny and very, very cold, getting warmer later today
A Heavy Truck Repair Shop Owner
and His Beautifully Restored Toys
If you've ever seen the movie Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks, you'll be familiar with one of the character's famous lines in the movie - "Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you'll get". And that's what it was yesterday, when Mr. Christopher W. Ferrone wrote me. I received a fine set of photos and later after I asked got some "before" photos. even later still, I received another before and after photo. I don't know where Christopher finds all the time to restore old toys. He has several jobs that keeps him busy, yet finds the time to restore toys. In one of our back-and-forht e-mailings, I mentioned to Chris that if he a had a toy restoration school, I'd sign up. I did some toy restorations, but mine are to Chris's work as my house-painting is to hiring a real house painter!
This is a photo that Chris sent to me. I did my "usual"whitening effect earlier this morning, but I wasn't totally happy with the result at the time. IN the early afternoon,I then added Chris' Name (watermark) and his copyright notice, and I had a different reaction. His "whitened" photos were super ( an English expression for great).
Toy # 1:
A Restored 1941
Steelcraft Pressed Steel Toy
This is the "whitened" version that I have started to do for the last 4 months. By doing this, I find that it presents the toy best without any background or foreground distractions.
You can see in the this photo that the colour if "off" (not accurate).
I'll correct the true colour (orange) later today.
I sent an e-mail to Chris just before writing this post. I explained something called "White-balance". THis is where you place a white piece of paper in the area where you are taking photos. This is especially important when your camera setting is set for let's say daylight, and you're taking photos under fluorescent lighting. What happens is that there is a mis-match,and the photos will all come out the wrong colour with no accuracy to the real toys.
So when I was "correcting" Chris' photos, one at a time, I corrected for the silver body, but
"messed up" on the orange and it came out red.
I like how Chris customized this truck by creating a dumpster box with a stainless insert into the loader.You can also see how he even found a place that makes toy labels and
placed the label at the back of the truck.
This is the original toy.
Chris has a great eye for taking photos.When I worked on this photo,
I really liked how it came out!
This is the toy after it was sandblasted (I assume) to remove the old paint, and then later an undercoat grey primer of paint was applied. You can also see the custom dumpster part that Chris made in his workshop.
Toy # 2:
A Pressed Steel Kingsbury Wind-up Bus
This is the "before" photo of a toy Greyhound Bus. Obviously, I overcorrected for the imbalanced camera to lighting setting, and the bus is too blue, when it should have been grey. I'll rework the photo later in the day.
This is the finished result.
I'll ask Chris if he knows who made this toy.
What I like about both toys is the deign to them, The 1941 Orange truck by SteelCraft is similar to the exaggerated fenders that the Wyandotte (USA) Company designed for their toy line.
As for the nice bus below, the beautiful long curve from the from to the back wheel well, and that winglike shape behind the greyhound dog, are beautiful design as well.
Toy # 3:
A Restored Murry/Steelcraft Pedal Car
I hope that Chris won't mind that I went beyond my usual white background and foundation. Chris took his photos with 2 different light sources. I didn't want to spend too much time tying to get 100% accuracy to the colour-balance.
So I decided to first colour-correct as best as possible, then de-saturate ( remove the intensity of colour) the surrounding, but leave the pedal car. I like how the results came out, especially the middle photo with that colourful block.
This is Chris' beautiful result for the 1948 Murry / Steelcraft peddle car.
I was born in the same year. It's amazing how well Chris restored it.
If Chris lived in Montreal, I'd bring him my 2008 Corolla that I drive now. It has lots of scratches, dents from dragging my 40 gallon recycle bin in winter to the corner (It doesn't fit between my wife's car and mine, and the 6 foot piles of snow on the sides are not a solution for dragging the bin to the road side. You can imagine what my car looks like. Why the City gives me a 40 gallon recycle bin,I don't know. We just can;t eat that much to fill a bin in a week. Of course in the fall, the leaves fill up the bin!
If Chris can work miracles with old toys, I can imagine what he does with cars
(even though he works on trucks)!As I was writing this post, I received another toy.