Friday, January 9, 2015

An Observation Leads me to A Great Discovery

Saturday, January 10,2014
Overcast, flurries, and colder

An Observation Leads 
me to a Great Discovery

   Yesterday, I received an e-mail from  James D. Julia, a fine auctioneer in  Fairfield, Maine, USA. The e-mail talked about their upcoming auctions. I'm on their mailing list, which is great, since sometimes I forget to visit all of the people who have helped me out on my blog. I went to their website, and decided to view their last auction. The auction had many different items, including toys, so I went to the toy listings. 

   What caught my attention were several sold listing for Hess automobiles. I've written about them ever so briefly, and so I took a closer look. The written description and what I saw perked my interest, and so I had to write today's post. But the "great discovery" will be tomorrow when I start to write about a fabulous collector of Hess toys, and his encyclopedic knowledge and his superb website.

James D. Julia In was one of the first companies to help me start my writing odyssey when I stopped buying and selling on ebay. The company photographers are professionals with a "Capital P" (meaning they are great). I often go to the site to look at other items besides toys. The photography  is excellent in terms of colour, detail in the bright and dark areas, the images are large, and there are a few to many photos for each item. As well, the company started to feature  a 360 revolving view of certain items.  A special rotating platform with special software allows a high-end digital camera to record  than object as it rotates completely around. You can then view the object at any angle, and even stop it to see one particular angle or feature.

Classic toy manufactured by John Hess circa teens/1920s. This runabout roadster has the typical crank wind mechanism that would engage a flywheel and let the car run in a forward or reverse motion. Car is in pristine original condition with black lithographed running boards and a maroon body. Typical Hess logo on trunk of car with the normal chauffeur with goggles driving. An interesting feature is how often toy companies borrowed/copies one another. The following lot is a Japanese version which is virtually identical in many respects. The questions is which came first – the chicken or the egg? Or in this case, the Hess version or the Japanese version. SIZE: Approx 8″ l. PROVENANCE: The Estate of Carol and Jerry Soling. CONDITION: As described above. 1-14779 (750-950) Lot 1047 *
* Description Courtesy of James D. Julia Inc

Normally, I wouldn't have noticed anything about this toy.However, in this case, I saw the Z-shaped windup crank at the front of the cart. I had not seen this before, but it wasn't this that caught my eye. It was what was written in the description:

"This runabout roadster has the typical crank wind mechanism that would engage a flywheel
 and let the car run in a forward or reverse motion."

 I've written about flywheels and friction mechanisms before.These are  large and heavy wheels that build up energy as you move the wheels of a toy along a flat surface. You then release the toy, and the toy moves along. However, what makes these toys even more interesting is that the torque (twitting power of the wheel) allows for the toy to climb steep slopes. Some of these toys are even called "hill climbers".

  If you look just behind the right wheel, you will see the flywheel.,and in the middle of the front gof the car, you can see the crank that is turned to provide power to the flywheel.

 The  surprise that I discovered was the fact that this toy manufactured by Hess not only had a flywheel,but a crank. Instead of constantly moving the toy on the floor to build up acceleration and speed of the flywheel through the wheels, you could do this with a crank.

I never knew that, so being a very inquisitive person (you need that when you write about anything), I decided to do a search for Hess Toys on the Net. I found a great website with a great owner of the website, and I will write about both tomorrow!

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

No comments: