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.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
The Hubley Elgin Street Sweeper
Sunday, November 15, 2015 Partly cloudy and seasonally cold
Yesterday, I was browsing, when I came across the Hubley Elgin Sweeper. It's part of the fall/winter seasonal auction just before Christmas (November 13-15, 2015). I've presented this fine toy before, but this time the details and size of the photo merited another presentation. It's a cast iron toy, but its' complexity of assembly makes it all the more interesting. When American roads in the city became "more civilized" (is that proper writing?) and paved, the streets had to be cleaned. Obviously the human street sweeper would become outdated as the amount of street mileage increased exponentially with the size of the city and its'population. So naturally, the Elgin company invented their strew sweeper to replace a good number of people! And, the sweeper came with headlights, so that the machine could operate at night. Times obviously have changed, because here in Montreal, I've never seen one operate in my municipality!
Hubley Street Sweeper
"Cast iron, one of the most intricate castings for a construction toy, classic depiction of a street sweeper, design has not changed much even today nickel parts, rubber tires, seated figure. Tires
distressed and broken, replaced driver, new seat screw, overall (VG COndition).
Length: 8" 203 mm " Production Period: 1925-1940
By the way, the Elgin Company actually exists in Elgin, Illinois (USA).
You're probably wondering what the woven rope and that tip at the end of the rope is.
It's the hose that would be attached to a fire hydrant to "tank up"
the water reservoir inside the vehicle. The black horizontal piece in between the front wheels is the water sprayer. It has 6 small eyelets for water to spray in front of the machine (THe actual toy does not load water).
As Bertoia Acutions wrote, this toy was a very intricate casting. Notice all of the small screws and loins (for the sweeper heads) that were used to produce the toy.
My particular liking is for the nickel-plated driver and steering whee and the rear engine radiator.
For a toy to have be made back then, the cost is certainly merited to the final result.
I'm going to write the Elgin Company and see if they can send me a few old sweeper photos from their catalogues or history.
I donl;t have the price of the toy when it was originally sold, but it must have been a lot more expensive than the normal cast iron toys. There are lots of parts, parts to be assembled, the 2 parts that are nickel-plated, and the used of 4 different paint colours (grey, silver, gold, and black).
I hoped you enjoyed this small presentation today,
and I'll keep everyone informed when and if the Elgin Sweeper Company sends me some photos.