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.
The Bing or Gebruder Bing company was established in 1863 in Nuremberg, Germany in 1863.
Gebruder means brothers in German, and the two brother first started to manufacture metal kitchen utensils such as fine pewter and copper tableware, before starting to produce toys in 1880. At that time, the company was the largest toy factory in the world. They are remembered mostly for their trains and accessories. In the early years, live steam was used to move the trains. In the later years, when electricity was well-developed, train movement was by electricity. Also in the early years, toys were made from steel sheets that were lithographed to imprint colour top the toys. The toys had tabs and slots at their sides, and the tabs were inserted into the slots to assemble the parts.
The company became a large exporter of toys until WW1 began. After the war, the United States toy manufacturers lobbied the government to protect the growing US toy industry, and Bing eventually stopped exporting toys because duties rose from 35% to 70%.
By 1927, the Bing company had serious financial problems, and in 1932 the company was in the stage of liquidation of the company, and by 1933 the company went out of business forever. The tooling such as presses and dies were purchased by Bub, a competitor of the Bing company.
As for the Bing family, they escaped from Germany to England due to the rise of Hitler and the fascist state. One of the relatives of the brothers (perhaps a son) helped to start up a British toy company by the name of Trix.*
I decided not to add the written descriptions to the toy of each of the photos.
If you go to the April 9, 2016 auction at the link below, you will find the well-written and documented descriptions of the toys presented today.
I've been finding all kinds of interesting toys this week on ebay, so I've continued to search there.
I saw a nice Smith-Miller toy, that was out of the "norm" from the usual Smith-Miller toys that I've seen. The "usual" Smith-Miller toys are the trucks or trucks with semis that they haul. This toy happens to be a trailer from 1953, which is certainly different.
Vintage Smith Miller M.I.C. House Trailer Pressed Steel Vehicle
THe trailer was produced to take advantage of the "I Love Lucy" TV show,
and was made only in 1953. Trailer has a blue steel roof, and aluminum sides.
I've never seen this Chein oil tanker before, especially with the rear doors that open up.
Buddy 'L' Pressed Steel Wrigley's
Truck and Semi No. 953
Railway Express Agency Truck
Wrigley and Chicklets were 2 of the biggest gum manufacturers in North America when I was growing up. Chicklets came in rectangular form like many of today's gums, while Wrigley's gum came in aluminum foiled strips.
So these 2 items are ones that I was able to add to this post.
It's also first time that I see this Buddy 'L' Wrigley's Railway Express Truck.
I've seem a few other toys with the Wrigley name as well.
It must be that Christmas is approaching. I've been revisiting old friends who have helped me out,and so it was, that I happened to visit Mr. Ken McGee. Ken has a Chevrolet dealership in Ontario (Canada), but he also happens to be a fascinating seller on ebay. His specialty are is car manual ephemera or simply put, car manuals. He has thousands and thousands of old car manuals for sale, but visiting him today was a big surprise.
I've been fortunate to lately find toys that are either in excellent condition or that have been restored.
So when I visited Ken yesterday, I was awestruck. He had a whole nice grouping of very old toys that had been superbly restored. Naturally, I had to download two examples for todays post., but if you venture over to his ebay store, you'll see at least a dozen fine examples of toys from olden times as they might have appeared 90 years ago!
1926-1929 Buddy 'L' Pressed Steel Toy Ice Delivery Truck Restored
A beautifully restored example of the Buddy 'L' ice delivery truck, complete
with a canvas bed cover that slides on bed rails,and three glass "ice" blocks.
An excceptional restoration with clean paint and decals.
Measures (L x W x H) 25 1/2" x 9" x 12 1/2" 647 mm x 228 mm x 317 mm.
1925-1929 Buddy 'L' Fire Pumper Pressed Steel Toy
Proper decals on the front grill, floorboard, and sides. Working steering linkage
Brass bell, brightly polished boiler, and moving flywheels
and rods on the piston piston pump unit.
L x W x H: 23 1/2" x 8 1/2" x 10 1/2" 596 mm x 215 mm x 266 mm
I've only selected two examples to present for today. However, if you happen to read this post within the next week (November 29-December 5, 2016), you will see a great selection of restored pressed steel American toys from the 1920's-1930's. You won't be sorry if you venture over there at Ken's
ebay store. And if you had a favourite car then check out his car manuals.
Tuesday, November 29,2016 Cloud with rain and flurries 1 Celsius 34 Fahrenheit
An ebay Seller Revisited
I've been revisiting the people who have helped me with my blog over a period of four years.
One of these is Mr. Ron Michaud who goes under hga6969 on ebay. Ron always has nice merchandise for sale, and this time was no different. Ron has nice old toys, and some had been restored. So that's what I'm presenting today.
The above Buddy L # 205 Ladder Fire Truck was sold between 1926-1930.
The above climber has a flywheel for movement. You move the toy ion the ground several times to build up the sped of the flywheel, and then let the toy down by itself. The saved energy of the moving flywheel is then transferred to the wheel of the toy, and it moves forward or can also move backwards.
The Buddy L # 202 Coal Delivery Truck
is a modern-era toy made approximately in the 1980's by Mr. Les Paul.
The Buddy L # 203 Junior Oil Tanker Truck is interesting because it has front head lights
that were battery-operated.
Judging by the simpler design of this toy, I would think that is was made
in the 1920's. That big round piece in front of the truck is a horn.
I'm always searching for new toys, and ebay has lots and lots of them. So when I found some nice old toys from the 1930's, I had to write the ebay seller. Mr. Chris Moore goes by the "moniker" Iowa-Dirtman. I like that "nickname. I can just see Chris digging up the earth searching for those old toys! ANyway, he gave me his permission to use his photos, and he had 2 very nice toys, as you'll see below.
Vintage Buddy 'L' Wrecking Wrecker Tow Truck
Circa: probably 1920's
Black cab with red truck, wheels are silver with red centers.
L x W x H: 29" x 8 1/2" x 12" at the back crane (737 mm x 216 mm x 305 mm)
Approximate weight: 15 pounds 6.82 Kg
Buddy 'L' Aerial Ladder Fire Truck
Circa: LAte 1920's-Early 1930's
All-red painted pressed steel which steel wheels.
L X W X H: 29.5" x 10" x 10" ( 750 mm x 250 mm x 250 mm)
Weight: 15 pounds ( 6.82 Kg)
These 2 toys are quite large, and are very hands-on" toys to play with. Both steer to the left or right, as well as being able to crank up a wrecked car, or extend the ladders. I'm sure that children at the time must have had loads of fun playing with these marvellous toys.
This is one of the few times where someone has included the weight of the toys, and these certainly are "heavyweights" weighing near 15 pounds (6.82 kg). What's of course interesting is the great condition that these 2 toys are in. Naturally, being rarer and in such condition, they come at a well-deserved high price to buy!
I was checking my e-mails today, when I received a surprise note from Ed of Antiquetoys. HGe'd sent me his greetings and said that I had not contacted him in a while.In the e-mail he had 2 nice photos of a new acquisition. It was an old Kenton cast iron car. I tried to find it in my Kenton catalogues, but couldn't. In Ed's e-mail, he did mention that this toy appeared to have not been catalogued.
What's interesting in the driver & automobile toy below is that I could not find it in any Kenton catalogue. I would wonder if that makers it more desirable as a collectible toy?
Cast iron Kenton automobile with a nickel-plated driver.
length : 7" ( 178mm).
The toy below is a frog bank (two frogs).
A coin is placed on the small black plate that the lying down frog is holding in its' hands.
When a lever is pressed, the small frog appears to kick the coin into the larger frogs mouth,
and the mouth closed.
J & E. Stevens
What's interesting about this bank is the condition that it is in.
For a toy approximately 134 years old, it's certainly in great shape.
I'm glad that Ed wrote to me, as I was able to check his website and find that
fine mechanical bank of the two frogs, as well as the photos of the Kenton car.
On days like this my work is made all the more easier!
" I love collectible nostalgia.One of a kind,hard to find, and unusual items are the best. History is fascinating and period pieces are like a window into the past. Don't you love to hold an item that was here 50-150 years ago?"
Matchbox is a popular toy brand which was introduced by Lesney Products in 1953,and is now owned by Mattel, Inc. The brand was named as the original die-catch Matchbox toys, which were sold in boxes similar in style and size to those in which matchboxes were sold. Subsequently, the brand would encompass a broad range of toys including larger scale die-cast models and various non die-cast lines such as plastic model kits and action figures"*