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.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Sunny with Clouds +7 C 44.6 F
The Magical Talents
of Christopher Ferrone
A few years ago, I received a letter from Mr. Christopher Ferrone with some nice photos of a refurbished and restored toy. I thanked Christopher for the photos and naturally, I added a post about him and his super skills at toy restoration. From time to time, I receive "surprises" in my e-mail account from Christopher. Each time, I am more and more impressed with his mastery of toy restoration, and even metamorphosing old toys into new designs.
Christopher happens to be president of Americoach Systems, Inc., which also is affiliated with the Chicago Sightseeing Company, and I'm sure is owned by Christopher. Chris not only has the sight-seeing company, but I decided to check up on him for writing purposes. I discovered that he has a location where he also repairs and maintains his fleet of sightseeing busses. Aha! So that's where he got his skills to be able to make such nice toys.
Today's toy happens to be a Canadian-made Lincoln toy toy truck
from the 1950's. Lincoln toys were well made and included both trucks and farm toys.
The toys were produced by Milner Metal Products t6hat was located in Windsor, & Tilbury,Ontario, Canada.
I was taken aback (surprised), when I noticed a notification on my blog-writing page.
I clicked the icon for messages, and suddenly my photos "magically" appeared.
However, upon close examination, I'm still missing 1000's of photos,
and there are hardly any photos from 2018. This isn't the first time I've had missing photos. I've had this same problem since 2014. Of course, I always made sure that I save my photos anyway on my external hard drives ( I have 2 of them).
I thought that I'd simply present you some of my early blog post photos. I currently have 1400 blog posts. What I would suggest is that you visit my early posts. I started my blog in 2011. At that time, I bought and sold toys, and just broke even after the costs of shipping to my house, repackaging, and sending the toys to new buyers. At that time, my most expensive toys
cost me about $ 50.00 US.
The best toys that I purchased in the past were the Tootsietoy Grahams. I don;t have them anymore, but I was able to purchase them for about $ 15.00 - $ 20.00 US dollars at the time, and now, in 2018, some of these fine toys can cost from $ 45.00 - $ 250.00 U.S dollars.
That's the web address where my photos are
When I clicked on the above link,
I was redirected to this new page.
Below are my latest photos. The amount of photos is very low, and I'm missing
hundreds and hundreds of photos!
I'm a retired professional photographer and professional photography teacher. I spent lots of time to take excellent photos (please excuse my boasting). However,when you sell toys on ebay, the quality doesn't really matter. However, I also photographed well, in order to have nice photos for my blog. I've even had American Pickers pay me for several of my photos.
The photo of the Turret cigarettes advertisement on the wall was used for another of my blogs
about professional photography. I took the photo because it was interesting, and I knew that when that building was rebuilt, the wall would again be hidden!. I think Turret cigarettes were sold in the 1930's, here in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
I used to use white fabric and textured cloth (burlap) as foundations and backgrounds for my toys.
Since I stopped taking my own toy photos, I decided to remove all backgrounds and foundations, in order to place toys of my guest on white. I find the toys present best on a white background!
Below is set of flower photos, that are again on my Pro Photo blog.
The sulkies (horse, rider, and cart) were purchased because my father-in-law had some sulky racehorses. I still have that grey horse with the rider.
Below is an eclectic (interestingly varied) group of photos.
There are Hubley cast iron cars and trucks, and diecast Tootsietoys. What I just noticed is that if I had to redo these photos, I would add the American penny in all the photos. As these photos are presented, one cannot know the small Tootsietoys from the larger Hubley toys.
The top red car in the second row (in silhouette) appears in 2 other places. The toy
was in bad condition, and so I decided to repaint it.
The result is in the first row, second image down.
So if you ever decide to write a blog with photos,
always be sure to back-up the photos on your personal hard drives.
It's better, and you know where the photos are.
With Google, it seems that I always seem to have "issues" with missing photos.
And finally, if you're reading this post, go back in time to when I first started posting.
There are some nice posts that I started from which I bought my own toys and resold them. You might find those posts also interesting.
I'd seen this great website several years ago, and asked the owner if I might use his fine images and descriptions. Mr. Ed Sanford wrote back and gave me his permission. Not only are the photos and descriptions great, but as it turns out, Mr. Sanford is a world export on toys from around the world. Ed also is the founder of another interesting website titled RobotJapan.com, which as the title indicates, is dedicated to Japanese toys.
What makes Ed's website so great is that it's not only a site for selling toys, but also an excellent resource for finding about toys and their descriptions. There is even a section for written articles about toys.
On the site, the toys are sorted into different categories such as Maker (Manufacturer), Cast Iron, Tin Toys, Steel Toys, Plastic, and Wood, Paper, and other toys.
Sturditoy Pressed Steel Oil Tanker
This pressed steel toy comes with a truck and a tanker.
The working trailer can crank on and off, and there are
two spigots at the back.
Original Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Cor-Cor Graham Steel Car from Dealership
Beautifully restored pressed steel toy from the Donald Kaufmann Collection.
The finish is a shimmering pewter colour with silver pinstripes.
Corcoran Mfg. Company
Washington, Indiana, USA
Chein Tin Race Car #3 Windup
Lithographed tin windup toy.
Very good condition .
These toys were very popular in the 1930's-1940's
J. Chein & Co.
New York City, New York & Harrison, New Jersey (USA)
Two Frogs Bank by J & E Stevens
Length: 9" 23 cm
Very fine condition
By placing a coin on the flat stomach of the small frog
and pressing the lever, the small frog kicks the coin into
the mouth of the large frog.
J & E Stevens (aka JE Stevens)
Cromwell, Connecticut, USA
Cast iron toys were made from molten steel that was poured into sand castingd. There were usually 2 symmetrical left and right sides made that were then riveted together. Early castings were brittle, but later the steel was more mild or elastic, allowing children to play with these toys without much breakage.
Hubley Harley Davidson Light Up Cast Iron Motorcycle
Cast iron toy with battery-operated front functioning headlight.
Hubley Manufacturing Company,
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
An interesting part of the website is Ed's logo page. Logos are important to ensure that the toy is not a copy or reproduction, but is an authentic original!
One of the more interesting toys of the Early 20th century were the steam engines. These machines were miniature reproductions of life-size steam engines miniatured for children to play with. However, these machines had to be supervised by parents as they were very hot when operated, and ran on alcohol as a fuel.
Georges Carette was one of the best known manufacturers of these toys. Not only were there small steam engines, but there were accessories to have the engine run them.
The toy steam engine consisted of a fuel source, which heated up air to run a piston, that would turn a flywheel. Attached to the flywheel was a metal cord that ran up to a driving pulley wheel, which also had working driving pulleys. The last-mentioned pulleys would then attach to toy accessories that also had drive pulleys that ran theses accessories.
Drive pulleys that you see below, could attach to small men characters that did assorted "jobs" that you will see later on. These pulleys could be single or in multiples as the sketches below illustrate.
Below are working models of assorted machine shop machines. These are without people.
Below are working shop machines with people.
Each toy had a driving pulley wheel that would attach to the
driving pulley wheel of the steam engine.
Below, the scan page illustrates many people operating different machines.
Each machine has its' own driving pulley wheel in front.
The page below illustrates even more complex and sophisticated machines.
Here's an actual toy machine from the Pook & Pook / Noel Barrett auction.
There are 2 workers hammering a piece of iron. The driving pulley can be seen in front,
attached beside the anvil.
One is chopping a block of wood, while the left person is a locksmith filing something.
The models could be anywhere from 3"-5" tall (7.6 cm - 12.6 cm)
Below are 4 machinists working at the same time. You can clearly see the 4driving pulleys that are attached to the driving pulleys of the actual machines that the workers are at.
The larger driving pulley to the extreme left and the largest is the master driving pulley,. That pulley would be attached to the steam engine.
Finally, a pair of riders on horses. You can see the large red driving pulley
at the left in the photo.
I'm sure that many of the steam engines found at auction might still be operable and could attach to the people working models that you saw above. Of course, you'd have to be very careful operating these machines, and you should be taking these machines outdoors for safety purposes. Once the driving pulleys of the steam engine and small toys were attached, you could see a miniature group of tradesmen plying their trades. There are still today manufacturers of miniature steam engines. If you type in miniature steam engines or toy steam engines, you will come across the brand names of the manufacturers - Wilesco, Mamod, and Jensen. Even today, these miniature models are still popular! Thanks for visiting, and as always Have a great part of the day or evening. Stacey Bindman email@example.com
I had written a recent post of January 31 2018. However, the Fernand Martin toys were so interesting, that I thought I'd revisit the auction again, and make another fine selection of these toys. Not only are these toys most interesting in terms of design, but they also move through a wind-up gear mechanism. Furthermore, these toys are very rare, and if you visit the specific auction from the "please click here" above, you will see the very high prices that these marvellous toys yielded.
As you look at these Fernand Martin toys, carefully notice the excellent condition that these
toys are in. Superb for toys over 117-109 years old! Bertoia Auctions photographed these fine toys in a bigger size, in order to appreciate the fine condition, as well as the details of the characters.
Dressed in cloth uniform and apron donning a thick moustache.
He stands at the table with knives that when activated,
his arms move up and down, as if chopping meat.
Height: 7.5" 19.1 cm
Original patented design by Monsieur Noguier of Paris
which represents a barber and client in his chair.
Height: 7.5" 19.1 cm
Early Martin Leap Frog Toy
Attributed to Martin, depiction of two children playing
a fun game of leap frog around a tree stump.
Whimsy theme and design.
Height: 5.75" 14.6 cm
A fun example of one of the most inspired source of characters of this time.
When activated, the clown stands on his hands and moves his legs, as seen on the box front,
entertaining the crowd. He wears a cloth outfit and lace neck scarf. Missing hat.
Height: 8" 20.3 cm
"Martin Bear Climbing Pole"
When activated (wound up with a key), this bear climbs
up the rungs of the pole with the base. He wears a felt bearskin and red collar.
Height: 19.75" 50.3 mm
"La Sentinelle Anglaise"
(The English Guard)
One of the many nationalities of guards,
created by Martin. This English Guard wears a red felt jacket
and cloth pants, with a bobby-style helmet.
Height: 7.5" 19 cm
This figure represents the profession known as a sandwich man,
in which a person walks the streets with a backpack style
billboard advertising, in this case, for games and toys.
I found a Pratt and Letchworth that was located in Buffalo, New York. As it turned out, the company was founded by 2 brothers Samuel Fetcher and Pascal Paoli Pratt, and William Pryor Letchworth as the Buffalo Malleable Iron Works. The company originally produced saddlery hardware and was the largest in the USA. In 1889, Mr. George S. Crosby, a toy designer was hired. The toys were marketed by the name of Buffalo Toy with the company then being known as Buffalo Indestructible Malleable Iron and Steel Toys). The toys were cast iron and were mostly hosres with different kinds of wagons. * reference atca-clug.org/article02.php
The reason for today's title is that in the 1880's there were no cars. As such, people travelled by assorted wagons. There were many different wagons with many different names, that today are rarely used in the English language. You'll need a dictionary to find out what each of the horse-drawn vehicles mean!
Pratt & Letchworth Four Seat Brake
An all elusive example, impressive scale, and painted in eye appealing
black and orange, drawn by a team of four horses in brown and white,