Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Hubley 1920's Packard

Sunday,November 30, 2014
Cloudy with some showers and warm

The Hubley 1920's Packard

   There are some toys that you keep returning to, and one of these is the Hubley 1920's Packard.  I've added this toy to one or two of my posts, but when I reread some of the Bertoia Auctions written description, I know that I had to write another post. Once upon a time in America (not the movie),before the 1950's, when 3 major car manufacturers would become the "Big 3", there were many can manufacturers. One of these that produced some of the finest cars in America was the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit, Michigan.  During WWII, they produce exemplary engines nearing 1500 HP (Horsepower) for the famous PT boats. There were 3 of these engines on these boats,and the boat could reach speeds of 36 MPH!

  Returning to the topic for today, the Packard cars of the 1920's were beautiful cars exemplifying the style of that time - "The Roaring Twenties". Luxury without compromise, these cars were huge, showy, and would certainly have caught your attention when one passed you by.

I couldn't find an exact advertisement to match the Hubley toy, but it's close.

I always write almost the exact description of the auctioneer or person who I've had the privilege to use their photos. I want the material that I'm using to be almost exact, especially when an item is still for sale. But what I wanted to do is write my own description in order to place all of the different fine attributes (characteristics) together. So here is the composite description, with the fine written material taken from the 3 toy cars of Bertoia Auctions, and some of my own.

The Hubley Straight Eight Sedan

An exceptional cast iron Hubley pull toy from the 1920's. Painted in assorted colour combinations, this car was  beautifully-crafted after the famous Packard cars of the 1920's.  It's impressive for the many features that it presents. A Nickel-plated cast iron  or painted driver . The two sides of the hood that open to reveal a massive straight (in line) eight cylinder engine. The front doors on both sides of the toy open up. Massive front head lights, a painted license plate,and a spare tire all supplement toe already-impressive toy. Wheels and tires changed during its production time from two-tone painted disc wheels to rubber tires mounted on painted rims.

Circa 1920's

Length:  11 1/2"  292 mm

This is one toy that has consistently maintained a high price and demand f
Sometimes, there are certain things in life that are "priceless".
This toy and the original Packard belong in that group.

You can;t go back in time,but you certainly can have a "glimpse" of it!

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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Newly-Presented Wolverine Toys

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Sunny and cloud, warming up later in the day

Newly-Presented Wolverine Toys

  As I was checking up on the latest auctions on Liveauctioneers, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new auction set for December 10, 2014 from Dan Morphy Auctions. Dan was one of the early auctioneers and company to help me out when I stopped buying and selling on ebay.  There's lots of nice news with regard to Dan Morphy Auctions. First, the company purchased Victorian Casino Antiques earlier in the year. That company coincidentally had helped me with my journey in writing about antique toys. He has also expand into different areas of the antique business,  has a new and very nice website, and the photos are larger!

Below is the older logo of  Morphy Auctions.

And this is the newer logo of Morphy Auctions

Wolverine tin & wind-up toys

The Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Company (1903-1950) was founded in Pittsburgh by Benjamin Bain and his wife in Pennsylvania in 1903 and incorporated in 1906. The early Wolverine toys were set in motion by the weight of marbles or sand. These toys were highly popular and were usually designed to unload marbles or sand from an elevated hopper and once set in operation, they would continue to operate until the supply of sand or marbles was exhausted, thereby providing endless hours of fun for kids. "Sandy Andy" were these type of toys called.

In 1918, Wolverine's line expanded to include girls' toys. Introduced at the New York Toy Fair in March of that year, were such toys as sand pails, tea sets, wash tubs, ironing boards, glass washboards and even miniature grocery stores. In 1928, Wolverine introduced their "Sunny Andy" and Sunny Suzy" toys. Company advertising explained that the new names for the toys would cover all toys not operated by sand. By 1929, airplanes, boats, buses, and other toys had joined the Wolverine family of toys. Wolverine continued to expand their toy line throughout the 1930s, right up to the beginning of WWII, almost as if they were immune from the effects of the Depression. Even the sand toys, relatively unchanged from the early 1900's, were still being sold into the 1950's.*
Written description courtesy of FabtinToys

If you go to the Fabtintoys link above, you'll see this toy in action. There is also a link to Youtube. 
Wolverine produced a different type of toy from the regular toys such as toys and truck or dolls.
There were lots of movement to the toys so that after it was wound, the young child would watch and focus on all of the movements going on.

I was surprised to see the brooch below. Bakelite was the precursor to plastic. At the time (1930's) bakelite was used in many items including radios. The hardened material was ablto to work well with brilliant dyes to produce some of the most colourful rations and toys toys like to see.

It would be interesting to know why the company manufactured such a item or clothing accessory. 

I intentionally enlarged the instruction and box photos for you to read how this toy operated.
Now here's a toy that I'd enjoy watching a child play with!

 This would be  a fine toy for any child today, especially for parents who wanted the cild to learn at a young age.  There is music, there is movement, and there is the manual dexterity (hand/eye coordination) of loading the musical discs onto the toy.

If I have understand how the toy below toy operates from the photos, here's how I think it works:

1. Dry sand is loaded into the small house where the figure (an elf) is. The sand is best used dry.

2. The elf cranks a handle and sand starts to pour into the red bucket or chute 
on the opposite side of the  building (opposite the elf).

3. The sand pours  into the chute and then goes into the buckets inside the wheel. 
The weight of the buck causes the bucket to move (by gravity) and turn.

4. That tin can canister is for both pouring and catching the sand after in drops off the buckets.

I'm sure the Wolverine Company provided instructions to operate this toy outdoors and under parental supervision. You wouldn't want the hallway or toy room to become sandy while you r child played indoors. And you  definitely wouldn't want any "sand fights" inside the house!

Thanks for dropping by to visit,and as always,
have a really* great day
wherever you may be,

* I will - It's my birthday today

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Hubley Cast Iron Cab

Friday, November 28, 2014
Cloudy with light snow, seasonally mild

The Hubley Yellow Cast Iron Cab

  Yesterday, I presented a fine Thomas reproduction Hubley Checker Cab (Thomas Toys,Inc). The cab or the more proper name - "taxi" was not produced by Hubley ( I will have to "check"). The real "Checker Cab " was in fact an American-made taxi manufactured by  the Checkers Motor Corporation of Kalamazoo, Michigan that the taxi company, Checker Taxi used. The story of the Checker Cab is quite interesting and you might want to go to the Wikipedia link below to read up on it.

  Hubley's actual cast iron taxi looks exactly like the Thomas reproduction . However it was painted only in yellow or orange, and never had that checkered pattern of black and white squares alone both sides of the car body.

Hubley's cast iron taxi,for dome reasons I know not of, came in different variations.
If you compare the two diptychs (a larger photo of 2 smaller ones) you can see the following differences:

1. The driver varies from nickel-plated to hand -painted black and skin-toned.
2. The luggage rack at the back of the car varies from silver to black
3. The actual colours vary from yellow to orange.

The Thomas Checker Cab is an excellent reproduction of the original Hubley. Mr. Julian Thomas started his company in 1969. He had worked for GM (General Motors),and during a downturn in the economy, decided to form his own company manufacturing antique toy replacement parts. His fine series of cast iron toys were produced in the early 1990's and can be found in the resale market of older toys.

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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Beautiful Thomas Cab

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Variating sun and cloud, cool

A Beautiful Thomas Cab

   I met a fine guest by the name of Malinda Trollinger. She's been helping her father sell his toy collection that he's assembled over a long period.  Her ebay identification is mpt331. Her father is quite knowledgeable about toys.I posted a recent Marv Silverstein custom ambulance thank went to auction on ebay, and Malinda was asked by her father if I know of Don DeSalle  I didn't, but now I know about him, and I will try and add post about him in he future . Malinda takes excellent photos also,which helps me save some time when creating a post. 

  Malinda's next ebalisting will be a 1939 Lincoln cast iron reproduction of a green Checker Cab. It was made by Mr. Julian Thomas as is # 82 of the production. I've seen these fine reproductions on Liveauctioneers, on ebay, and on other websites on the Net. For those who don't know, Julian Thomas  is the owner of Thomas Toys in Fenton, Michigan, USA. He worked at GM (General Motors) in the modelling and design department before deciding to create his own company of replacement toy parts. When I way buying and selling toys on ebay, I discovered Julian Thomas and his two children who work with him. I dealt with Julie, his daughter, who helped me all the time when I would phone for a part. 

   Julian produced a fantasist group of reproduction vintage cast iron toys, and they are in demand by collectors. They look like they might have come off the "assembly line" way back in the 1930's. But Julian imprinted his surname on the inside of the toy, and also Made in U.S.A. I'm sure he wanted to let people know that this was a reproduction - but an excellent reproduction!

I wonder if Malinda's father's name is David?

I like the Thomas Logo.

The Thomas markings on the toy, letting you know that this is a Thomas toy and not a Hubley original.

I like the fold-down luggage rack at the back of the toy.

 And of course, the driver, and the taxi cab roof sign. I just noticed the 2 small domed silver projections on the roof.I'll have to find out what those were. Perhaps they were meant to be lit or unlit depending on whether or not the "cabbie" (the taxi driver) had a fare (rider) or not.

Malinda certainly knows how to take excellent photos, with what she described as a $ 200.00 camera. I can't even imagine what detail I'd see if she had one of those"fancy" cameras! I like how Malinda came close to exaggerate (distort) the front details of the car, with a wide-angle setting on the lens.

This item has not yet been listed on ebay, but I'm sure it will be. Malinda's probably working on the type (text) for the description listing for ebay.

It's nice to have friends and guest to help make my life easier when blogging. Not that I have so much heartache being retired and taking an hour or two to create another new post!

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Determining a toy's Age from its' Design and Characteristics-Part III

Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Overcast, windy and cold

Determining a Toy's Age from it's
Design and Characteristics
(Part III)

   This is the third instalment on a continuing topic. Today's subject - the trolley changed with the advent of safe and reliable electricity on a mass scale through cities. As such, the age of the horse-drawn trolley that was used to move people around towns and cities started to modernize to the electric trolley. Electrical wires were hung above the trolley's route and suspended by poles on either side of the road. A flexible contact rod with a wheel at the end would be used to bring the live electricity to the motor of the trolley. As such, trolleys could be larger and heavier, and could thus carry more people. The day of the horse would eventually stop by the latest in the 1920's and perhaps slightly later in the smaller cities. What I also discovered is that there were alternative horse-replacement methods before electricity such as steam and cables. Also in some cities, steel tracks were laid in the streets to better keep the trollies "on track" - please excuse the pun. 

 Mr. Tim Striker, a member of the Kenton Toy Collectors Club and the Hardin County Historical Museums  has been very helpful in helping me on my blog. I've been able to purchase some excellent scans of original  Kenton toy catalogues and of course, make very good use of them.

Below is the actual toy that matches the 1906 catalogue illustration in the second row.

Of course, the size of this trolley is exaggerated to a micro size, and was produced later on.
It was a licensed toy from a common newspaper cartoon series of the time.

The first actual electric trolley appeared in North America in 1882 
on Michigan Street, in South Bend Indiana 

What's of interest in the toy below is that this is the first toy powered by a cast iron flywheel. The flywheel was a rotating wheel that you would push on the sidewalk or road to build up power. When you had enough, you'd release the toy, and the turning wheel had the power to move the toy.However, this type of mechanism as you read the description was new. What made this method of movement all the more better was that a toy could move uphill, hence the name hillclimber. The flywheel had enough torque (twisting power) to move a toy at a moderately steep angle.

What's also noteworthy are the brightly-coloured passengers in the windows.
Below is a nice grouping of tin toy trolleys,
Although the dates are not presented, I'm sure that these toys were from the early 1910's 
or into the early 1920's.

The 1920's Kingsbury Trolley car below is quite large as a toy, and I'm sure the original real trolley as well.  Even the design is different, as I can remember in 1958 a similar design of passengers leaving on the side of the trolley. However our trolleys were shorter on length.

The projection at the top is the windup key and not the rod.
Personally, I'd like to have seen the contact roof rod as a part of the toy.

The trolley would continue into the 1930's and even later,but its time would also pass like the horse-drawn trolley. There are some exceptions such as in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) and  mostly in Europe where the electric trolley still exists. I've rode on the Toronto Trolley, and it  is smooth. However it feels as though it is 2x as heavy as a bus! 

As I'm writing, I just remembered that the trolley had steel tracks in the road.  99.9% of the old tracks were removed when the gas-powered bus replaced the trolley.However, once in a while , I think in N.D.G. (Notre Dame De Grace), there are still a few tracks buried on Grand Boulevard. One of these days, they'll remove them finally. But if you're old enough to remember a trolley, the embedded steel rail tracks are a good memory to remind you of those times.

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Determining a Toy's Age from its' Design and Characteristics - Part II

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Partly sunny, then overcast with minor drizzle

Determining a Toy's Age 
from its' Design and Characteristics - 
Part II

   I've already started the conversation about trying to determine a toy's age from it's design and characteristics. Below is the first part of the series:

  I had started with horse-drawn trolleys. As we shall see, there is an evolution to this type of passenger vehicle as time progresses from the horse, to electricity, and finally to the gas-powered motor.  In part I, I introduced the lithographed paper on wood toy. These type of toys were made from the 1880's-1910's.However, during the same period, there were alternative material that were used.  These were painted tin and cast iron wheels, with stencilling for any lettering that was needed to identify the route of the trolley or the name of the trolley.

One has to realize that at the time, there was no electricity. The major system of electricity for city lighting and transportation would come in the early 1910's.  However, the first electric street car in North America was put into service on Michigan Street in South Bend, Indiana in 1882. By then electricity was well-enough and safely developed to produce on a mass scale, mostly from hydro-electric peer, although the USA had plenty of coal for  steam-powered generators.

Tin was a common-enough metal, and it receives paint quite easily. If you look closely, you can see the hand-painted reins that  were painted on the horses.  It was also very easy to form and cut either with "tinner's snips"or for faster and cleaner cuts (like the windows) through die cast cutting.

What I also learned through writing this post is that
soldering was used to join the hitches from the trolley to the horse or horses.

For those who don't know the English word "soldering", that is a process whereby a soft metal (lead at the time) was melted on to the parts needing to be jointed. Of course today, the main use for solder and the process is in plumbing for jointing pipes and elbows together. However today's solder is a different alloy (mixture of metals) that are much safer to people and the environment.

It's also important to read the condition or any alternations that auctioneers or sellers provide in the description of a listing.In the example below,  Bertoia Auctions that the "horses re-soldered to a replacement hitch". That is how I learned that some of the parts of these toys were soldered.

I didn't search for a "real" horse-drawn trolley, but I'm sure of you did a search for the "real" item
you'd find a photo of one that would have been in operation.  Also,since photography was well-establihed by the 1880's it wouldn' t be too hard to find an authentic photo of an authentic trolley way back then.

Think of this as "homework" for this post.

Of course, as a teacher, I did a search to see if I would find one. I did!
Press the link below that is a Bing Search and you'll find the first entry the one to redirect to.
wikipedia 1880's horse trolley

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Horse Before the Bus or an Interesting Coincidence

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Partly cloudy and cooler

The Horse Before the Bus
An Interesting Coincidence

 Today's post was supposed to be a continuation of toy trolleys. Yesterday, I added a post about horse-drawn trolleys, and being able to approximate a toy's age for the characteristics of the toy. As I was looking for the next post in the series, I came across a tin horse drawn trolley. This type of toy would have been made approximately at the same time as the ones that I wrote about yesterday - lithographed paper on wood, circa 1880's - 1910. However what caught my attention were the advertisements on the toy trolley. The brand names were identical to a post that I had written last week.

   The reason for the dual titles for this blog are that the horse-drawn trolley was the mode of transport in urban (city) area long before the bus. And the reason the the second title "Interesting Coincidence" is the fact that you can see the same brand names on the bus  (circa 1911), as you can on the Richter toy trolley which is most likely a much earlier toy from the late 1890's or early 1900's.

   I already posted about the advertisements on the bus - "Harry Lauder at the Tivoli", "Pears Soap"," OXO",  Colmans Mustard", and Van Houten's Cocoa. It turned out that all of the brand names were actually real companies of the time!

  What's interesting on the trolley brow are 4 of the same brand names appear as advertisements on a different maker of toy, from 10-20 years earlier.  In my original post, I forgot to corroborate (verify) one advertisement - Mellins Food". I'm sure such a real company did exist at the time.

I like to use "clichés" or common expressions when I write, 
and so to finish this post here's an old cliché:

"The more things change. the more things stay the same".

It seems so appropriate for these 2 different toys from 2 different manufacturers from two different decades that used basically the same brand name advertisements on their toys!

I just couldn't resist that old expression!

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

Determining a Toy's Age from its' Design and Characteristics - Part I

Monday, November 24, 2014
Cloudy with rain, stopping ion the afternoon

Determining a Toy's Age from its
Design and Characteristics
Part I

  I was on Liveauctioneers yesterday, when I noticed a nice trolley. I decided to search our more trolleys to have enough to create post.As I did, I got a large amount of them , and so decided to create a 2 or 2 part series on trolleys, but with a "twist". I'd write about them as they changed with the times. In this way,one could determine approximately when the toy might have been made. 

  As times marches on as the expression goes, toys change with the times. In the case of  real trolleys, they were first pulled by horses, since electricity was not common in the earlier times. Eventually electricity was developed enough to replace the horse. Also, with electricity,there would be flexible row attached to the wires above. Also, the trolleys could be larger because horses no longer had to pull them, and electrical gearing could be designed to pull larger loads. In some cases, electrical trolleys were double-deckered in height.

   For today's post, I'm just presenting lithographed paper on wood trolleys. At the same time and era  (1870's-1900's), toy trolleys were made both from lithographed paper on wood, as well as tin or other metals.

If you didn't know the identity of the manufacturer (Bliss), you could place the approximate date of manufacture in the late 1880's , give or take 10 years. Bliss, of course was an early American toy manufacturer that focussed on wood and paper lithography for its manufacture. However, without the manufacturer's identity, they team of horses as a means of movement, and the wood an paper lithography dates the toy to the time that I mentioned previously.

Here's an almost similar toy, but the question would be "was it made earlier or later" that the first presentation? Also,it's missing the pair of horses pulling it.

The illustrations of the riders help to zero in on the era that the toy was made. With the first two Bliss toys, the conductor  is wearing a long coat , a cap with metal medallion, and of course the long goatee under his chin.

Below, the "sophisticated" passengers are all well dressed (unlike today!). The "gentlemen" are moustached and beard, and both are wearing hats. The gentleman on the left even has a walking cane. The lady and the young girl are also well-dreeed in dresses and also wearing hats!

I can't date the Hutzler toy below since Bertoia did not give the date. I tried to research the name Hutzler and it turned out to be a store in the USA (I forgot the city). I did find that it continued into the 1950's with a board game. More research will be required! As for the number of Hutzler's toys on Liveauctioneers, there were only two!

Here's another late 19th century or early 20th century trolley toy. The animal is described as a horse, but the long ears lead me to believe it is an donkey,of course I defer to Bertoia Auctions who are of course the toy experts. And as they say, donkeys are very stubborn, and you would not have wanted your donkey to stop in the middle of traffic (horse, horses and carts, drays, phaetons, and a whole host of other wood vehicles in the downtown area.

That would be a traffic jam to see had you been there in the 1880's! 

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