Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A New Hubley Discovery

Tuesday, June 15, 2015
      Rain and cold (66F / 18C)

A New Hubley Discovery

  I didn't think that I'd write so soon about American Antique Auctions, but here's the latest post, just after yesterday's.  It's another unseasonal day (rain and cold), and the stock market isn't doing any better, as I try to manage my retirement funds. I decided to take another look at  American Antique Auctions' upcoming June 20 auction, and found today's wonderful cast iron toy.

  I thought I'd seen most of the Hubley cast iron toys, but this one easily "popped off the page".   It's quite small for a Hubley, but  it belongs in the famous "woody" type of car that became especially popular with California surfers in the 1930's  and later. If you ever say a movie about California surfing, you'd surely have sen one of these cars. The outside panels of these real cars were in fact  finished with wood that was lacquered.

Rarely do I write a post with just one item, but today I decided to . I'm sure that I'll edit this post and add more nice toys from this fine American auctioneer. There are lots of other toys that I have not seen, including a nice grouping of Schoenhut toys that came as wooden kits to be assembled.

Until today, I had only known Schoenhut to make fine animal figures, so today's other discovery, among many others was a "Eureka Moment" for me.

It's nice to be writing again, even though I'm not writing daily. There' no pressure for me, although I had tried to write daily. And finding new knowledge about toys, always makes writing all the more pleasurable.

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

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Fine Grouping of Cast Iron Wreckers

Monday, June 15, 2015
Cloud and rain with mild temperatures

A Fine Grouping of Cast Iron Wreckers

   I haven't been writing much this year because no matter what I try to do, the readership hasn't increased. I joined LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to no avail. I keep getting e-mails from web designers and companies wanting to place me in the higher ranks of Google, for a fee of course. However, since I write for interest and a hobby, I don't want to incur costs. Google keeps trying to suing me up to their Adsense, but  that won't  make much money (if at all). With about 100,000 
page-views a year, the numbers just aren't there. And most people do not click on ads to be sent somewhere else from my website.

  I also have been busier this year trying to manage my own retirement funds on a self-directed buy/sell Internet site. So far, it's been up and down. I'll probably return to my former site (pad management with my direction) and forget about getting rich fast or even getting ahead. It's harder than increasing readership to my blog!

Last week, I went over to Liveauctioneers, and found a great  auction of all kinds of toys, some of which I hadn't seen before. Today's grouping of cast iron wreckers I've seen, but never so many being sold in one auction. I wrote to American Antique Auctions, and received a reply from Mr. Vince Sarchese. He politely mentioned that I had written about American Antique Auctions before, and of course I could use their photos. I write back and apologized. It's a good thing I wasn't using a computer with Skype. Vince would have seen me change 6 shades to a red-faced embarrassing person! 

  What I like to see from a toy auctioneer are nice photos with several photos and a decent size for viewing.  Of course, if you've visited me in the last year, you'll have noticed that I have been placing toys against a white background.  Vince's American Antique Auctions has all 3 criteria. All I had to do is adjust the white levels (white, black, and mid-tones), and the toys beautifully popped out against the white.

   For those who don't know, the term "wrecker' was the precursor to the better-sounding term 
tow-truck. With not many roads in the early years of the automobile, I'm sure whenever an accident occurred, the cars were "wrecked" badly and had to be towed. Cars today, of course are built better (except for the "recalls"), and with a cell phone you can easily find a tow truck quite fast. For myself, I started to drive in 1970, when my parents purchased for me a car for me to travel out of town . The drive was about 30 miles (50 km) and several teachers and I car-pooled, alternating cases week-to-week.  I can't ever recall ever needing a tow truck.  I should have used one though. One winter I was stuck on ice and burnt a transmission going back and forth. That was a hard lesson to learn, costing me about $ 700.00 at the time!

   What's interesting about these toys is that they have lasted almost in original condition for so long. When I originally started to write about old and antique toys, I would buy, photograph, and re-sell the toys back to buyers on ebay. I never really made any money (I probably lost money), but I was able to keep taking photos, both as a pro-photo teacher and photographer. Eventually, I stopped buying and selling and asked people and companies around the world for permission to use their photos.

   If you have ever held a cast iron toy in your hands, their is something "mystical" about it. It's heavy and cold, and solid. Also, mostly in the U.S.A. were there these toys. Some cast iron toys were made in Sweden, but for some reason cast iron toys were made mostly in America. 

  Most of the cast iron toys were made in two symmetrical halves (left and right),. They would be  made into one unit by an iron bolt  with a rounded head at one end and a  cut-off end at the other end. This end was slightly longer and would be carefully hammered with a peen hammer (rounded hammer head) to form a slight flattened end to hold the two halved together. I once bought a cast iron toy in two halves, and purchased a cast iron rod to join the parts together. I sweated so much, I though I'd rust the toy, but the toy parts held together, and I was able to repaint and resell the toy.  I'm sure the experienced factory workers at the time would have laughed heartedly at my work!

  Have a look at the written descriptions and the photos. What I especially like is the nickel-plated parts of some of the toys. As well,  some of the wheels are made of wood and are still intact. Even the rubber tires are original in some cases.

That wound wire was meant to hold the dual spare tires to each side of the truck. Several different manufacturers used this ingenious technique to hold different parts of their toy trucks or cars together.

I have most of the old cast iron catalogues that I purchased from the Interent and especially on ebay. I'll try and remember to cross-reference some the toys so that I can specify exactly what they are. 

For the toy below, notice the nice grille that is nickel-plated, It's a beauty!
THe handle is also nickel.  I just noticed that I misspelled the word 
(I wrote" tasker" below in the description.

What's nice below is to see a pair of toys from a similar timeframe. 
The "rumble seat" is especially interesting.

Below, nickel-plating is used both for thew wheels , the wind-up and the tow hook. I remember when a nickel (a 5 cent piece) was in fact made from nickel, and a penny was made entirely from copper. Now a nickel is steel and in canada there are no longer any pennies in circulation. The Canadian government decided to remove it. So when you pay for an item , it's "rounded off" to the nearest 5 cent or 10 cent value.

Here again is a nice pair of toys coming to auction.  WHile I was loping at the couple, I noticed the trunk at the rear end. It's the first time in 66 years that I immediately associated the term "trunk" that we associate with today's cars, with the original "trunk" from way back and log ago. I canl;t believe it took me so long to figure this out!

Once again, you can see the use of nickel-plating on the nice grille. Both toys have nice wooden rims with rubber tires.

The coupe reminds me of the Tootsietoys. These are small-sized  metal alloy-poured American toys.
THese are my favourite small-sized toys (3"-4"/ 76 mm - 102 mm)
 although they are no longer made. 

Finally a pair of very small cast iron toys.  
I can't remember ever seeing such a small cast iron toy. Back then, toys were quite inexpensive, and to produce such a small cast iron toy, to me, is an anomaly. Of course, back then  a cent (penny) was a  lot of money and five cents was even more.

I'll have to remember to see if I can find out why Arcade and Hubley would make toys so small.

In the world of old toys, there's always something new to be found and to wrote about!

You can find this particular set of toys at Liveauctioneers.

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

Monday, June 8, 2015

Nette Auctions Latest Auction with a New Manufacturer Discovery

Monday, June 8, 2015
Heavy rain and cold

Nette Auctions Latest Auction with a 
New Manufacturer Discovery

  I was perusing through Liveauctioneers, when I saw a manufacturer's name that I had not heard of before. The name is Budgie. Originally, the company was called Morestone, but later, its name was changed to Budgie. Morestone was a toy distributor in the 1940's, and Budgie the renamed company stayed in business until 1969.

There is  a well-written article about the company on the Wikipedia website (Please click below):

Nette Auctions is an acronym (an abbreviation of letters) that stands for New England Toy Train Exchange. I've had the pleasure to write about their fine train merchandise from time to time. However, they also happen to sell other toys as well.  I only found 2 Budgie listings for the upcoming June 123, 2015 auction, however, I decided to select a few more nice toys to add for today.

Below is the first Budgie listing. As you can see, the toys resemble other British small toys such as the more famous- Dinky.

What I like about Nette Auctions is their larger file sizes. They're nice to work with  photo-editing 
( I simply whiten the background).. As well, the size is great for readers to see the nice detail of the toys. For those who don;t know, you can enlarge the images that I post. You simply view the photos in the slide mode of Google Blogger.

Below is a nice Japanese friction toy. Considering its age, it's in quite good condition.

Below are some Morestone toys. AS I wrote in the introduction, 
Morestone was the precursor to the Budgie name.

These toys below are live steam accessories. What's great about these toys is that you could assemble many together and connect them with cords and string from the main steam engine. The steam engine would connect to a pulley system that colds accommodate as many as 6 wheels (pulley). THese would then connect to the pulleys of the toys. Once connected and the lever stop lever was released, there could be a whole factory of different craftsmen hammering, sawing, or turning all kinds of mechanism. This much have been most fascinating for your children of the time.

Of course, aha would a toy auction be without a Louis Marx toy? At one time in the mid-1950's 1 in 5 toys in the USA was manufactured by this company. That certainly was a lot of toys to have been made at they time!

First there was the horse carriage, then the horse trolley, then the electric trolley.
Once upon a time, every city had these troll;legs for moving people around the city. At the time, most cities were small, although European cities were larger due to their having existed many years more than the "New World" cities.

If you are a toy train person,  you might went to visit the Nette Auctions website. There are lots and lots of toy trains that will keep you interested for many hours. On a day like today In Montreal), you don;t want to be outdoors, unless you're a duck!

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