STEAM POWERED TOYS
Posted 8 years, 3 months ago at 4:47 pm. 7 comments
When you think of steam toys, you most commonly think of Germany. This is where they were produced starting as early as 1859 – although you would be lucky to find one of these toys today – and even luckier to find one from this period with any sort of manufacturer’s mark.
The uniqueness of these toys came from the fact that live steam power was used to activate and run them. Toys such as large boats, sewing machines, engines, fire engines, cars, men at lathes or grinding wheels were steam generated by using actual fuel to create the steam thus driving the mechanism to move the engine. These toys were more like miniatures of the actual item than what we would consider a toy today. As such, they quickly became favored by adult collectors.
Some of the more noted German manufactures – but sadly who are no longer in production – were Arnold, Markline , Wesleco, Bing, Faluk, Wunderlich, Carrett, Doll, and Zschopau. The American company Weeden located in Massachusettes began manufacturing steam toys in the late 1880’s and stopped production around 1940.
Mamod in England began manufacturing steam powered toys in the early 1930’s continues manufacturing them through today.