Weeden No. 23 Hot-Air Engine Toy

Description (Brief)
The Weeden Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts produced this number 23 “hot air” engine from the 1890s until 1916. The engine is not a steam engine, as no water is heated. Instead the firebox heats air which expands and moves a piston to create useful mechanical work. The toy consists of a vertical firebox, with a nickel-plated horizontal engine that drives a 2.25-inch flywheel all mounted on a cast iron base.
The Weeden Manufacturing Company was founded in New Bedford, Massachusetts by William M. Weeden in the early 1880s, originally producing a variety of tinplate household items. In 1884 it introduced the Weeden No. 1 Steam engine as “a new and great premium for boys” who were subscribers to the Youth’s Companion magazine. Weeden made over a hundred different models of toy steam engines until the company ceased operations in 1952.
Currently not on view
Object Name
engine, hot air
engine, hot air, toy
date made
ca 1900
overall - from catalog card: 8 in x 4 in; x 20.32 cm x 10.16 cm
flywheel - from catalog card: 2 1/4 in; x 5.715 cm
overall: 7 1/8 in x 8 1/8 in x 4 in; 18.0975 cm x 20.6375 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Engineering Steam Toys and Models
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Family & Social Life
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Engineering Steam Toys and Models
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Bequest of the Estate of Greville I. Bathe
maker referenced
Maass, Eleanor A.. Greville Bathe's "Theatre of Machines": The Evolution of a Scholar and His Collection

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.