Paradox Toy Gas Engine

Description (Brief)
This Paradox gas engine was made by the Pardox Gas Engine Company of Hartford, Connecticut around 1900-1930. The engine ran on a mixture of “illumination gas,” an early gas used to light homes that was generated from coal. The engine was attached to an ordinary gas burner by a rubber tube, and advertising described it as “running with an explosion at each revolution.” The engine has two 3.5-inch flywheels, and the base bears the inscription “PAT. NOV. 20 1900.” G.J. Altham & J. Beattie Jr. of Fall River, Massachusetts received patent number 662,181 for this invention that related to “a simple and efficient valveless engine adapted for use in small size as a toy.”
Currently not on view
date made
Physical Description
cast iron (overall material)
wood (base material)
overall - from catalog card: 6 in x 5 1/2 in x 4 in; 15.24 cm x 13.97 cm x 10.16 cm
overall: 6 in x 4 in x 6 3/8 in; 15.24 cm x 10.16 cm x 16.1925 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Bequest of the Estate of Greville I. Bathe
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Engineering Steam Toys and Models
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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