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
Object Name
engine, hot air
engine, gas, toy
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
See more items in
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, 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

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