Doll Toy Steam Engine

Description (Brief)
This toy steam engine was manufactured by the Doll Company of Nuremberg, Germany during the early 20th century. The toy steam engine is model number 354. The vertical engine is mounted on an iron base, with vertical firebox, boiler, and chimney. The vertical engine is shafted to a flywheel.
Live steam toys enjoyed a period of popularity from the 1880s until the 1930s. The miniature steam engines were marketed as both toys and instructive devices that mimicked full-scale steam-powered machines and allowed every boy and girl to be their own engineer. In toy steam engines, a heating source is introduced into the firebox below the boiler (early toys used lit wicks fueled by denatured alcohol, later toys used electricity) which heated the water to produce the steam pressure that ran the engine. A variety of accessories could be powered by the engine; attachments included windmills, pumps, grinders, and electric lights.
Currently not on view
Object Name
toy, steam engine and boiler
date made
early 20th century
overall - from catalog card: 12 3/4 in; 32.385 cm
flywheel - from catalog card: 2 3/4 in; x 6.985 cm
base - from catalog card: 4 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in; 10.795 cm x 10.795 cm
overall: 12 3/4 in x 4 3/4 in x 5 3/8 in; 32.385 cm x 12.065 cm x 13.6525 cm
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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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, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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