Weeden No. 17 Toy Steam Engine

Description (Brief)
This toy steam engine was manufactured by the Weeden Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts from 1894 until 1933. The engine is Weeden model number 17, and consists of a vertical firebox and brass boiler on a tinplate base and a vertical engine with flywheel and flyball governor. Weeden’s Engine no. 17 was the first reversible engine, which would run in the opposite direction when the switch next to the engine was flipped. This engine is missing its sight glass.
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
toy, steam engine and boiler
date made
late 19th century
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in; 21.59 cm
base: 5 in x 6 1/4 in; 12.7 cm x 15.875 cm
flywheel: 2 1/2 in; x 6.35 cm
overall: 8 3/4 in x 6 1/4 in x 5 1/8 in; 22.225 cm x 15.875 cm x 13.0175 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

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