German Toy Steam Engine

Description (Brief)
The Bing Company of Bavaria, Germany manufactured this toy steam engine during the early 20th century. The horizontal boiler has a steam whistle and sight glass above a black firebox with a simulated brickwork chimney. The boiler powers an orange horizontal slide valve engine and flywheel. Everything is mounted on a tin base that measures 9.25 by 9.5 inches.
The Gebrüder Bing (Bing Brothers) toy company was founded in Nuremburg, Germany by Adolf and Ignatz Bing in 1863 and operated until 1932. The company was renamed Bing Werke (Bing Works) in 1918 when Ignatz Bing died. While very successful from 1863 until 1912, World War I created an unfavorable export market for German products, and the hard post-war years caused additional financial hardships. The harsh political climate in Germany forced the Jewish Bing family to flee to England in 1932, and Bing’s assets were acquired by rival toy company Bub in 1933.
Currently not on view
Object Name
toy, steam engine and boiler
steam engine and boiler, toy
date made
20th century
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
boiler - from catalog card: 5 in x 2 in; x 12.7 cm x 5.08 cm
flywheel - from catalog card: 2 3/4 in; x 6.985 cm
overall - from catalog card: 14 1/4 in x 9 1/2 in x 9 1/4 in; 36.195 cm x 24.13 cm x 23.495 cm
overall: 14 1/2 in x 9 1/8 in x 9 1/2 in; 36.83 cm x 23.1775 cm x 24.13 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
Additional Media

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