Ernst Plank Steam Engine Toy with Marx Lights

Description (Brief)
Ernst Plank produced this toy steam engine during the early 20th century. The toy has a tan fire box below a horizontal boiler with steam whistle, safety valve, and throttle. The steam line powers a small oscillating engine mounted on a two pole generator that provides electricity to twin Marx-manufactured lamps on metal scaffolding.
Ernst Plank founded his company in Nuremburg, Germany in 1866. The company was well known for manufacturing a variety of metal toys like steam locomotives, stationary steam engines, early photography equipment, and magic lanterns until its dissolution in 1935.
Currently not on view
Object Name
toy, engine boiler & generator
generator: 4 in x 4 in x 4 in; 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm
horizontal boiler: 2 3/4 in x 6 1/4 in; 6.985 cm x 15.875 cm
light tower: 10 in; 25.4 cm
overall: 14 1/2 in x 10 in x 11 in; 36.83 cm x 25.4 cm x 27.94 cm
overall-: 11 1/2 in x 11 1/4 in x 9 7/8 in; 29.21 cm x 28.575 cm x 25.0825 cm
smokestack: 10 3/4 in x 1 1/8 in; 27.305 cm x 2.8575 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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