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.
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