Ernst Plank Toy Steam Engine

Description (Brief):

This toy steam engine was manufactured by the Ernst Plank Company of Nuremburg, Germany during the early 20th century. There is a small metal plate on the toy’s wooden base that reads “Hercules,” possibly the model name of this engine. The toy has a pressed metal firebox below the boiler with a pressure gauge and steam whistle. The boiler powers a vertical oscillating engine shafted to a flywheel.

Description (Brief)

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.

Date Made: ca 1900

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany

See more items in: Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Family & Social Life, Engineering, Building, and Architecture, Engineering Steam Toys and Models


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Maass, Eleanor A.. Greville Bathe's "Theatre of Machines": The Evolution of a Scholar and His Collection

Credit Line: Bequest of the Estate of Greville I. Bathe

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MC.329006Catalog Number: 329006Accession Number: 278175

Object Name: toy, steam engine and boilersteam engine and boiler, toy

Physical Description: white metal (overall material)tin (stack material)wood (base material)Measurements: flywheel - from catalog card: 2 7/8 in; x 7.3025 cmboiler - from catalog card: 7 in x 3 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in; 17.78 cm x 8.89 cm x 8.89 cmtin stack - from catalog card: 12 in; 30.48 cmbase - from catalog card: 10 3/4 in x 4 3/4 in; x 27.305 cm x 12.065 cmoverall: 13 3/8 in x 4 7/8 in x 10 3/4 in; 33.9725 cm x 12.3825 cm x 27.305 cm


Record Id: nmah_847158

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.