German Toy Steam Engine

Description (Brief):

This steam toy was made by a German manufacturer during the early 20th century. The toy has its boiler and firebox inside a pressed metal container painted to simulate brick. The horizontal boiler has a sight glass, steam whistle, and throttle valve that leads to two vertical slide valve engines. The drive wheel is roped to a three pulley shaft, allowing this engine to power two separate accessories.

Description (Brief)

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.

Date Made: ca 1900

Location: Currently not on view

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.329011Catalog Number: 329011Accession Number: 278175

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

Physical Description: tin (overall material)Measurements: flywheel: 4 in; x 10.16 cmboiler: 8 1/2 in x 4 in; x 21.59 cm x 10.16 cmbase: 13 1/2 in x 12 in; x 34.29 cm x 30.48 cmoverall: 17 in x 13 1/2 in x 12 1/8 in; 43.18 cm x 34.29 cm x 30.7975 cm


Record Id: nmah_847207

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