Buckman Toy Steam Engine

Buckman Toy Steam Engine

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Description (Brief)
This toy steam engine was produced by the Buckman Manufacturing Company of Brooklyn, New York around 1871.The walking beam engine has a horizontal boiler, vertical slide valve engine, walking beam, and flywheel all on a cast iron frame.
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.
Currently not on view
Object Name
toy, steam engine and boiler
steam engine and boiler, toy
date made
early 20th century
Physical Description
cast iron (overall material)
copper (boiler material)
flywheel-from catalog card: 5 1/4 in; x 13.335 cm
boiler-from catalog card: 7 in x 3 1/4 in; x 17.78 cm x 8.255 cm
overall-whole: 9 1/2 in x 8 1/8 in x 14 3/8 in; 24.13 cm x 20.6375 cm x 36.5125 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Bequest of the Estate of Greville I. Bathe
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Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Engineering Steam Toys and Models
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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