Ernst Plank Steam Engine Toy with Marx Lights

Ernst Plank Steam Engine Toy with Marx Lights

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
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
Credit Line
Bequest of the Estate of Greville I. Bathe
See more items in
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
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.


Add a comment about this object