Kids have all the fun

Oh, the nostalgic moments that bring us back to simpler days… These are the memories that keep antiques stores in business.

As I was wandering through the aisles of Historic Roswell Antiques and Interiors, one of the displays really hit me.  This one was full of old toys.  They were the simple items that “back in the day” filled a child’s imagination and made us all travel to other worlds with joy.  Don’t you remember playing with things like wooden blocks and making castles?

Even if kids have all the fun with these things, the memories can bring us back to those days as well.  I may need to go rummage through the storage closet and drag out some of this stuff.  It’s always good to keep yourself feeling young!

2017 Annual RPS Photo Walk
Historic Roswell Antiques and Interiors
970 Canton Street
Roswell, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
86mm @ f/7.1 – 1/60 sec – ISO 1600

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Little Old Lady who?

Well, I thought I was done with the antique toys we have but Joyce reminded me of one more.  The story behind this is that her grandmother went for a visit to the family homeland in Sweden sometime in the early 1900’s and brought back this wind-up tin toy.  It has been around in her family since then but nobody really knew much about it.

The little old lady with a broom has lost much of her original paint but is a great display piece.  When I took her down off the shelf to do some macro shots, I decided to have a closer look and see if there were any identifying marks to help me research the origins.  The only thing I could find was a number D.R.G.M. 140668 stamped on the side.

It turns out the DRGM is the German abbreviation for a Registered Patent (Deutsches Reiches Gebrauchs Musterschutz – meaning protected patented design under the Reich Government.).  So, the toy is German-made but apparently sold in other countries.  Also, this proves out the vintage of the toy.  The DRGM mark was in use from before World War I up through the World War II era of the 194o’s.

It appears that the broom was probably added sometime later to replace what was originally a walking stick.  I found a post with a more well-preserved example of this which is in the Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.  The description (translated from Swedish) on the museum site is:

Old Woman with feather works, in the original box with lid, of bent and hand-painted sheet metal, gray dress, red apron with white dots, glasses on nose, basket on the back and stick in hand, paces forward, feather work with the wrench back .


Gumma – Old Lady from Nordic Museum

Vintage German wind-up toy
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1.6 sec – ISO 100

Hubley #22 Boat Tail

One last image of vintage toys from my small collection.  This is a cast-iron race car marked with the number 22.  The car body is silver with the hood, exhaust pipes and driver painted red.  I have not been able to find details on this model but it is marked 2330 – Made in USA on the bottom.  Most likely, this is from the 1940’s.

This car was made by the Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The company, originally incorporated in 1894 began making highly detailed, cast-iron toys in 1909 and continued in business through 1969 when it was acquired.  A few toys continued to be made under the Hubley name by a series of owners up through the 1990’s but they are no longer in production.

Vintage Toy Race Car
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/18 –  1 sec – ISO 200

Ray Cox Thimble Drome #12

So, my uncle always collected interesting stuff.  This is a car that came from his collection but which I didn’t really know much about.  This is what is called a teather car.  These model cars were fitted with gas-powered engines and a cable to teather them to a post and ran around a track at as much as 200mph!

This one is a Ray Cox THIMBLE DROME Champion model in white and red with the number 12 on the body.  I’m not sure of the vintage here but I believe these were made mainly in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  The one I have does not have the engine in it but is great as a conversation piece for display.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  0.6 sec – ISO 200

1947 Indianapolis 500 souvenier

Back to the antique toys that I have been looking through.  This is a shot of an aluminum, Wilbur Shaw Indianapolis 500 souvenir toy made by Little Bill Toy Company of Chicago.  My image shows the vintage speedster set against a background of an Indy 500 ticket from the final year in which the car won the race.

Wilbur Shaw aluminum toy race cars were sold by souvenir stands at the Indianapolis Speedway. The cast aluminum cars, which began production in 1947, are reproductions of Shaw’s 1939 & 1940 Indianapolis 500 winning Maserati. The cars measure 8 1/2″ long by 3 1/2″ wide.

Wilbur Shaw won the Indianapolis 500 race three times, in 1937, 1939 and 1940. Shaw was the second person to win the 500 three times, and the first to win it twice in a row. During World War II, Shaw worked at Firestone which at the time, was working to develop synthetic rubber wilbur-shaw1automobile tires. In  November, 1944 the company sent him to test their new tires at the Indianpolis Speedway but when he arrived, he discovered the track had been neglected and was in terrible shape.  Shaw set about searching for a financial savior for the track and ended up purchasing the Indy Speedway in 1945 with the backing of a Terre Haute, Indiana businessman – Anton ‘Tony’ Hulman, who was owner of a successful baking goods company.  Hulman and Shaw worked to re-build the Indy 500 into the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” with Shaw as President of the speedway from the mid-1940’s until 1954 when he died in a plane crash.


The car that Wilbur Shaw won the 1939 & 40 Indy 500 with

By Doctorindy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

1947 Wilbur Shaw Indianapolis Motor Speedway toy car
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  2.5 sec – ISO 200

Rushing to save the town

This is another of the priceless memories that I received from my grandparents home.  A cast-iron, horse-drawn Pumper fire engine toy probably circa 1900.  This is an example of what toys were like back in the days before plastic.  Other than a few paint flecks that are missing from wear, it is still in great shape.  (Especially considering it’s probably 100 years old or so!)

I added the background in Photoshop to give it a little live action feel.  The image is a Currier and Ives print of the Great Chicago Fire.  If you prefer a more natural view, the one below is without the digital manipulation.

Vintage Cast-iron Pumper Fire Engine (circa 1900)

Vintage cast-iron Steam Fire Engine
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  4 sec – ISO 200