From the Japanese subsidiary of the Marx Company, Linemar, here is one neat little friction fire engine. Based on lithography and other fire engine types, we believe this is from the 1950s. The toy says it's from "1916, the Land of Lincoln in Illinois". Rev it up. It makes a whirring type sound, reminiscent of a siren. Don't rev it up too hard though. You don't want to break it.
How does it make that sound? There is a small piece of tin that touches the friction gear. The tin is then attached to an open chamber made of thin cardboard. It is enclosed on 4 sides, and acts as a sound chamber or shell that amplifies the sound made by the tin running across the gear. Very clever, and very cheap!
Size: 4 3/8 inches long; 2 7/8 inches tall; 2 ¾ inches wide
Condition: There are some scratches on the wheels, along with some discoloring. All the wheels seem to be aging at different rates. The lithography detail is exceptional throughout. The boiler pink plastic is still in one piece, which is amazing in itself. The top of the boiler has a couple of dents, but their placement doesn't really draw your eye. We didn't notice them for several weeks until we started writing this description.
All in all this is just a really nice friction toy.
Item ID: 1544
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