Vintage Tin Litho Boat Toy River Steam Powered Metal Ship, estimated to date from the 1940’s or 1950’s? I think the red metal panels on each side were to represent paddle wheels, but there are not any wheels inside, so I guess they are just pretend paddle wheels? My maritime or nautical knowledge is pretty much “all wet” (sorry, I had to say it - lol), so please look at it and decide for yourself what kind of boat it is. I could not find any manufacturer’s mark on this great old boat. The top is held on by a bent metal piece along each side, and it slides off to reveal a coiled tube that goes to the back of the boat with two pipes, and a metal plate inside under the main coil. I am not exactly sure how it used to work, but I think you would place a candle or oil with a wick in the metal plate and when it heated up the water would be forced through the tubes as steam to allow the boat to be propelled forward? I did not try to make it work, and I do Not know if it will work and I cannot guarantee it to work. I do not even know if all the parts are there to make it work. Please look at the photographs, and take it for “as is”.
The boat is a nice large size, and it measures about 9 ½” long, and is about 3 ½” at the widest point, and stands about 3” tall. There are some traces of the original red paint left here and there. There is something missing for sure off the top front of the boat where the two slots are (don’t know what, maybe two smoke stacks?). When I look directly at the front of the boat at the window or cabin area, there is a rectangular opening, and I do not know if there was originally a piece there that is gone now?
This is an unusual hard-to-find child’s tin litho boat ship toy. It has been played with, and is not in perfect condition. However, there are no holes in the ships hull. There are some minor bent areas in the top window or cabin framework and in the “paddle wheel” pieces. You can see in the photos that there is a lot of paint loss, and some rust here and there. I cleaned it some, but the buyer may want to do some more cleanup. This would be a nice addition to your collection, or a fun and unusual gift for a special collector.
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