Boats, Tin Toys — February 1, 2012 at 12:02 am

Early American Riverboats

BY JACK HERBERT

AMONG the very earliest of American-made toys are the rarely seen tinplate Riverboats designed and manufactured by such firms as Althof Bergmann and Francis Field & Francis in the 1860s and 70s.

They are quite fragile by now, of course, which may account for the scarcity of some of them which were not originally made of cast iron or
even hard wood.

We have rescued four such toys for you today, all made of hand painted or stenciled tinplate. And all originating in the middle of the century before last. Europe was putting their creative efforts into Sailboats at that time, but not much else in the marine line.

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