Well, well, well, it's been some time since there's been a fire engine posted here on Toys & Stuff. The blog used to have 'Fire Engine and Emergency Vehicles Friday's' but then transitioned to 'Flintstones Friday' but recently the decision was made not to follow such a strict schedule. I do still have a decent amount of fire & emergency vehicles to post though and hope to get around to them in the coming weeks and heck, the photos of today's toy were made over three years ago! This 1886 American LaFrance Silsby-Manning Steam Fire Engine is from the National Motor Museum Mint and done in 1/32 scale.
Machinery made during the 1800's was often made with a flair and panache' simply lacking in today's 'business only' sterile design ethics. Today, machinery has to have sleek clean lines, unadorned with unnecessary frills but there was a time when the people who made the machines took pride in their work as did those who used them. Fire engines, mill machinery, steam locomotives, etc., were adorned with fretwork, chromed or nickled metal parts, and brightly arrayed in contrasting colors. They were rolling works of art. Fire engines in particular were lavished with beautiful detail and this 1/32 scale steam powered, horse-drawn fire apparatus from 1886 is a pretty nice representation. Sometimes it's difficult to get a whole lot of detail in a small toy but the gold detailing on the red background found on much of this apparatus as well as the multitude of separate plated parts is nicely done and I really enjoy it. Looking at these beauties it's difficult to imagine sometimes just how grueling and dangerous the work of the firemen was who had to actually operate these and put out fires as well. It was a tough job and took - and still takes - a special breed of person. Enjoy!