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Posted: Monday, October 16, 2017 9:14 AM


Text Titled: Toy Boats, 1870-1955: A Pictorial History, by Jacques Milet and Robert Forbes, $17.

Hardcover: 110 pages
Publisher: Scribner's; First Printing edition (1979)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0684159678
ISBN-13: 978-0684159676
Package Dimensions: 10.8 x 10.5 x 0.7
Weight: 2 pounds

Toy Boats, 1870-1955: A Pictorial History from the Forbes Magazine Collection by Jacques Milet and Robert Forbes
"It's a delight to receive a caress from the fantasy world of a child," writes Jacques Milet in this fascinating history of toy boats. Not to be confused with hand-made ship models, these boats were manufactured to be played with. And played with they were, relatively few surviving the grand voyages at seashores, on lakes and down rivers where they sank or later rusted away. Long overshadowed by less rare antique trains and dolls, toy boats are now highly prized. These colorful fantasyful photographs will delight anyone who is, or has ever been, admiral of a bathtub fleet.
The photographs and captions are FANTASTIC ! Every type of vessel from row boats to ferries to ocean liners to submarines and dreadnaughts are represented. The boats were made either from wood with a lithograph image for decor while other were made from tin and hand enameled.
Various countries were represented from Great Britain and Germany to France, Japan, and the USA. The toys ranged in length from 12 inches to 48 inches. Some used clockworks to run a propeller. More modern ones used the first batteries. Some were steam powered ! They all worked in water while a few had wheels to run on a floor.
The most complex boat in the collection was a German Nassau Dreadnaught with 3 working propellers, 6 functioning turrets that fired small black powder charges on a mechanical timer, and a rudder control set to a timer that turned the ship around and returned it to shore. Even the submarines dove and surfaced !
By the 1950s, toy airplanes and rockets replaced toy ships as the toy of choice. Toy boats also decayed fairly quickly due to water exposure. Forbes noted that toy boats are the rarest toys on the auction market. One boat Forbes bought cost $20,000 in 1970s dollars. Out of print.




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