1925 Buffalo Toy, No.53 Hy-Lo Ferris Wheel in Original Box

1925 Buffalo Toy, No.53 Hy-Lo Ferris Wheel in Original Box

This gravity driven tin litho mechanical Hy-Lo Ferris Wheel was the very first Ferris Wheel toy produced in the United States (there may be something earlier, but I'm not aware of it). Based on The Great Ferris Wheel built for the 1893 World Fair the toy uses six revolving carriages rather than bench seats. Each carriage is shown with eight people lithoed in standing position which was how passengers you rode the Great Ferris Wheel. The underside of the base and gears are brass plated. 

This is only the third example of this toy I've seen (2006). The second is in my own collection. It's the first time I've ever seen the box for this toy. It was produced by Buffalo Toys nearly eight years before the Chein and Nifty Hercules Ferris Wheel toys were built.

Using Buffalo Toys patented gravity driven system, rather than a key wind, it uses a weighted spiral metal rod similar to cuckoo clock to turn the wheel. To start the toy, pull up on the wooden ball handle until the spiral rod is approximately 5" or 6" above the gears. When you let go of the ball, the rod is drawn gradually down through a narrow slit between two brass "barn doors" built into the top of the gear mechanism. The spiraling controls the speed with which the rod descends through the slit. Directions on the box indicate that it'll make 33 complete revolutions with a single lift of the spiral rod. It revolves methodically, slowly, and works great! 

The box was printed with a colored crazy quilt yellow, blue, and red pattern. It shows a detail lithograph of the toy on the center of the cover along with directions for assembly and use. It required assembly only once and was not supposed to be dissassembled. This accounts for the rarity of the box because once it was assembled it would no longer fit inside of it. The Buffalo Toys logo, patent date, trademark, and address were also printed on the box.

Size: 15½" tall, 14½" diameter.

Sold: Mar. 2007

Price Sold: $ 732


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Subject: 1925 Buffalo Toy, No.53 Hy-Lo Ferris Wheel in Original Box

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