1953 Linemar, Watson Bros. Friction Hauler and Trailer in Original Box

1953 Linemar, Watson Bros. Friction Hauler and Trailer in Original Box

Watson Bros. Transportation Co. Inc. tin litho, friction drive truck manufactured by Linemar. Outstanding near mint to mint condition complete with full color illustrated box. BUT there's a lot more to this than just a tin litho truck and a box. 

Earlier this year I sold off the last of a collection of nearly 300 toys, not including those I kept for myself, which were once owned by Louis Marx, President of the Marx Toy Company. Mr. Marx frequently gave away production sample toys that he had on hand. This included new toys, variations, poor sellers, department store exclusives, etc. In other words toys that are very difficult to find today. In this case, Mr. Marx had given them to his friend who was also the Producer of the Ed Sullivan show in New York City. This man was not a collector and ended up storing them, unopened in his attic. I purchased the collection following his death in 1999.

Although the toys had a "pedigree" background I wasn't given any provenance to support their lineage. However, after a few months of rummaging I found five postmarked envelopes inside the boxes. Apparently they had been saved by the Producer. They were addressed to the Sullivan theater and included two first day issues. Subsequently, from this point on I included copies of this documentation with each toy I sold. However, by the time I found the envelopes I had already sold several of the toys. This truck was one of those toys.

A couple months ago I located the exact same truck I had sold several years earlier at an auction. It was this Watson Bros. truck. I was able to identify it because it still had my original packing material inside the box. Six years have passed since I originally sold it. As with most of the toys from the collection I've never seen another example. I've never been able to find any listing or reference for it. 

Watson Bros. Transportation Co. was a real trucking firm based in Omaha, NE. In 1953 they were the 5th largest trucking company in the U.S. The contemporary collectibles company "First Gear" produced their own die cast version. Today there's a brew restaurant in Omaha named after them. 

The quality and workmanship that went into producing this truck is rarely seen today. The super bright multicolored design and embossing is awesome. The accuracy with which the logos and details were rendered after the real truck is incredible. I've provided a photograph below of an actual Watson Bros. truck from the early 1960's. Check it out and make the comparison.  

Both rear doors open and stayed closed with a pull down latch. It has lots of chrome plated parts and a total of 16 tires. Fourteen are solid rubber (six on the cab and eight on the trailer). The remaining two are the trailer's parking wheels and are styrene. It has a GMC chrome plated logo on the front hood.

The box was colorfully illustrated with a ¾ perspective view of the truck with a passenger and driver. The original  Japanese J.M.T.I.A. "passed" inspection sticker is still on one of the side flaps. 

Size: Cab 5½", Trailer 8½".

Sold: Jun. 2005

At the time I posted this sale on my website July, 2012 this example remains the only complete toy and original box I've seen.

Price Sold: $ 522


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Subject: 1953 Linemar, Watson Bros. Friction Hauler and Trailer in Original Box

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