1926 Reeves Mfg., Clockwork "Giant Roller Coaster"

1926 Reeves Mfg., Clockwork

This is the No.20 Giant Roller Coaster manufactured by The Reeves Company, Milford, CT. A mammoth size toy it measures nearly four feet wide. It's the largest clockwork toy roller coaster ever produced in the U.S. 

In 20 years the only other complete, working, high grade example I've seen was over 8 years ago. In addition, the Conestoga Corporation, Bethlehem, PA. produced a nearly identical toy which I've also seen. A comparison between the two toys is shown below. 

It's made of a combination of tin litho and pressed steel. All parts that were painted red are steel. The dark yellow detailed parts are tin litho. Because of the complexity necessary to make it work properly the motor has several cams, many gears, a huge key, and lots of other parts.

The coaster uses gravity to move its single car with two occupants when released from the top of an elevator. It rolls downward over a series of hills until it reaches the opposite end of the track where it drops down into a chute and onto a lower inclined track. Gravity returns the car to the base of the elevator. The car is correct for this toy.

Timing is an essential component of this toy. To work consistently it does the following:

A powerful clockwork motor connected to an elevator tower automatically raises a platform from the tower base to its starting height. The coaster car rests on the platform.

The coaster car is elevated and released automatically at a specific height and angle. 

Once the coaster car is released the track length allows enough time for the elevator to drop back to the base of the tower before the coaster car can complete its run.

As the car is completing its run the motor shuts off automatically at a specific position. This prepares it for the next run, as well as conserves power. This also provides for an extraordinarily long running time. I got 12 cycles out of it before it started to run down.

Once the coaster car returns to the tower base it automatically trips a cam mechanism underneath the track which restarts the motor.

It's really a marvel of engineering and with the exception of an automaton, it's probably the most complex toy mechanism I've seen. Thankfully for the user the operation is seamless. Wind it up. Set the car on the track and off it goes. It works flawlessly! Comes in two sections which attach at the center using its original built-in manual clips.

Size: 44" long, Tower 12" tall. Base 2½" wide. Coaster Car 2¼" long.

Sold: Mar. 2014

Price Sold: $ 2100


Send Comments

Email Address:
Confirm Email Address:
Subject: 1926 Reeves Mfg., Clockwork "Giant Roller Coaster"

security code