1923 Girard/Marx No 6 Mechanical Airplane In Original Box

1923 Girard/Marx No 6 Mechanical Airplane In Original Box

Outstanding heavy gauge tinplate "Mechanical Airplane" manufactured by Girard Model Works Inc. and distributed by Louis Marx & Co. Inc. Comes with rare original box which is marked with both companies. Toy was purchased from the collection of Donald Kaufman (KB Toys) at Bertoia Auctions.

This style of plane was also known as a high-wing monoplane, or high-wing aeroplane. Features lithographed gray fuselage, tail wing and rudder. However the rib embossed high wing is painted which makes it very difficult to find in high grade. The yellow propeller, pilot figure and wheels are also tinplate. It has a movable rudder which allows it to move straight, right, or to the left. The underside of the fuselage and tail wing are polished tinplate.

It has a three-gear wind-up clockwork motor to move the plan simultaneously by using two perpendicularly placed pulleys on separate axles. This is similar to some of the larger pressed steel planes by Keystone and Steelcraft.(I've got a great photo showing the pulley system about half-way down through the photos). The pulley string is very old and may be original.

Each wing has its original recessed British-type wing insignia. Also original is the large recessed red and gold oval decal behind the pilot; marked "Girard Toys Making Childhood's Hour Happier". Girard began production of this plane in 1920 under the direction of Frank Wood. This was 3 years before the company became incorporated. The earlier version of the plane is identical except the oval decal is marked "Wood's Mechanical Toys Girard Model Works". The "Nov. 22, 1921" patent date printed on the box refers to the clockwork mechanism and not the specific toy.

Louis Marx incorporated his own toy manufacturing company in 1919. He was so successful that he became Distributor for Girard in 1923. By 1935 Marx completely owned the Girard company. The box for this toy was printed with an unusual combination of both Girard (manufacturer) and Marx (Distributor). Although I've found only a few wind-up Girard toy boxes, it's the first I've seen printed with both names.

Statements printed on the box slightly stretch its properties. "Shape conforms to full size monoplane", "propeller revolves at great speed" and "toy is substantially constructed of heavy material" are good examples. It also shows an illustration of an amazed pair of 1920's tots. The drawing, with plane located overhead, infers that it actually flies. It does not. Girard's trademark and toy name were printed on the aprons and flaps. The reverse side of the box is blank.

Size: Fuselage 12½". Wingspan 10"

Date Sold: Jul. 2011

Price Sold: $ 611


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Subject: 1923 Girard/Marx No 6 Mechanical Airplane In Original Box

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