1924 McDowell Mfg., Double Loop The Loop in Original Box

1924 McDowell Mfg., Double Loop The Loop in Original Box

"I've owned it for several years. During that time I've never seen another example of either the toy, or the box. In fact I've never seen ANY other clockwork toy, from either U.S., Germany, or Japan, made of tin or steel, which featured two "loop the loops". Maybe something else is out there, but I haven't seen it. It's from my own collection." Previous Owner

It's called the "Double Loop The Loop" and was designed and manufactured by The McDowell Mfg. Co., Pittsburgh, PA. It comes complete with its original box. 

McDowell was one of a group of small toy companies that sprang up around the Pittsburgh steel area during the 1920's. By the early 30's nearly all were gone. They made other single loop, jack-knife, twisting, and jumping clockwork toys. But from those I've found none were as complex, or as fascinating to watch. Interestingly, I purchased the toy from a collector who lived in Pittsburgh. 

It was engineered with 8 clockwork gears divided into 3 separate compartments, 1 lead flywheel, 1 wire-piston cogwheel, 1 ribbon coil spring, and an attached key. The entire toy consists of 4 parts that when assembled is nearly 3 feet wide. 

The toy is all heavy gauge steel litho. That is except for the centrally located black upright support brackets which are enameled cast iron. The single-man car is heavy gauge tin litho. Everything rests on an thick, green steel base. In each corner of the base is it's original natural rubber plug-type cushions, or feet. All previous McDowell toys I've seen had four "empty" holes in each corner. It wasn't until I found the Double Loop did I realize that they held these rubber feet. In other words no other McDowell toy that I've seen still had these rubber cushions. All four are still in place.

The double loop with its two removable track extensions is precisely balanced at the fulcrum (the black upright supports) with 50% of it's weight on each side. The cogwheel rocks the entire track, up and down, right and left, to an angle of exactly 45º degrees. Place the car on one end stop. When it reaches this angle the car drops down, does one loop over loop, then a second loop over loop, and stops at the opposite end. The other end stop, now with car, raises to the same angle and it repeats, with the car moving in reverse direction. The single-man car with little feet, hands, and lithoed face is articulated at 3 different points which makes it look very realistic while moving. 

The cycle repeats over, and over, and over. It easily runs more than a minute with a minimum of 20 complete cycles although I removed the car after 7 or 8. I didn't want to risk chipping the paint on the car.

...that means it works beautifully. There is no wiggling, off-balancing, looseness, hesitation, rubbing of parts, or anything else. The rocking motion is consistently smooth.

Having the toy is incredible. Having the box is miraculous! It's two sections, cover and bottom. The cover features a detailed, panel wide illustration of the actual toy in its actual colors. A short list of directions was printed on one corner. Company name is on the opposite corner. The name of the toy was printed in a simple, straight forward text and repeated on all four aprons. Each panel is outlined with a pair of parallel red lines. 

Size: 31" wide, 7" tall at the center. Maximum track height 11". Car 2½". Weight 1.25 pounds. 

Sold: Dec. 2009

Price Sold: $ 1100


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Subject: 1924 McDowell Mfg., Double Loop The Loop in Original Box

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