c.1950 Linemar Battery Operated Climbing Fireman in Original Box

c.1950 Linemar Battery Operated Climbing Fireman in Original Box

Unbelievable BATTERY OPERATED "Climbing Fireman" by Linemar, Japan. Marx, Linemar, and TPS all produced clockwork wind-up versions (as Firemen and Donald Duck), but I never realized that Linemar also produced an electric battery operated version! I've never seen the toy before and could find no references to it. If that wasn't enough it comes complete with its original box and inserts!! Best of all.....it works great!

This all-tin litho toy comes in four separate parts; base, 2 ladders, & fireman. Unlike other versions, this Fireman carrys a hose. Actually the hose is a very clever way of providing wiring from the base (where the batteries are stored) to the walking fireman. The hose with wire inside threads under his left arm. The wiring enters the body, but the hose ends in an additional 1½" polished tin nozzle!

The toy has an on/off switch on the edge of the base, just below the Fireman's boots. Once he's in position switch it on and he'll quickly raise one boot in front the other and he really climbs. Occasionally he'll miss a step and fall, but "not to worry". A rubber pad fixed to the base (just below his boots), plus two rubber stoppers pegged to the sides of the lower ladder will break his fall. There is no reverse.

The base has a roundish battery compartment lithoed with fire trucks, burning buildings, and squirting hoses. The front and rear panels are blank white. They're lettered "Climbing Fireman" on one side and the Linemar name and logo on the other. Underneath the base the complex wiring lays mostly exposed. One other interesting point is the on/off switch. In the photo's showing the battery box alone is a picture of the switch. The words ON and OFF were lightly factory painted over. This is because with batteries in the correct position the ON is actually off, while OFF is actually ON. The toy won't work if the battery position is made opposite. 

The box cover features a fantastic image showing the back of the Fireman at the ladder's top shooting water into a flaming window. Two other firemen can be seen in the background. The sky area was printed in gradients from yellow to scarlet red which symbolizes flame! The side aprons show the fireman's perspective of his truck way, way down below him. The toy name set against a brick building occupys the right third of the apron. The front and rear aprons show a city skyline in silhouette with a yellow to scarlet red sky. 

One other thing I've never seen before; The bottom of the inside cover was printed with a complex schematic showing assembly of the toy. The inside apron to the left of this image has a complex 7-step set of Operating Instructions. The toy also has its original inserts. One is essentially a rectangle of cardboard in the shape and size of the base to protect from scratching against the wire rods. The other (which I didn't even see until I was writing this description) takes up the entire box bottom. 

Size: Fireman 7" tall. Ladder height 17". Hose length 15".  Base 5½" x 3¼" x 2". 

Sold: Mar. 2010

Price Sold: $ 587


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Subject: c.1950 Linemar Battery Operated Climbing Fireman in Original Box

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