1951 Wolverine, No.22 Automatic Coal Loader in Original Box

1951 Wolverine, No.22 Automatic Coal Loader in Original Box

Wolverine Supply & Mfg. Co. produced many innovative, cleverly engineered toys and the Automatic Coal Loader is no exception. The toy is mechanical steel litho. This example is in excellent++ to near mint condition and looks like it was never played with. It's complete with original black "coal" glass marbles, marble envelope, and difficult to find original box.

The toy was designed to resemble a multi-story coal barn with front end loader and an attached equipment building. There are two versions; one uses a front end tray to collect the marbles (coal), while the other has a removable steel rod corral (like the one you see below). 

The movement was based on Wolverine's patented "swing arc" design. It uses an elevated hopper containing four black glass marbles. A weighted swing arm arcs upwards striking a hinged "shutter" located on the front of the loader. One load of "coal" is released into a bucket on the end of the swing arm. The increased weight forces the arm downwards, arcing to a point where a trap door underneath the coal is released. A cord of specific length controls the release point. Once unloaded, the lightened bucket arm swings back and the cycle repeats. Wolverine used different configurations which were essentially identical back to the mid-1920's. 

The action is awesome, but the colorful lithography also adds to its appeal. There's a total of nine lithographed workers and each is performing a different job! Not to mention that the front end of a steaming locomotive is a pretty neat addition as well. By the way, only a specific type of glass marble will work with this toy. It must have the right size, weight, and mass to work correctly. Also the original cord had rotted away and has been replaced.

All four original glass, black marbles are included along with the original envelope they came in. 

The box features an accurate illustration of the loader in action. The toy was colored to make it stand out. An entire coal yard with trucks, bridges, buildings, etc. was drawn as skeletal fade in the background. The back of the box includes a schematic and directions for setup and operation. Take note that steps 3 and 5 are blacked out. This was a factory made "deletion". Step 3 dictates never to untie or remove the cord. Step 5 mentions the coal tray. The endflaps have another detailed drawing of the coal barn plus the toy and manufacturer name. 

The Wolverine Automatic Coal Loader was sold for only one year through the 1951 Sears Christmas catalog. It cost $1.00.

Size: 11" x 8" x 3ΒΌ".

Sold: May 2007

Price Sold: $ 104


 

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