Refrigerator magnets picture three toy steam engines from the Smithsonian, including two Weeden models and one Peerless. The toy steam collection at the Smithsonian is from the Greville I. Bathe collection.
Greville Bathe (1883-1964), England native, was a Philadelphia machinist who founded a model manufacturing company in 1919 to produce miniature steam engines for hobbyists and inventors. He and his wife, Dorothy Bathe, were recognized for their biography of Oliver Evans, inventor of high pressure steam engines, They compiled an extensive research library of over 1,500 books and magazines about steam technology housed at Swarthmore College.
Weeden Manufacturing was founded during the early 1880s in New Bedford, Massachusetts by William M. Weeden to produce tin household items. The firm introduced its first toy steam engine in 1884 as a subscription premium for Youth's Companion magazine and the enthusiastic response kicked off sixty five years in the toy industry.
Peerless overtype steam engine
Horizontal boiler with sight glass and lever safety valve. Engine powered a flywheel on top of the boiler. The engine sat on a red striped iron frame.
Weeden Model No. 34 engine and boiler
Produced 1896 - 1940. Featured a brass boiler with blue painted star cutout. The horizontal boiler, flywheel, and engine sat on an iron frame.
Weeden toy steam traction engine
Manufactured 1926-1935. Consisted of a black firebox, tin boiler painted brown and horizontal engine powering a flywheel chained to rear wheel. The back of the engine had a steam whistle, and the rear was stamped “WEEDEN/TRADEMARK/U.S. Patent Office.”