TOY TRUCKS from New Zealand's MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD
CIRCA 1920 Dayton friction-drive fire engines
- Sun Dec 01, 2013
- by Christopher Moor
Most of the trucks chosen for this article have been played with and appear thoroughly enjoyed by the children who owned them. Several have a connection to the Wairarapa region where Diana lives, with many being of New Zealand origin. Identifying them can cause her a bit of a problem because with some New Zealand-made toys, all the information was printed on the boxes.
When asked what her favorite toy truck in the collection is, she answers, "I don’t have a favorite." One that has a personal memory is a metal petrol tanker in Shell livery by Abingdons, a toy popular with the younger boys when she began teaching at Korokoro School in 1962. The specimen she has originally had a hose fitted to squirt water once the tank was filled. Diana believes a lot of these tankers would not have lasted because water would have rusted the inside of the tank.
Abingdons was a New Zealand engineering firm in the Wellington suburb of Berhampore, operating there between 1948 and 1964. No records of the business' toy making sideline are known to exist and few examples of its product appear to survive.
Colin Dunce gave Diana the tanker in 1989 with other toys that had belonged to his family. They included another Abingdons toy, an articulated army lorry painted in orange and green camouflage. There is a winding pulley fitted to lift vehicles onto the trailer tray and ramps to drive them off. It is thought the toy originally came with a tank of some sort on the trailer. The truck cab is the same design as that of the petrol tanker. [Subscribe to Toy Trucker & Contractor and read the rest of this article.]