This model steam engine was a Christmas gift to a young Frank Libuse from his father in Chicago in the early 1930s. By that time, the company’s name had been shortened from GBN (Gebruder Bing Nurnberg) to just plain Bing. They were known for high quality toys including electric trains. An alcohol burner produces a flame that heats the water in the boiler to produce steam.

Live steam powers the single-cylinder vertical steam engine to spin a flywheel that could be used to run a belt to power other toy equipment. A pressure gauge, glass water level sight gauge and whistle are also included. Though a few companies still make toy live steam engines, they are now marketed as “adult collectibles” rather than toys.

Exhibit added: November 19, 2014 - Last modified: May 5, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship