WEEDEN TOY STEAM ENGINES

The Weeden Manufacturing Company's production of toy steam engines has left a memorable legacy. Founded by an ingenious watch maker, William Nye Weeden, this U.S. company made its mark in history competing with German manufactures from the Nuremberg area such as Bing, Doll, Marklin, Plank and Schoenner as well as Mamod, Bowman and Burnac in the UK.

My retirement gave me more time to pursue my interest in toy steam engines, and I soon discovered there is actually very little available online information about Weeden Manufacturing's history or its products. The goal of this site, with the generous help of so many, is to preserve the history of these marvelous little engines.

I have tried to provide enough views of the various engines to make identifying them possible, I do have additional photos of some models on file and will gladly share them with anyone that needs more information for restoration purposes.

I will be listing a range of selling prices as engines come up on eBay to give a idea of the value of the models, however as with
everything else on eBay there are a lot of factors that come into play so take this for what it is worth.


As a collector I am also interested in acquiring complete engines or parts of engines for restoration.

Frank Campbell



 


Product Identification

Engine No.1, Drawing from Original Patent


Weeden Upright Steam Engine with box.

Company History

The Youth's Companion, a publication for children approached William Nye Weeden and asked him to design an inexpensive, quality toy that the magazine could use as a premium in an effort to increase subscriptions. Weeden designed an upright steam engine, the design, quality and function of the engine so impressed the publication that they gave Weeden an initial order for ten thousand units at one dollar apiece. This $10,000.00 would be the impetus for the formation of The Weeden Manufacturing Company in 1883.

Weeden’s Upright Steam Engine No.1,” first appeared in the October 1884 issue of Youth’s Companion. This was a stationary steam engine with an upright boiler, offered for $1.00. In the 1870’s and early 80’s, the magazine had offered steam engines made by the Buckman Company of New York for these same purposes.

He often made his own tooling for the items he manufactured - presses, dies, molds and other production items. Realizing the value and the uniqueness of these specialty tools, patterns and dies he had them locked away in a fire-proof safe at the close of business each day.

The Weeden Manufacturing Company was in business for a long time and made a large variety of stationary toy steam engines and trains over the years. Mr. Weeden actually only ran the company for 8 years until his death in 1891 when William Richie, a former salesman took over as chief executive. When he passed away in 1939 his son William B. Richie followed him at the helm until 1942 when the company was sold to “National Playthings” which halted production of the line of steam engines in 1952. The remaining machinery, parts, dies, molds and patents for the steam engines were purchased by “Security Signals Inc.” for around $800 and kept in storage, until finally destroyed years later.

Message from grandson Bill Richie.

Weeden also produced miniature autos and steamboats as well as the now highly collectible tin mechanical banks, including “Ding Dong Bell,” “Japanese Ball Tosser,” and the “Plantation Bank.”

More about Banks


Thanks Mark
Weeden Manufacturing introduced an electric stove featuring two top burners and an oven in 1927 which was available for several years. A tea kettle, frying pan, double boiler, cake pan and cook book were included with the stove.

Many consider the Weeden Dart to be the most successful early American toy train, tens of thousands were sold from 1890 to 1912. Their unique design and handsome proportion make them sought after by both toy and toy train collectors.

Nor-Cal Express has quite a bit of interesting information about Weeden trains.

An antique toy journal claims that Weeden “is responsible for perhaps one of the finest and most desirable toys ever produced, the Weeden’s Live Steam Fire Engine.”

Types of Engines

Both the upright, "Candle Stick" style and horizontal boiler models were made. In 1926 electric heating elements were introduced as a safety feature, several models were given new models numbers when they included this feature.

Horizontal Engines







No. 7


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Thanks Dave G.

No. 10


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Thanks Dave L.

No. 12


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 13


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 14


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No. 21


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 32


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 34


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Thanks Alan R.

No. NP43


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Thanks Rick M.

No. NP44


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 45


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 46


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 47


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 48


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 58


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 59


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 60


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Thanks Robin Corsiglia.

No. 70 - 71 -72


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 79


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 80


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 121


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 124

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Thanks Alan R.

No. 210 - 211 - 212


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 275


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Thanks Curt M.

No. 310 - 311 - 312

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Thanks Dave G.

No. 647

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Thanks Dave G.

No. 648

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Thanks Dave G.

No. 649


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Thanks Jeff H.

No. 666


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Thanks Jeff H.

No. 670

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No. 702

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No. 802


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 900


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 902


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 903


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Thanks Dave G.

Upright Engines

No. 1


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 2


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Thanks Dave G.

No. 3


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Thanks Henry K.

No. 4


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Thanks Jeff S.

No. 4B


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 5


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 6


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No. 8


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Thanks JR
No. 9


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 15


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 16


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 17

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No. 18


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 20


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Thanks Dave G.

No. 22


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Thanks Dave G

No. 23


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 26


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 36 Pile Driver


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 37 Force


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Thanks Alan R.

No. 38


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Thanks Dave G.

No. 40 - 41 - 42


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. NP41


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No. NP42


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Thanks Dave G

No. 43


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 49


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Thanks Dave G.

No. 55 - 56 - 57


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Thanks Robin Corsiglia..

No. 74 - 75 - 76


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 77


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 78


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 123


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Thanks Alan R.

No. 138


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Thanks Jeff H

No. 143


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 144


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 155


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Thanks Rob M.

No. 156


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Thanks Rob M.

No. 157


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 207


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Thanks Vic C.

No. 238 - 239


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 338 - 339


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 340 - 341 -342


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 344 - 345


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Thanks Dave G

No. 400


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 420


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Thanks Tim Gaughan

No. 440 - 441 - 442


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 500


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Thanks Dave G

No. 641


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No. 642


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 661


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Thanks Jeff H

No. 663 - 664


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Thanks Jeff H

No. 665


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 672


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 675


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 720


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Thanks Rob M.

No. 815


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Thanks Steamrgene






Mobile Engines

No. 28 Locomobile


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Thanks Ken Trobaugh

No. 643


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Thanks Dave G.

No. 644


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 645


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 646


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Photos thanks to:
continentalhobby.com


Weeden Dart


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Thanks David A.

No. 1 Locomotive


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Thanks Ken Trobaugh

No. 3 Locomotive


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Live Steam Fire Engine


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Thanks Hal Burchell

Side Wheel Steamboat


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Standard Porter
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Thanks Morphy Auctions
No. 1 Steamboat Porter


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Thanks Ken Trobaugh

No. 1 & 2 Standard Steamboat


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Thanks Ken Trobaugh

Torpedo Style Steamboat No. 3


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Named Engines
Weeden Manufacturing identified most engines by numbers but a few were named.

Cornish Beam Engine


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Thanks Rick M.

The Favorite

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Thanks Steamrgene

The Favorite Force Pump


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Thanks Steamrgene

The Favorite Pile Driver


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Thanks Steamrgene

Rotary

Rotary thmb

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Thanks FrankC

Mighty-Mite


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Thanks Rob M.

Electric Motors

No. 1 Electric Motor


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 101 Electric Motor


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 102 Electric Motor


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Thanks Tom

No. 103 Electric Motor
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Thanks Morphy Auctions
No. 104 Electric Motor


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 105 Electric Motor


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Thanks Karen & Greg H.

No. 106 Electric Motor


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Thanks Dick

No. 107 Electric Motor


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 109 Electric Motor


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 111 Electric Motor


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Thanks Ronald B.


No. 112 Electric Motor


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

No. 113 - 114 Motor


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Thanks John T.

No. 117 Electric Motor


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Thanks Steamrgene


Accessories

No. 1 Shaft


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 2 Shaft


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 3 Shaft


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 4 Toolboard


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Thanks Steamrgene

No. 65 Tool Shop


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Thanks Alan R.


No. 67 Saw


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No. 68 Emery Wheel


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No. 69 Stamp Mill


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Thanks Rick M.

No. 73 Transmitter


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Thanks Ken Trobaugh

No. 80 - 81 - 83 Windmills


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Thanks Alan R.

No. 83 - 84 Fountains

Weeden Fountain
From Catalogue

 

No. 85 Trip Hammer


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Thanks Steamrgene

No.115 Windmill


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Hoisting Drum


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Thanks Ken Trobaugh

Village Blacksmith


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Machine Shop Display


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Novelties

Pencil Sharpener


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Thanks John N.

Plantation Bank


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Thanks Andrew D.

Ding Dong Bell Bank


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Thanks Andrew D.

Japanese Ball Tosser Bank

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Thanks Morphy Auctions
Magic Lantern No.2


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Thanks Morphy Auctions

Toy Electric Stove


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Thanks Mark

Weeden Steam Store

Sight Glasses

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Logo Decals

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Books


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Drive Chain


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Patent Prints


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Taps & Dies


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Free Downloadable eBooks

A Catechism of the Steam Engine by John Bourne, C.E. - 1.5 MB .zip HTML document.

How a Steam Engine Works - 1.3MB .pdf file. reprint of Archibald Williams section on steam from "How Things Work"

The Stoker's Catechism by W.J. Connor - 156KB .zip file HTML doucment.

Parts

Classic Tin Toy Company

- Large selection of Weeden steam engine parts, balance wheels, whistles, governors, etc.

MF Steam

- English company that manufactures Weeden safety valves and smoke stacks.

Online Metals

- Great source for small quanities of brass tubing, bars and rods.

Repairs

Installing a Sight Glass Tube

Used Engines

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