WEEDEN, THE FIRST SIX
The first six toy engines made by Weeden Manufacturing were similar in appearance and are often mistakenly identified as the differences can be quite subtle.
My Grandfather was William Ritchie , who lived in New Bedford, MA and was the CEO of Weeden. When he died in 1939, my father, William B. Ritchie took over and eventually sold it to National Playthings. My dad died in 1995 at the age of 90. As a child, I played with many of the toy steam engines shown in your web site. In addition to those, I remember my dad brought home a toy sailboat which had an inflatable hull which they had considered making as well as other toys such as a toy water pump with a handle and tub made by my dad's foreman, a man named Ralph. I got to play with many different prototypes. After the factory closed, my family moved to our summer home in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard for a year and a half until my dad got a job with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Ct.
At one time, I had the last toy steam engine made in the factory. However, that steam engine as well as toy trains, banks, etc. somehow got lost or misplaced. All I have left is these two steam engines in the case as shown in the picture. My dad told me that this was the first one and the last produced of that type. I do not know whether these are the actual first/last off the assembly line or just representative models of those first and last designs. I know some of these ended up in the New Bedford Whaling Museum. These units are pristine as they have never been out of this case since being placed in this case by my dad, more than 70 years ago.
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. It was the first steam engine designed by William Nye Weeden the founder of Weeden Manufacturing. Base is 4 1/8" in diameter and it stands 8 1/2" high, produced into 1905.
Ebay Sales No. 1's
Oct. /11 - Good condition, nickel plated, missing smokestack- 1 bid- 100.00 USD - Worldwide bids
Oct. /10 - Parts missing, good condition - 13 bids - 157.50 USD - Worldwide bids
Jan. /11 - Good condition - 8 bids - 183.50 USD - Worldwide bids
June /10 - Good condition, nickel plated with box - 15 bids - 305.00 USD - Worldwide bids
Nov. /10 - Complete, good condition, burner and box - 11 bids - 320.00 USD - Worldwide bids
Jan. /10 - Complete, good condition - 8 bids - 335.00 USD - Worldwide bids
The Weeden No.2 is basically identical to the No. 1 except the boiler and firebox are made from sheet brass. Base is
4 1/8" in diameter and it stands 8 1/2" high. Introduced in 1890 and produced into 1898.
Ebay Sales No. 2's
July /12 - Needs restoration, missing burner, smokestack - 21 bids - 137.50 USD - Worldwide bids
May /11 - Good condition, missing burner - 7 bids - 203.50 USD - Worldwide bids
The Weeden No. 3 can be identified by the taller firebox compared to the two previous models.
Introduced in 1894 and produced into 1940. The base is 4 1/8" in diameter and it stands 9" high.
Ebay Sales No. 3's
Jan. /10 - Missing parts - 52.00 USD - Worldwide bids
May /10 - Good condition, - 7 bids - 108.50 USD - Worldwide Bids
Jan. /15 - Good shape missing burner - 10 bids - 166.00 USD - Worldwide bids
July /12 - Great shape, steel firebox, with burner - 12 bids - 178.50 USD - Worldwide bids
October /10 - Great shape, missing SV weight, with cardboaard box - 14 bids - 203.50 USD - Worldwide bids
Jan. /12 - Great condition, complete with burner and box - 16 bids - 310.00 USD - Worldwide bids
Nov. /10 - Great shape, burner and box - 19 bids - 371.00 USD - Worldwide bids
The Weeden No. 4 is the most unique of the first six with its square brick patterned firebox. Produced from 1891 into 1894. The base is 4 1/2" X 5 5/8" and it stands 11 1/2" high.
March /17 - Good condition. - 20 bids - 326.00 USD
October / 09 - Good condition, missing safety valve, Mini Hero included - 434.00 USD
March / 10 - Good condition, complete - 15 bids - 797.00 USD
Governor missing in photos.
The Weeden No. 4B is an improved No. 4 with a sight glass added.. Produced from 1895 into 1916. The base is 4 1/2" X 5 5/8" and it stands 11" high.
Ebay Sales of No. 4B
March / 17 - Needs restoration. - 22 bids - 115.50 USD
Feb./ 13 - Good condition. - 18 bids - 260.50 USD
The Weeden No. 5 is made of polished brass, base is 4 1/8" in diameter, it stands 10" high. Introduced in 1891 and produced into 1898.
Ebay Sales No. 5's
March /17 - Broken flywheel - 4 bids - 173.50 USD - Worldwide bids
June /11 - Good condition with burner and box - 10 bids - 326.61 USD - Worldwide bids
The Weeeden No. 6 engine is a larger engine with a 5 3/4" diameter base, standing 12 1/2" tall with a 3 1/2" balance wheel. The boiler is polished brass, the firebox is made of polished Russian iron of the best quality and painted maroon. Introduced in 1892 and produced into 1907.
Ebay Sales No. 6's
Sept. /12 - Good condition, box and burner - 11 bids - 382.77 USD - Worldwide bids