England, Circa 1950
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The Victoria & Albert Museum
Made around 1950, this toy is now part of the Michael Buhler Collection of tin toys at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Museum of Childhood.
The tin car was manufactured in England and operates by means of a small friction system. Such cars were made at the time in a variety of styles. This one is part of a set which was made up of a Police car, a fire truck and an ambulance. This is the Fire Chief’s car, and, it’s pretty nifty. The tin has been neatly painted with great care and detail. Little people in firefighters gear have even been painted on the windows to give the impression of passengers. Tin toys like this developed originally in the U.S. around 1850, but the medium quickly caught on in Europe with Germany becoming one of the major centers of production.