Number 60 EARLY fire patrol by Harris. The toy features the Harris patented wire harness that haven’t been offered for sale in ages. The horses are caramel and white and in good to excellent condition for an 1893/94 early toy.
The back of the fire patrol has a broken step. Later patrol toys by Shimer and Hubley didn’t add the pocket within the steps as a design improvement. This unfortunaltely is the fate of most all of these very early, and flawed, designs. The horse and carriage though, hasn’t been touched and is completely original. The one figure that is present may be original, but there are so few original toys that we can’t confirm.
The horses are so beautiful they represent most of the value in the toy. Each horse was hand painted and then appears to have an original coating over to protect them. This shellack was a common coating method of the early luxury cast iron toys; makers knew paintwork was fragile.
The bell system is actually a big claim to fame for Harris too circa 1893. It would have had a spring which is missing.
Harris Toy Co. Toledo, Ohio
1887 – 1913
Specialty: Produced cast-iron toys in the 1880s. Harris also acted as jobber for Dent, Hubley, and Wilkins. Financial difficulties forced them out of toy production by 1913. First owner Leander Harris actually founded the company in the early 1860’s to make cast iron items as well s parts for wagons and saddles.