The Climbing Fireman; An Original Vintage Clockwork Toy by Louis Marx & Co.


Origin: New York
Period: Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1940
Base: 5 x 3.5 inches
Total Height: 23 inches

The whole constructed from tin, the fireman suitably attired in a red tunic and hat, black gloves, and blue trousers and boots. The yellow painted retractable ladder sits in the brightly painted base depicting a dramatic scene of buildings on fire.  When wound, he clambers up the yellow painted retractable ladder as smoothly and as quickly as he ever did, which we think not bad for a pensioner. Wind him up and watch him go!

Louis Marx and company began in 1918, and by the 1950s became the most successful toy manufacturer in the world, with in 1955 Louis Marx heralded as 'the Henry Ford of the toy industry'. However by 1972 the company was sold, and by 1978 the brand had all but disappeared, in part because of a failure to spend on advertising, and to develop electronic toys.

So simple, yet so addictive -  wind him up, up he goes - wind him up, up he goes….