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Hubley Rare ca. 1898 Deluxe Large Cast Iron Horse Drawn Tandem Fire Engine Ladder Truck for Sale *Pending B**


Hubley Rare ca. 1898 Deluxe Large Cast Iron Horse Drawn Tandem Fire Engine Ladder Truck 

We have for you this ca. 1898 rare, deluxe, large, cast iron two-piece horse drawn tandem fire engine ladder truck that was manufactured by Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.   

This piece is super deluxe and very unusual as it has the rear driver with steering wheel. The wheels and axles are attached securely and roll as they should. The driver and passenger are original as are the removable ladders. The bell does not ring when it is rolled as the gong is missing. The bucket on the side is a replacement.  

This very old and rare Hubley cast iron horse drawn tandem fire engine ladder truck is in excellent all original condition with no breaks, restorations, repairs, or touch ups. This piece shows the usual patina, dust, chips, scuffs, surface rust, scratches, and wear that are to be expected from age and play. This is approximately 19 ½” in length when put together, with the horses being 9 ½” L and the engine being 13 ½”. We invite you to view the photos to further determine quality and condition.    



A brief history of Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania:    

The Hubley Manufacturing Company was first incorporated in 1894 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania by John Hubley. Their slogan was “They’re Different”. They were occasionally known as Lancaster Brand Iron Toys which manufactured electric toy train equipment and parts. In 1909, they purchased the Safety Buggy Co. factory and moved to the site. The first Hubley toys appeared in 1909 and were made of cast-iron, with themes that ranged from horse-drawn vehicles, fire engine, circus trains, different breeds of dogs, tractors, steam shovels, horses, banks, and cap guns.    

The Hubley Manufacturing Company produced a wide range of cast-iron toys, doorstops, and bookends. Toys, particularly motor vehicles and cap guns, were also produced in zinc alloy and plastic. The company is probably most well-known for its detailed scale metal kits of Classic cars in about 1:20 scale. Starting in 1960, Hubley participated for a couple of years with Detroit automakers as a plastic promotional model maker. Many Hubley toys are now sought-after collectibles. Hubley’s main competition in the early years was Arcade as well as a bit from A.C. Williams.    

By the 1930’s autos became the headliners. By quickly converting to cheaper smaller toys during the Depression, they avoided financial woes experienced by many other toy companies. Iron shortages in WWII and commitments to fill war contracts did stop the toy division in 1942, until after the war.    

As of 2019, Wikipedia tells us that, “Perhaps Hubley’s diversification in the 1960s overtaxed its profits, weakening it financially by the 1970s. Hubley was purchased by toy maker Gabriel about 1969 who continued to make its regular kits and diecast kids toys through the 1970s. A series of colorful but rather unexciting generic make diecast toy trucks were available in a variety of forms (dump truck, tow truck, etc.) up until about 1980. Gradually, the Hubley name was downplayed in favor of Gabriel.    

Around 1980, Hubley was acquired by CBS Toys which later sold many dies to Ertl and Scale Models, both of Dyersville, Iowa. For example, the Hubley Ford 4000 tractor was reproduced by Scale Models, up through the 1990s and perhaps later (Scale Models 2010). In the 1990s, some Hubley vehicles like the school bus, were also reissued with minor variations from the original casting.    

Ertl has now stopped production of all of the original toy dies and molds purchased from Hubley. As a result, all remaining Hubley/Ertl metal kits are fairly rare. They can be purchased from auction web sites as well as from collectors and older hobby stores.”    

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 22 × 12 × 8 in