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Wooden WWI Mk IV Tank pull toy. Manufactured by Harley Co Springfield Mass.

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    Posted 10 years ago

    Dr_Rambow
    (88 items)

    Getting this was a personal accomplishment for me; I saw one of these for sale a while back and thought it was going to be mine. Then, at the very last second, someone else swooped in and snatched it up. I was heartbroken! It took a year of waiting and searching for one of these for me to finally be able to get one. My patience pay off at least, this one is missing way fewer parts than the other one and the maker information on the bottom is much clearer (every word is legible).

    Who says good things don't come to those who wait?

    This colossal juggernaut of a war machine is one of the coolest things! 14" long, all wood construction, canvas treads with little wooden "tracks". It has a metal crank that powers the spring cannon mounted centrally to the hull (unfortunately that spring is one of the only things missing). Of the FOUR of these tanks I know about, the spring is either lost or broken on three of them. I'm going to contact the AAF Tank Museum (again) because they have an example of it that appears to be in good condition. The spring must have been mounted in an unusual and precarious way (held on by two finish nails at most!). My favorite part of it is that, when it is pulled along the floor, the tracks actually move with the tank!

    Probably made in the early post-WWI period, the stamp on the bottom says that it was "Manufactured by Harley Co. Springfield Mass." Can't find anything about the company. The jump to motorcycles is something that comes to mind, but THAT Harley has nothing to do with Springfield as far as I know.

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    Comments

    1. Dr_Rambow Dr_Rambow, 10 years ago
      Yeah, I just had to take it outside into "no man's land" to get the effect I wanted. It's spring, so maybe some grass will grow there soon :P

      Thanks again Petey!
    2. Dr_Rambow Dr_Rambow, 9 years ago
      Thanks for the love you guys! It means a lot when someone enjoys the same wacky stuff I do!
    3. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      Wow - Bradley was Indian Motorcycles, and was sold to Bradley Toys. Leon Harley would go on to Springfield Coach Works that made car bodies...

      "Leon J. Harley, Jr. was a director of the Union Trust Company of Springfield and served on the boards of a number of local firms, one of which was the Hendee Mfg. Co., the manufacturer of Indiana bicycles and motorcycles. In 1912 the Harleys formed their own small business, the September 11, 1912 issue of the Horseless Age reporting:

      “Harley Co., Springfield, Mass.—Capital stock, $50,000; to conduct a garage business. Incorporators: Leon J. Harley, Leon J. Harley, Jr., and Thomas B. Purves, Jr.”

      If the firm produced any automotive-related items I couldn’t find them, however they did make numerous small cast-iron and wood specialties including paperweights, casket handles, and toys. Their toy line was successful enough to have been spun off to the C.E. Bradley Corp. of Brattleboro, Vermont in 1918.

      The May 20, 1920 issue of The Automobile announced the addition of another officer:

      “L. J. Harley, Jr., president of the Harley Co., Springfield, Mass., has resigned to become president of the Springfield Coach Works.”

      http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/s/springfield_coach_works/springfield_coach_works.htm
    4. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      George LaSares was the toy designer.

      https://books.google.com/books?id=jB4dAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA12-PA19&lpg=RA12-PA19&dq=harley+toys+company+springfield&source=bl&ots=l19lKALGDq&sig=uWWoFlcJhwrBaKSmhOvRwiS15Zo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwir3dne5JPTAhUTHGMKHdNKCnUQ6AEIJjAC#v=onepage&q=harley%20toys%20company%20springfield&f=false

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