Hubley Toy Engines Shown By Museum

Huber steamroller

Huber steamroller; nickel-plated tank.

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Toy replicas of major engines, made by the former Hubley Manufacturing Co. in Lancaster, Pa. are among the more than 300 Hubley products on view at the Heritage Center museum in Lancaster.

The special exhibition, through Nov. 21, features many hard-to-find Hubley items in cast iron.

Among the engines reproduced are two shown here a Huber steamroller with driver, made 1927-28, and a tractor with driver, shovel front, 1933. Both are from the collection of Lillian Gottschalk, an antique toy collector of national prominence, who organized the exhibition.

Hubley made a number of other models of farm engines. Some of these are exhibited with photographs of the engines on which they are based.

Since many persons still living in Lancaster were associated with the firm in one way or another as employees, collectors and recipients of toys as gifts, the exhibition has attracted unusual attention.

Many persons remembered having had Hubley toys when they were children. Some recalled that such toys were among the objects disposed of by the family in cases of moving to a new home, clearing of an estate, or just a plain clean-out of attic accumulations.

When they learned of the values now placed on such toys by knowledgeable people in the hobby, such former owners expressed even greater regret than before, that they had not retained the toys.

Patricia J. Keller-Conner, director/curator of the Heritage Center, wrote an article for the show for Antique Toy World magazine, July 1987. In its early days, the company made and sold electric steam and mechanical toys, among other products. Its later range included iron bulldogs and cap pistols.

Also on view through Nov. 21 is a collection of paintings by Hattie Brunner, an antique dealer who started painting in her 70s.

The Heritage Center museum is on Penn Square, Lancaster, next door to the Central Farmers Market. Its permanent displays include many exceptional antiques made in Lancaster County. Admission is free.