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85/2589-50 Toy steam locomotive, Ferris NSWGR 36-class steam locomotive '3609', 4-6-0 type, 0-gauge, metal, electrically-operated, made by Ferris Bros Pty Ltd, East Sydney and Brookvale, NSW, 1958

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Object statement
Toy steam locomotive, Ferris NSWGR 36-class steam locomotive '3609', 4-6-0 type, 0-gauge, metal, electrically-operated, made by Ferris Bros Pty Ltd, East Sydney and Brookvale, NSW, 1958
This toy steam locomotive '3609' was made in 1958 as a sideline by a local Sydney manufacturer, Ferris Bros, who are more well-known for production of their car radios. The engine is a representation of a New South Wales Government Railways' 36-class steam locomotive. It is significant because it is an Australian-made and designed toy representing local rolling stock. Before the Second World War Australia boys only had access to British, German or American-made toy trains featuring locomotives and rolling stock from those countries. After the Second World War a number of small toy manufacturing establishments set up in and around Sydney and Melbourne to cash in on the scarcity of toys previously supplied from overseas by the large and well-known firms. Due to wartime restrictions stocks from overseas firms were depleted and Ferris produced a range of rolling stock in common use on railways throughout Sydney and New South Wales during the 1950s including a Sydney suburban electric train, a 36-class steam locomotive and a diesel-electric locomotive. The rise in popularity of smaller gauges, competition from overseas products and the advent of television saw Ferris finish with toy trains in 1958. The firm continued with their radio and television products until taken over by the Hawker Siddeley Group in 1968.

Margaret Simpson, 12 October, 2007

Macdonald, Bruce, "Spring, Spark & Steam: an illustrated guide to Australasian toy and model trains", Australian Model Railway Magazine and Eveleigh Press, Matraville, NSW, 2005.
George and Bill Ferris began making car radios in 1936 at 932 Miliary Road, Mosman. During the Second World War they changed over to making producer gas units to power cars and trucks in place of petrol and had to move into larger premises at 252 Dowling Street, East Sydney. After the War they resumed their car radio production and were joined by their cousin Jack Ferris.

It was said that not being able to purchase electric toy train sets for their children for Christmas in 1946 encouraged the Ferris family to begin manufacture of toy trains. Their first was a version of the New South Wales Government Railways' Sydney suburban electric passenger cars known colloquially as 'red rattlers' and was released in 1948. These came in sets comprising a motorised car and two trailers. This was followed in 1950 by a 'Fast Electric Parcel Van' also based on a NSW type. Late in 1951 Ferris introduced an electrically-operated 36-class steam locomotive and tender. It was to be the only steam locomotive produced during their 7-year period of toy train manufacture. Nevertheless, it was offered in two versions, the F51 with an automatic reversing mechanism and the F52 with a manual reversing mechanism retailing for £12/3/- and £11/11/- respectively. The steam locomotive was first exhibited by Ferris at their stand at the Royal Easter Show in 1951 and also came in a set with two coaches loosely based on the NSW air-conditioned "Riverina Express" together with 16 pieces of tin-plate track made by another local Sydney toy train manufacturer, Munro of Cremorne.

The first 600 production models of the Ferris 36-class had a serial number stamped into the chassis on the left-hand-side between the driving and trailing wheels. However, it is thought that the total production run for this locomotive was about 1500 made between 1951 and 1958. A variety of road numbers were supplied ranging from 3601 to 3610. Ferris did not produce many goods wagons except for a four-wheel and a bogie open wagon and a four-wheel and bogie timber wagon made from 1953. In that year the firm moved to a new factory at Pittwater Road, Brookvale, and in 1955 a double-ended diesel-electric locomotive was added to their toy train range.

Macdonald, Bruce, "Spring, Spark & Steam: an illustrated guide to Australasian toy and model trains", Australian Model Railway Magazine and Eveleigh Press, Matraville, NSW, 2005.

Mangleson, Stuart, 'NSWGR C36 Class Steam Locomotives - Ferris-Style' in "The Australian Hornby Collector", No.112, March 2007, pp. 16-18.
This toy Ferris steam locomotive is part of a large collection of toys purchased by the Museum in 1985 from the remarkable tin toy collector Ken Finlayson. As a boy Finlayson admired steam trains but never owned a model train. As an adult he began collecting Hornby model trains, and his interest spread to other model trains and tin toys. He developed his collection at auctions, swap meets and market stalls, and through his connections with toy dealers and other serious collectors. Some toys were simply found sitting on the neglected shelves of remote country newsagencies, brand new and never opened.

Finlayson's knowledge and love of toys brought him a collection of nearly 2000 items, including highly-collectable tin plate toys manufactured by respected names such as Carette, Bing, Marklin and Lehmann, as well as a variety of other German, English and Japanese makers. The Finlayson collection contains every type of transport toy - cars, trucks, tractors, fire engines, buses, motorcycles, aeroplanes, ships and trains,- as well as novelty toys, robots, kitchen toys and Meccano sets. It represents the type of toys that were available in Australia in the twentieth century, including ones made in this country by Boomaroo, Wyn-toy, Cyclops, Ferris and Robilt.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Toy steam locomotive, Ferris NSWGR 36-class steam locomotive '3609', 4-6-0 type, 0-gauge, metal, electrically-operated, made by Ferris Bros Pty Ltd, East Sydney and Brookvale, NSW, 1958

This toy steam locomotive is a representation of the New South Wales Government Railways' 36-class steam locomotive. It is made of tab and slot construction in thick bright sheet steel with a removable smoke box door. The boiler is well detailed with a turned brass chimney and steam dome, hand rails and boiler feed water pipes. The locomotive is fitted with four 20 mm diameter front bogie wheels and six diecast 12-spoke driving wheels. The cab has a pair of rectangular window openings below which is a transfer with the road number '3609' in gold. The motor is built into the chassis transversely and drives through spur gears onto the centre driving wheels. The locomotive is coupled to the tender with loose flap plate with two down-turned lugs which drop into a hole in the footplate of each. The locomotive is finished in matt black with red outline around the cab windows. An aluminium clip-on 'Ferris' manufacturer's tag is attached to the smoke box door. This is a late example of the Ferris 36-class locomotive and tender as the drive mechanism is located in the tender rather than the locomotive.
Made: 1958
85/2589-50
Production date
1958
Height
90 mm
Width
60 mm
Depth
240 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 1985
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/44983 |title=85/2589-50 Toy steam locomotive, Ferris NSWGR 36-class steam locomotive '3609', 4-6-0 type, 0-gauge, metal, electrically-operated, made by Ferris Bros Pty Ltd, East Sydney and Brookvale, NSW, 1958 |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=20 September 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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