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Parent object
Toys > Toy railway cars

+ 85/2566-1 Toy Tri-ang Express floor trai...
+ 85/2582-2 Toy steam locomotive tender, H...
+ 85/2582-6 Toy steam locomotive tender, f...
+ 85/2582-8 Toy steam locomotive tender, f...
+ 85/2582-10 Toy tender, crimson and black...
+ 85/2582-12 Toy steam locomotive tender, ...
+ 85/2582-58 Toy steam locomotive tender, ...
+ 85/2585 Toy goods wagons (119), tinplate...
+ 85/2585-5 Toy open goods wagon, 'SR' and...
+ 85/2585-24 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No....
+ 85/2585-27 Toy open goods wagon, 'SR' on...
+ 85/2585-28 Toy open goods wagon, 'LMS' o...
+ 85/2585-34 Toy open goods wagon, '13T B4...
+ 85/2585-39 Toy railway van, Hornby 'Jaco...
+ 85/2585-41 Toy railway van, Hornby 'Fyff...
+ 85/2585-46 Toy railway wagon, Hornby cem...
+ 85/2585-47 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No....
+ 85/2585-48 Toy breakdown van with crane...
+ 85/2585-49 Toy railway truck, Hornby No....
+ 85/2585-51 Toy luggage van, 'LMS' on sid...
+ 85/2585-52 Toy railway truck, Hornby fla...
+ 85/2585-53 Toy railway container, Hornby...
+ 85/2585-54 Toy railway wagon, Hornby BR ...
+ 85/2585-55 Toy Petrol Wagon...
+ 85/2585-56 Toy railway van, Hornby 'Cadb...
+ 85/2585-57 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No....
+ 85/2585-58 Toy railway truck with cable ...
+ 85/2585-67 Toy railway wagon, Hornby BR ...
+ 85/2585-69 Toy railway wagon, Hornby Ope...
+ 85/2585-70 Toy railway wagon tarpaulin, ...
+ 85/2585-72 Toy railway wagon, Hornby wag...
+ 85/2585-74 Toy railway wagon, Hornby wag...
+ 85/2585-77 Toy flat truck, '219493 LMS' ...
+ 85/2585-78 Toy railway truck, Hornby fla...
+ 85/2585-80 Toy flat truck, '219493 LMS' ...
+ 85/2585-81 Toy railway truck, Hornby fla...
+ 85/2585-82 Toy railway truck, Hornby fla...
+ 85/2585-83 Toy railway truck, Hornby fla...
+ 85/2585-84 Toy railway truck, Hornby 'NE...
+ 85/2585-91 Toy railway truck with cable ...
+ 85/2585-93 Toy railway truck with cable ...
+ 85/2585-95 Toy railway truck with cable ...
+ 85/2585-96 Toy railway truck with cable ...
+ 85/2585-97 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No....
+ 85/2585-101 Toy timber wagon...
+ 85/2585-106 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No...
+ 85/2585-110 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No...
+ 85/2585-120 Toy railway wagon, Hornby No...
+ 85/2585-122 Toy flat truck, brown and bl...
+ 85/2585-124 Toy flat truck, reddish brow...


85/2589-66 Toy tender, for Robilt 'Series 52' steam locomotive, 0-gauge, metal, made by Robilt Products, Sandringham, Victoria, 1949

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Object statement
Toy tender, for Robilt 'Series 52' steam locomotive, 0-gauge, metal, made by Robilt Products, Sandringham, Victoria, 1949
This toy tender made by the Victorian firm of Robilt between 1949 to accompany the Series 52 steam locomotive. The Robilt toy tender is significant because it is an Australian-made and designed toy representing rolling stock seen in Australia. 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 War a number of small toy manufacturing establishments, of which Robilt is said to have been the largest and most prolific, set up in and around Melbourne and Sydney to cash in on the scarcity of toys previously supplied from overseas by the large and well-known firms such as Hornby. Due to wartime restriction, stocks from the overseas firms were depleted and Robilt produced naive but charming 0-gauge tin plate trains, rolling stock, and various line side accessories. As well as this they made the quintessentially Australian 'Sprit of Progress', Victoria's most well-known express train, as well as goods vehicles which carried familiar local brand names like Peters Ice Cream and Golden Fleece. The rise in popularity of smaller gauges and the advent of television saw Robilt, and most other Australian manufactures, unable to compete with the overseas products, diversify into other areas during the 1960s.

Margaret Simpson, 14 September 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.
Robilt Products was established in Melbourne in 1946 by Ronald Titchener (1915-) who gained engineering experience in various precision workshops. After serving in the RAAF in World War II Tichener returned home and realised the shortage of tin plate toys in Australia due to the embargo from overseas. Titchener set up a factory in a terrace of shops in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale, at 2C Willis Street, and with a limited amount of equipment began making prototype models.

The first model made was an 0-gauge 2-4-0 locomotive of which this 0-4-0 example is a later model. The early model was fitted with a non-reversing clockwork mechanism thought to be made by the firm and is different from the later models in that the cab had a single cut out window and a pair of ¾-inch (20 mm) diameter diecast leading bogie wheels at the front. The early models also had a raised firebox section and were made of sheet brass, which was then more readily available than tin used for the re-designed version. The locomotive carried the number '52' and became known as the 52 series. Early versions of the 52 series locomotive tender featured a box-like body on a chassis formed as a shallow inverted tray 5¼ inches (133 mm) by 2 inches (50 mm). The pierced axle boxes were replaced in 1950 with diecast ones which incorporated the sole bar. Another change was the material for the sheet metal sections altered from brass to tin plate.

Robilt's other early products included a petrol tank wagon, open goods wagon, goods van and timber wagon. Several items were available for Christmas 1946 with distribution by Joy Toys, a manufacturer and distributor dating back to 1930. The Robilt firm went on to produce a bogie timber wagon then a combined bogie breakdown van and crane. A quaint first class bogie passenger coach with cut-out windows was also produced. In 1948 Robilt added the Victorian Railways' 'Spirit of Progress' train to their stock of toy trains. Marketing and distribution changed from Joy Toys to Messrs Geo Wills and Co Pty Ltd and a clockwork crawler tractor was introduced in 1949.

Robilt also made various model railway accessories including stations, named 'Richmond', 'Brighton' and 'Windsor', a water tower, level crossings and signals. A number of tank wagons in long and short versions featured the various local oil companies COR, Plume, Golden Fleece, Shell, Atlantic and Caltex while some private owner vans included Peters Ice Cream and Atlantic Products. A four-wheel Victorian Railways' Z-type brake van followed.

In 1950 Robilt was bought out by another Australian company, Playtime Toys, a manufacturer of clocks and children's toy domestic utensils including a metal tea-set decorated with 'Alice in Wonderland' characters. The firm was owned by Jack Ryding who was a watchmaker by trade and who had been supplying gears to Robilt. Production moved to the Rytime company's factory at 218 Bay Road, Sandringham, in Melbourne. In 1952 the firm traded under the name Rytime-Robilt and by 1954 Robilt Products. Electric trains were added to the catalogue with 20-volt mechanisms, later reduced to 16 volts supplied by Davis Electra Co of Maroubra, in Sydney. A reversing facility was added to the clockwork locomotives in 1954. By this time the firm were making their own tin plate track with a rail rolling machine. (In 2005 this machine was owned by Alan Middleton who continues to produce authentic 0-gauge track for local model railway enthusiasts). The mid-1950s represented the peak period of production at Robilt with 10 workers employed, but from there on the slowdown commenced. By the 1960s toy production had wound down and the company eventually made small gemstone finishing machines for the hobbyists.

Macdonald, Bruce, "Spring, Spark & Steam: an illustrated guide to Australasian toy and model trains", Australian Model Railway Magazine and Eveleigh Press, Matraville, NSW, 2005.
This toy steam locomotive tender 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 tender, for Robilt 'Series 52' steam locomotive, 0-gauge, metal, made by Robilt Products, Sandringham, Victoria, 1949

This toy tender was made to accompany the Series 52 steam locomotive made by Robilt. In full-size steam locomotives the tender carried the coal and water for the engine. The toy tender is a straight sided box construction with four ¾ inch (20 mm) diameter spoked diecast wheels. It also features pierced pairs of axle guards with diecast axel boxes. The tender bodywork is tin plate and the vehicle is finished in red with gold fine lining and a gold decal 'V.R.' (Victorian Railways) on the side. Tender decals also came in 'NSWGR' (New South Wales Government Railways) and 'SAR' (South Australian Railways) for marketing in these states.
Made: 1949
85/2589-66
Production date
1949
Height
80 mm
Width
60 mm
Depth
160 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 1985
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Concise link back to this object: http://from.ph/45002
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/45002 |title=85/2589-66 Toy tender, for Robilt 'Series 52' steam locomotive, 0-gauge, metal, made by Robilt Products, Sandringham, Victoria, 1949 |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=19 April 2014 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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