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National Museum of Australia

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Maurlyn toy train locomotive and tender with two Pullman coaches

2009.0021.0004

Maurlyn toy train locomotive and tender with two Pullman coaches

Object information

Description

New South Wales Railways C38 class locomotive with tender and passenger cars, made from aluminium by Maurlyn Manufacturing Pty Ltd, Sydney, in about 1951.

Beginning operations as ?Maurlyn Toys? in Waterloo, an industrial suburb of Sydney, during 1941, it is believed that the company name was formed by combining the names of its owners, Maurice and Pauline ?Lyn? Gold. In 1948, the company moved to Redfern and began making toy trains modelled on New South Wales and Victorian rolling stock. The first was a pressed aluminium clockwork train set based on the Victorian Railways Spirit of Progress, which Maurlyn marketed as the ?Silver Chief?. During the early 1950s, Maurlyn expanded its range to include various freight wagons and cars, other versions of the ?Silver Chief? and a series modelled on the New South Wales Railways C38 class locomotive. Maurlyn was placed into receivership in 1954, but recovered from its financial difficulties by 1957 and later chose to abandon toy manufacturing and pursue other product lines.

Physical description

A model train set consisting of a locomotive, a tender and two passenger coaches of metal construction produced for O-gauge system. The body of the locomotive and the tender are painted green with gold stripes on the sides. The locomotive has an open cab and a pair of buffers on the front. The locomotive has an electric motor with three pairs of linked driving wheels, a pair of bogie wheels in the front and a trailing set of wheels at the rear. There is a slot in the top of the boiler near the cab with a short lever protruding through. The tender has two bogies with two sets of wheels. There is a pair of buffers at the rear and a movable coupling. Each passenger coach has a dark red body with silver-white windows and gold lines. It has a curved roof painted silver-grey. There are stamped indents on each side to represent sliding doors. On each side of the coach there are 'Pullman', 'First' and 'Car 4' decals.

Statement of significance

The Bruce Macdonald Collection of toy and model trains includes examples of final products, un-assembled components, tools, production drawings and company archival material. It has items from most known Australian makers of toy and model trains, dating from the late-1940s to the early-1960s. The collection was developed in an opportunistic way, by purchase through auction or directly from other collectors, to document the Australian toy train industry.

Toy and model train manufacturing industries developed quickly in Europe, Britain and the United States through the 19th-century. In Australia, however, the smallness of the market and its scattered nature meant a local industry was not viable. The needs of the small and diverse local market were largely met by overseas imports none of which represented local full-scale stock. The small unsophisticated industry creating local supply of both parts and rolling-stock received a boost from WWII shortages. With the renewal of overseas supply, the popularity of smaller scales and the development of alternative attractions, it collapsed in the mid-1960s.

Object information

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