An unusual vintage Dinky Toy - No. 964 Elevator Loader
I received this one from a hybrid live/online auction site about two weeks ago, just a little too late for my April 1 challenge for unusual items. This is the Barber-Greene elevator loader, introduced as No. 564 in 1952, renumbered as 964 in 1955, and withdrawn in 1968. According to my 1959 Dinky catalog, the cost, at that time, was $5.50, the priciest item in the catalog - it was a lucky boy who got one of these for Christmas! Variations include a reversal of the blue and yellow parts, and a switch from gray to black tires. There were also changes to the cast-in numbers. I was quite lucky to find a near mint example with all four cardboard interior box spacers.
I believe the actual equipment dates from about 1946. The Dinky also has the word "Olding" cast into the loading tray - this was the UK importer of these US machines. It was not self-propelled, and the toy has a tow bar to move it from site to site. The conveyor is moved by a crank on the side and the chute swivels to direct the material loaded. The loading tray can be elevated using a lever when the equipment is transported, and moved to ground level for loading. A blue gate in the tray can be removed.
I imagine the actual loader could have been used in a variety of ways. Remove the tray gate, and bulldoze gravel or sand into the tray, and convey it up to fill a dump truck or railroad car. Leave the tray gate in place, and transfer from one truck to another. I expect there were farm uses as well, to manually load sacks of grain or seed from ground level to a truck. Lots of play value here.
Barber-Greene went on to make a successful line of asphalt paving equipment. With the introduction of the front-end loader and increased use of pallets and forklifts, I suspect this style of conveyor-type loader faded away.
WoW!!! Did you paint the Bedford dump truck to match? Nice setup!!! Are there 3 inner cardboard trays - all mine are missing!
@karl This was one of the colors this Bedford was done by Dinky; although in smaller numbers. I have it.
@jack-dodds Thanks! I never knew they made a "matched set"! i have the other more "normal" one!
@karl I think, if I recall correctly, that there were about 5 or 6 different colors done, including military olive. All my Dinky and Matchbox Toys are boxed up and sealed away right now.
Karl - I hadn't even thought about the color match-up until I did these pics. They do seem to be an exact match. BTW, this one has windows, and I got it at Austin's Electric Shop. Also got the windowless red/cream one.
Fabulous Harv. I have not seen that colour combination Bedford before, either. Love your description with the images.
@karl There are two inner trays in the outline of the entire model. There is a base piece, and one when you open the box, with limited cutouts for the tray and wheels since they are the widest part of the model.