Morestone Fire Engine
with Extending Escape Ladder
Issued 1948-1956 Length : Fire Engine 108mm
The Fire Engine was the first Morestone model to be sold in an end-flap box. Like the other early models, it was manufactured by Modern Products and on the box was described as 'A Modern Product'. In fact the model followed a rather old-fashioned design with open seating and wide running boards along each side.
The casting method with a hollow body was not unlike the earlier Racing Car but the detail on the Fire Engine and the extendable ladder gave it a great deal more play value. Always painted red, the Fire Engine was the first Morestone model to receive silver trim which was generously applied to the front grille, bumper, headlights, the side running boards, the hose reel on the top and the various hose controls at the rear. At one side of the windscreen, a bright brass bell was fixed.
Underneath, the Fire Engine was the first Morestone model to have a base onto which the wheels were fixed. This unit was cast to look like a drive shaft and was rivetted to the body at the front and rear. The wheels, which were unpainted, were held onto the base by brass hub-caps. Underneath one of the running boards was cast 'Made in England'.
The separate extending wheeled ladder fitted on top of the Fire Engine with support 'pads' above each rear wheel. When fully extended it reached to about 30 cms (12 inches). The ladder and rungs were plain metal but the large carriage-style wheels were always painted yellow.
With its bright box coloured on all six sides, the Morestone Fire Engine soon became a popular toy. Inside the box there was often included a leaflet advertising other toys by Morestone and Modern Products.
In 1948, two models, the Fire Engine and the Railway Engine, helped to establish the Morestone business. These were well made at the Modern Products foundry and had good play value. Even today good examples of these old toys are not hard to find. The boxes, of course, are much more rare but even these turn up from time to time at a premium.
Morestone Fire Engine with Extending Fire Escape
Red body, silver trim, brass bell, 'Made in England' cast underneath
unpainted base & wheels, brass hub-caps
unpainted 2-part ladder with yellow painted wheels
Picture box with 'A Modern Product' on end flaps