Horse-Drawn Log Carrier
Variation 2: Yellow cart, brown horse, farm labourer, lidded box
Making use of castings for more than one model was often an attractive option for toymakers. Benbros used the shaft and chassis section as well as the wheels and the horse for both the Farm Hay Cart and the Log Carrier, and it was not surprising that the two models also shared a box.
The extra castings needed for the Log Carrier were the central spine of the trailer and two log holders or bolsters. The spine was a hollow girder-style square-section casting onto which the supports at each end were fitted. Sometimes the rear support was moveable but with difficulty. Beneath the front support was a spindle onto which the axle-bracket was centrally attached thereby giving it turning ability. The shafts and front wheels were on the ends of the bracket much as a real log carrier would have been configured. The rear wheels were fixed to the rear support.
The casting of the shafts had an interesting feature of harness loops on each side at the front to provide for link traces for two horses in tandem. Possibly Benbros had thought to use these in response to other toy-makers producing horse-drawn models with this configuration but in the end no tandem horse model was ever made.
The first Log Carriers were painted orange (with unpainted underside) and had red metal wheels and a real wood log. The horse was the generic Benbros casting painted mid-brown with black, gold and white trim. There was no identification on either the cart or horse. The hollow-cast figure of a farm labourer (marked 'Benson England' under the base) which was included with the Farm Hay Cart, was possibly also added to the Log Carrier but this is not certain.
The next issue was painted yellow (including the underside) with similar red wheels and a log although the brown horse now only had black trim. The farm labourer figure was also probably included.
The last variation of the Log Carrier had a red cart with yellow wheels, a wood log and a metallic brown horse with black trim.
The orange Log Carrier first appeared in a plain card lidded box without id. This was replaced by a cream-covered lidded box which it shared with the Hay Cart. On the lid was a printed paper label on which were illustrations and names of both models. The printing on the lid was normally in dark-blue but shades varied to quite pale blue or turquoise. There was also a red printed lid in various shades, and one with a bright yellow label. To identify the contents, 'Farm Log Cart' was usually stamped at one end of the lower section of the box.
Later the Log Carrier was included in a multi-model end-flap box marked 'Benbros Farm Equipment' which carried illustrations of several horse-drawn and tractor models on all four sides including the Log Carrier. The end-flaps had 'Benbros Qualitoy' and one end had a blank panel for the model details to be added. (see photos on Tractor with Log Trailer page).
Despite being a fairly straight-forward toy, the Log Carrier must have been quite popular. The yellow variation is not too hard to find and often still has the original log but the early orange model and the late red one are both quite rare. The boxes are scarce.
Variation 1: Orange cart, horse with black, white & gold trim, farm labourer
Benbros Qualitoys Log Carrier
1) ORANGE cart & shafts RED pmw BROWN horse (extra trim) Log Farm Labourer
2) YELLOW cart & shafts RED pmw BROWN horse (black trim) Log Farm Labourer
2) RED cart & shafts YELLOW pmw METALLIC BROWN horse Log Farm Labourer
Variation 2: Yellow cart, red pmw, brown horse (black trim), man, lidded box with id.
Contrasting undersides: orange cart (top), yellow cart (bottom)