Salesman Sample Jones Mower Antique Salesman Sample Mantle w/ Fireplace in Box Larry & Carole Meeker
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Antique Salesman Samples

Shop Models / Toy & Model Steam Engines & More

We buy Antique Patent Models and Vintage Salesman Samples!!

We buy, sell, and deal in antique salesman samples, patent models and detailed shop built antique models related to tools & technology.  Salesman Sample Star Mill Windmill w/ BoxVintage models or salesman samples including Salesman Sample Washers, Patent Models, and Salesman Samples of Farm Machinery are sought.

Our 2 websites are one of the largest and most visible sources for information about, and actual sales of salesman samples and patent models on the internet. We conduct our internet sales from our sister site  Please visit that site if you are in the market to buy similar antiques.

To see examples of Past sales results with descriptions and prices click the appropriate link in the right column.  Salesman Sample Coffee Bean Dryer

The picture on the right is a coffee bean or other seed or bean drying  machine that dates from the later part of the 19th century. The idea was that the beans were cooled to prevent them from overcooking after the roasting process.  Cool air was fed into this device from the bottom by blowing cool air through the material as you stirred it with the paddle and operated the up and down mechanism.

We are also interested in, and buy and sell small table top coffee grinders or mills as well as wall mount coffee grinders.  I have another page under the Americana Heading to cover Coffee Mills you can check out.

We are interested in buying both toy and salesman samples of stoves, washers, and other pieces, but there is such a huge difference in values between the two that it is oftentimes difficult to understand. Many sellers assume their toy stove, washer, sewing machine or other object is a salesman sample when in fact it is a toy, and then proceed to grossly overvalue /overprice their mass produced toy.

This same dilemma also arises with steam toys.  It is oftentimes hard to differentiate Model Steam Enginebetween what are obviously toys by outfits such as Jensen, Weyden, Plank, Marklin and others, and what are obviously shop built machinist made models of steam engines. Toys are often found in shops with tags mistakenly identifying them as salesman samples, or claiming toys from the 1980's are antiques from theSalesman Sample of 1867 Musselman Patent of Combination Cheese / Fruit  Press and Stuffer Stuffer 1880's. 

Germans made some very detailed and exacting toy steam engines that look just like full size steam engines, but they are still toys.  There are also detailed models of steam engines that have been made ever since the engines were made.  On the left is a contemporary model of a steam engine and generator made in the 1990's by a model maker and sold through Christies auction houses.  It is a contemporary model, made trecently and sold in the large auctions houses as art.  They are not true salesman samples. They are neat, well done, and can be quite expensive, but are still just models.  Similar things are being produced here in the states as well.  From miniature one lung engines, farm machinery, hog oilers and more.  Lastly there is the class of small steam engines like the Creator steam engines that were used in popcorn machines or to power other small machines during the era before the introduction of electricity.

salesman sample tool handlesIn general salesman samples can come in all shapes and sizes. We primarily seek mechanical examples dating from the late 1800's and in some cases extending into the early 1900's. 
Some people argue that in order for an object to be called a salesman sample it must have a case or box that it would be carried in that the door-to-door salesman would utilize. This is not always true. The roll of tool and axe handles on the left is a good example. 

Think about the models you see on retail counters of stores acting as advertising and salesman samples today.  They Yale & Towne Salesman Sample Skid Jack / Pallet Jack do not have boxes, and there have been store / countertop displays as long as there have been general or country stores.  On the right is a salesman sample Pallet Jack by Yale & Towne from the 20's or so.

Another category of antiques / collectibles that we deal in that are oftentimes misidentified as salesman samples are toy sewing machines or TSM's.  I have never seen a salesman sample sewing machine, from any era, but half or more of all toy machines listed for sale on eBay are identified as salesman samples, especially Singer toy sewing machines.

Patent Models & Salesman Samples of
Washing Machines & Washers

We Buy Antique Patent Models and Salesman Samples!!

We are interested in any original U.S. Patent Models, early salesman samples of washers, toy washers, and other detailed antique Salesman Sample Washing Machinemodels or salesman samples related to those categories of  antiques that we specialize in. We have bought & sold many U.S. Patent models, antique salesman samples, and other detailed antique models of washing machines, vintage ironing devices, other collectible laundry related antiques.  Some of the laundry related pieces and washers we have previously sold have appeared on the Antique Roadshow. 

We conduct our internet antique sales from our sister site   Please visit that site if you are in the market to buy antiques.

It is amazing how many different patent models and salesman samples of early washing machines were produced.  The number of patents given out for these devices spanning from the the early to later parts of the 19th century number in the thousands and a lot of them have survived.
Patent Model Washing Machine
For Patent models to be complete and proper they should have their original patent tag and usually their receiving tag from the Patent Office.  For more info on the history of Patent Models see our Patent Model page.
This picture depicts a very detailed example of Yankee ingenuity running wild in the form of a patent model for an unusual plunger type washing machine. A mechanical plunger / washer must have seemed like a pretty advanced concept to this fellow, even though he hailed from San Francisco.  One can only wonder what his world experience was or if he had ever seen what the competition was offering when he came up with this idea. This 1885 patent was granted for an idea whose time was already past---by 1885 when this patent was issued there were already much more advanced and practical washers on the market to impress the American consumer.
Patent Model Washer
The next picture is of a patent model of an antique washing machine that is in  the form of  a wheelbarrow.  This was an idea that was so absurd that Mr. Maytag's idea was sure to be a winner some years down the line.   But hey, this is America, the place that was built on ideas, and where you can sell most anything. This model was set up to be operated when stationary, and pushed just to get to the next job.  The inventor must have had to push one some where in his past to have come up with this wacky idea. I have spent 20 some years looking for the full size version, but fear this is an example of a better idea that never made it into production.

Please Note:
Salesman Sample / Toy Washing Machine
Patent Model / Slaesman Sample Washing MachineWe are looking for are patent models and salesman sample washers. The more absurd and unworkable ideas the better. We are not in the market for the full-size washer your neighbor gave you, or that your mother never called the scrap guy to come pick up, or was left in the basement of the house you just bought. We do not buy Mangles or Ironrite ironing machines either.


Salesman Sample & Toy Washing Machines

In addition to the many patent model washers of antique washing Queen Salesman Sample Washer machines that are available there are also salesman samples and small size toy washers that resemble their full size counterparts. Generally speaking, if they have theantique toy washing machine manufacturer's location, patent info and other information stenciled on them, we consider them to be salesman samples or display models rather than toys.  As illustrated by the Queen Washer on the left.  The washer on the right is a graphic example of the difference between what we consider to be a salesman sample and a toy washer. The difference in quality and craftsmanship are clear and evident when comparing these two machines. The early salesman sample / display model on the left is a much more valuable and desirable than the typical toy washer on the right.  One might sell for as much as $1000.00 and the toy as little as $100.00.

The sample & Child size washers seen and described here and on the archive sale result pages are examples of the caliber, condition and quality of these antiques that I am primarily interested in buying.

Salesman Sample Royal Washing Machine by Huenefeld Co. of Cincinnati OH Barnard's Salesman Sample 20th Century Washing Machine

To see examples of antiques that I currently have for sale please go to our sister site at and visit the numerous sale pages you will find there.

We are active and serious buyers, sellers and dealers in antique salesman samples.  If you have salesmen samples or models, miniature toys, or or other science & technology related items, that you want to sell please let us know by contacting us at

Salesman Sample Stoves / Toy & Child Size Ranges & Stoves
Patent Model Stoves & Laundry Stoves

We NO LONGER Buy or Can Help You Sell Toy or Salesman Sample Size Small Stoves!!

Small antique stoves are one of the most widely misunderstood of all collectibles in the Antique Toy Stoveantique marketplace today.  Even the "experts" often times cannot agree on what constitutes a salesman sample, display model, a simple toy, or even outright fakes.  Some argue that salesman sample stoves do not exist.  They do.  Some will call a legitimately old small stove a salesman sample, while others call it a toy, and still others call that same stove a display model or display piece that would sit in the store window. And all of this from people that supposedly know and understand antiques.  The truth is one stove might fit two or more of those descriptions as the stove to the left does.

Many less knowledgeable sellers call relatively new toy stoves antiques and salesman samples, innocently or intentionally.  Acme Cast Iron Toy Stove by Stevens

I am not an expert, or the final word, but I will try and not confuse the issue, and at the same time describe the types and styles of small vintage stoves.

Please Note:  We do not buy, sell or deal in full size gas, electric or wood fired stoves!!  I do not have parts, or know what they are worth, or where you can sell yours.

Salesman Sample & Toy Stoves

Pictured on the left is the #503 Charter Oak Stove.  Charter Oak stoves came in several sizes and different finishes with the 503 being the largest.  It was made or offered by a well known stove company, and it could legitimately be McClary Saleseman Sample / Toy Cookstovecalled a salesman sample, toy, or store display. Full size examples of this stove were available for sale.  That does not always, or definitively make a small model or toy size stove a salesman sample.  There is room for discussion or differing points of view on stoves like this.

I have been told that those who bought a full size stove, could buy, or were given, one of these stoves for the kids.  There would be marketing concepts that would explain this such as building brand loyalty, and I do not doubt it.  This stove weighs in at 70 some pounds, measures over 24" across and I seriously doubt anybody's grandpa or distant relative was carting one around door to door peddling them.


I have seen many legitimate salesman sample stoves in their carrying cases.  Many were gas or electric stoves or ranges from the The Great Majestic Stoveteens or twenties.  These were a size and makeup that the salesman could have carried around while attempting to convince the shopkeeper or housewife of the marvels of gas or electricity over that hot and labor intensive wood fired beast over in the corner.

Salesman samples should not be confused with the small electric toy kitchen ranges that actually work that are constantly offered as salesman samples on eBay or in "antique" shops. These small electric toy stoves are often operable and many are enameled. They are nicely made, but are toys andBaby Enameled Toy Stove not salesman samples. I have seen these offered for sale for several thousand dollars and seen others still sitting on the shelf for a couple hundred. They sell for even less when offered on eBay.

Larger and well detailed stoves such as The Majestic, Karr, or the US that I have pictured in the top corner of this page are examples that have enamel or graniteware exteriors.  Just to the right is another interesting stove, an enameled Baby.  This is a relatively common toy stove in plain cast iron or nickel finish and is a French Salesman Sample Stovetoy.  This same design stove can be found with several different names on the door, but is rarely found enameled as this one is.

Condition is critical to the value of these stoves, and those that are broken up or missing pieces are not worth what the one you saw on the Roadshow appraise at, or what you saw one bring on some other TV antique show.  Speaking of current values, there is a book out by a fellow named Ford that has some great examples of these types of stoves pictured.  It is a price guide, but when those values are compared to what most stoves are typically selling for today on eBay these days there are enormous disparities.  BeDetroit Stove Works Toy Stove aware!!

The small cast iron stove on the left is French.  It is nicely done, very detailed and quite ornate.  This stove even has an enamel lined water tank on the far  right.  I was once told that these stoves were for actual use in apartments in France.  I am not sure if that is true and find it hard to imagine as it measures just 12" or so high and only 20" across.

Some of the largest and most prolific makers of toy cast iron stoves were Stevens, Kenton, Hubley and a few others.  Stoves with names like the Laundry StoveBaby, Royal, Queen, were made by these toy makers, while in general stoves with names like Buck's, Charter Oak, Detroit Stove Works, or others with actual company or stove works in their names were made by or for that company.  But again, that does not necessarily make them salesman samples.  On the right is an example of a stove that is very similar to its larger counterpart.  It is marked Detroit Stove Works.  I believe that it is just a toy or at best a display model and not a true salesman sample.

We also buy and sell small laundry stoves and /or different style sad iron heaters that went along with  stoves to heat pressing irons with.  We can also help you sell things like stove pipe trivets or mitten warmers like the one pictured on the right above the laundry stove pictured.  In each of these categories there are many different varieties available, and we are interested in all legitimate and good condition pieces for inclusion to our sale pages on our sister site where we have numerous antiques from a host of categories available for sale as well.

Fake & Reproduction Stoves

The most commonly seen or found NEW stoves are marked Crescent, Queen, Royal, Favorite, or Spark. In each instance there are legit old versions of these stoves.  Some of these knockoffs have been being made for so long that the distinction of old / new is being lost.

I do not consider a Crescent stove from the 60-70's to be "real" or legit. I consider it to be new, a knockoff, and fake, or reproduction. That is what it is. You might not think that and that is fine.  There are people who believe the earth is flat and that dinosaurs and man roamed the earth at the same time and that is fine as well, but that idea should not be foisted upon others as fact, or used to deceive another when presenting it for sale or seeking info.

Provenance of I bought it from an 80 year old XX years ago is meaningless. Same with Grandma owned it unless you yourself are approaching 100 years old. Show me a vintage photograph of Grammie with it in the playhouse and you will have something.  Or the receipt dated 188X, or ------ .    I bought the fake Favorite pictured just below from a 90 year old and she had owned it for 30 years or more.  It is still a fake.

These new stoves have flooded the market and are always offered up as the real thing on eBay, the Internet, and in the group "antique" shops all over the country.  Well over 90% of what you see offered on eBay in the way of small stoves are new or reproductions, and yet they are usually being offered as salesman samples or vintage antiques by the dealers proudly displaying them. Most notably and frequently seen are the many different versions of Crescent, a couple different versions of the Favorite, and the pot-bellied Spark. I will speak about just one here.

This "Favorite" Cast Iron Stove is a Reproduction:

On the left I have pictured a newer Favorite stove, and even though this particular stove is at least Favorite Stove50 years old, was bought by an old person, from an old person, it is a fake nonetheless.  I have heard this version was made in Mexico in the 60's -70's.

Perhaps it has a place in the decorator's scheme, but when sold, it should be offered for what it is and at a price that reflects that. They typically sell for around $200 on eBay. The latest fake version of the Favorite Stove (not shown) must be from the Far East or China and the molds done off of one of these earlier remakes.  The newest version is so rough and poorly cast that you can hardly read the name in the front door. They are also put together with Phillips head screws and the stove lids are so poorly done that no question should remain as to their authenticity, and yet they are offered as antiques all the time.

I have seen numerous attempts to make these new stoves appear to be legit by changing Cast Iron Toy Stove out screws or having the doors nickeled or replacing the top lids, but they still look horrible.  I use to visit with a fellow who spent his later years in front of a TV with fake mini KK waffle irons in hand rubbing them with emery to improve the look.  That was 30 some years ago, and he was making a living buying them for $5.00 and selling them for $50.00.  They looked good when he was done, but they too were fake.   

On the right is an original Dolly's Favorite Stove that these re-pops are fashioned after.  Hopefully you can see the difference in the blow-up pic.  The one other tell for the real Favorite stove is that none of the fakes are marked on the side panel Dolly's Favorite as this one is.

Note Concerning the market for small stoves
This is a market that has suffered greatly in the recent past. There are a number of reasons. In no particular order, and with little explanation, here is a list of some reasons for that.

  • Serious old time collectors of stoves have passed, left the market and no longer buy or drive the market
  • Major old time dealers in them have passed, left the market and no longer buy or sell
  • Dealers priced themselves out of the market - The bubble burst
  • Tastes have changed and todays buyers would just as soon have a $40.00 NEW / fake stove from China as a $400.00 or 4,000.00 real stove
  • Fakes are routinely offered as real
  • Shipping Costs, breakage issues, non insurable or claims denied
  • Ebay
  • Pinterest - Why collect objects when you can collect pictures.
  • etc.

Thank you!!
Larry & Carole

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Larry & Carole Meeker