Fernand Martin number 197 : Le Bonhomme a L’Echelle

One of the rarer Martin toys and made from 1904.
The height of the male is about 20 cm (7.9 inch)
It got Martin number 197
A patent of this toy was issued on September 01- 1903 in France with number 334981.
This patent is also been used for the firefighters with the same number 197

Courtesy Pook & Pook Auctions

It is strange that number 197 contains three different figures.
Even the text and pictures of the figures and house pictured the box are different.
The first box is the light blue civilian figure on a ladder named: Le Bonhomme a L’Echelle from Martin.
The second box is the Fireman on the ladder from Martin and Flersheim named Le Pompier a L’Echelle.
The third box is from Victor Bonnet named Le Pompier a L’Echelle.
All boxes have the same number 197 and all toys have the same climbing movement.

The difference between the heads and the color is very clear but the difference in the bodies is a little less clear, therefore these images, you can clearly see that the civilian has very different body characteristics.

Courtesy Bertoia Auction
Left: Martin civilian figure—Middle: Flersheim model and released by Victor Bonnet from about 1919 —Right: the early Martin 1904 model and released from about 1912 by Flersheim.
The inside with the movement

In this pictures you see in the middle a dubbel “Z” form axel ( code i) so when the left foot goes down the right foot goes up and when the left foot goes up the right foot goes down and so on.

The operation is as follows: First wind up and hold, in his handpalm are “U” shaped bracket, you place the figure with these “U” brackets over both outsides of the ladder and slide it all the way down with 1 foot on the lowest tree, let go and he slowly move his legs up alternately to suggest realistic stair climbing.

You want to know more about the Firefighters? See my blog : https://fernandmartintoys.nl/firefighter-le-pompier-a-lechelle/

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