Georges Carette et Cie


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Carette et Cie (and company), founded in 1886 by a French expatriate, Georges Carette, with some assistance from the brothers Bing. Closely associated with Bing, and supplied many parts to them. Carette built some of the largest and most elaborate steam toys. Also the most expensive. Closed production in 1917, when Carette was deported from Germany. (Carette had maintained his French citizenship) Karl Bub took over Carette's factory at that time, and continued producing tin toys until the start of WW2. Carette moved back to France, where he died in 1925.

The smallest Carette overtype. Complete except for the sight glass. This one is a jewel. Normally, I don't run engines that have plugs in the sight glass holes, but just had to see this little fellow run. And it came right to life.
It was also a lesson in why one shouldn't run engines that have plugs in the sight glass holes. About the time the boiler reached full pressure and the engine came up to speed, the lower sight glass plug let go. Sent a jet of hot water squrting about two feet out. No harm done, except for a wet floor and a dirty look from the cat, but it pays to have a small fire extinguisher handy.

At least that's how Battenberg seems to identify this engine. Dates to 1895-1900. Carette tended to apply the 691 designation to several of its lokomobil/overtype engines - the 691/23 is a spectacular (and very expensive) model made in 1910/1915.
Not in the grandest of condition, but any Carette is a prize. The base is definitely not original. Running gear is all there, and the boiler is intact. Finish is in remarkably good condition, considering what it has been through. The boiler was covered with a black encrustation that came off with a little persuasion and a lot of patience. The crud seems to have done a good job of protecting the boiler's original finish. Color scheme is barely evident on the cylinder and governer mounts: maroon with yellow stripes. Rather artistic treatment of the steam lines on the cylinder, a trademark of the better Carette engines. Battenberg's example of this engine - which is in fairly ratty condition, too - can be seen on page 176. Given their photos, I may get ambitious and construct a more authentic base.

An interesting little perpendicular cylinder horizontal.

Gauge 1 Stork Leg (Storchbein) Locomotive
Tender wheels are not original, and it has been repainted, but all of the important bits are there. Note the steam valve operating rod coming out from behind the cylinder, with the handle that extends back into the cab. This controls an on/off steam valve. The rod is labeled DRGM. Three wick burner is present.

Horizontal, unidentified.
Simple horizontal, with flat spring loaded valve. Identical to the valves found on some earlier Bing engines, so one can assume that Carette supplied valves to Bing, or Bing supplied valves to Carette. And the name on the base plate: GC&Cie N. Wood base, with tin litho top.

Horizontal, unidentified.
This was a cleanup job. At least 50 years of grime caked on it, and two evenings to get it cleaned off. In a way, the grime probably protected the original finish. Kerosene residue all over the boiler, that's always fun to remove without damaging the finish underneath.
Cylinder base still has vague traces of gold pinstriping on it. Odd looking burner. No traces of a Carette logo on the wood base.

Vertical, unidentified.
Double action vertical. Original paint on the base. Like a lot of Carette engines, the connecting rod has patent indications in four different languages stamped on it. Italian, French, German, and English. Georges wasn't taking any chances...

Vertical, unidentified.
Sadly, the base appears to be a repaint job, but at least it is an accurate rendition of Carette colors. Boiler is original, and in terrific condition. Sight glass cover is unmistakably Carette, as is the whistle. And like many smaller Carette engines, the connecting rod has been labeled. This one bears the legend: BREVETTE SGDG DRP PATENTED

Vertical, unidentified
Original finish has been polished off of the boiler, but original paint is present on the base. Double action cylinder. Another nice find from the Netherlands.

Horizontal, unidentified.
Similar, but not identical, to the horizontal shown above. The base is slightly smaller, and there is no separate fill plug on the boiler. Litho on the base is the same, although this one is somewhat faded. Carries the GC&C N label on the base. Connecting rod labeled the same as the vertical, BREVETTE SGDG DRP PATENTED. May not be the correct smokestack.

Vertical, unidentified.
Osc. cyl model. Color on the base and smokestack is correct for Carette, as is the pressure relief valve and whistle. Wood base, probably repainted. No Carette markings on the base, probably painted over.

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