Doll et Cie
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Started by Peter Doll and and Isodor Sondhelm in 1898. Doll had a wide variety of both steam engines and steam toys, and were widely distributed to the US and UK.
Update! The Doll Company is alive and well! Well, sort of... Back in 1974, Fleischmann created a separate division to make polishing equipment. Providentally, it appears that they resurrected the Doll name for this venture. While it is usually called DollCo, their website lists the official name as Doll & Co, GMBH. Their current website can be found at: http://www.fleischmann.de/dollco/english/indexe.htmMost of their equipment appears to be of commercial grade, but they do make a Dremel sized tool that would be only too appropriate for restoring Doll engines. Stay tuned... I have recently been passed some very interesting and detailed information about the history of Doll et Cie.
Julius Waller in Belgium has supplied some much needed information on the fate of the Doll company and family. The Doll family held out longer than most Jewish owned businesses, but finally sold out in 1938 to Fleischmann. By this time, the 'Nuremburg laws' were in full force, so formal business arrangements could not be made with any Jew (which included Peter Doll), and this transfer of assets was made largely on the faith that they would be returned to the Doll family if and when the Nazi regime had left power. Curiously enough, the Fleischmann family was also of Jewish origins, but managed to obtain an 'Aryan' certificate, whereas Doll did not.
From there, it appears that at least some of the Doll family did survive the war, either by leaving the country or possibly hiding in Germany. After the war, Fleischmann maintained the offer to return the assets of the Doll company, but the remaining Doll family accepted a cash settlement instead. Fleischmann did restart production under the Doll name for one year only - 1949. (see below)
I would still very much like to hear any other information regarding the Doll family, especially what became of them after the war.
Twin boiler, twin cylinder. Both burners present. Aside from some
paint cracks, it's about as clean and new as one can hope to find, and this is
a very difficult model to find. This one can be found on page 55 of the
Battenburg Dampfspielzug book, although their model shows a slightly different
The 340 came in two paint schemes - solid red with yellow pinstripes as shown here, and litho tile, such as shown on the flat top boiler model below.
From Gert in Denmark, comes this beautiful 352. The vertical boiler version of the Doll ship's engine. A bit of tidying up and lubrication, and it came right back to life. Strong runner, and quiet.
Note the smoky art deco base, found on 1920's Doll engines.
Update: found the correct smokestack for this beauty!
|Just the boiler and cylinder|
|The intermediate size of the Doll tractor. A bit scruffy after having sat in an attic for heaven knows how long, but it cleaned up nicely. Shown below, next to it's little brother. Final photo is in as received condition.|
|The smallest iteration of Doll's double action cylinder tractor. This one is missing it's main cylinder- I may adapt one from a rather battered Doll horizontal I have. As abused as this little fellow was, somehow the burner survived. Final photo is in as received condition - the burner was frozen in place with. The boiler was encrusted with black goo - someone has been running mineral spirits in the buner.|
|Possibly a 335/2|
|I have found a similar engine, with brick base and exposed boiler, that is listed in a 1927 Doll catalog as a 335. Since later 340's were of a similar style, and this engine seems to match my earlier 340 very closely, I will surmise that this is an early 335, before Doll went to a brick base and exposed boiler.|
|Post war 408|
|At first glance, it looks like a decrepit little
oscillating cylinder Doll, somewhat mistreated by the previous owners, but at
least they preserved the box. However, this little engine has a couple of
pecularities that mark it as a very rare example.
Note the flywheel - cracking apart. This results from very poor metal being used to cast the flywheel, and is never seen in prewar models. It is only seen in those engines made directly after WW2, due to the poor quality metal supplies available. They pretty much melted down anything that was blown up. I have two postwar Fleischmann engines that have flywheels in the same condition.
Also note the rather plain appearance of this model. Compare it with the photo of the 339/2 of 1935 vintage shown below, which is practically identical to this engine in size and layout. The 339 has nickel plating on the cylinder, flywheel, and steam line, an oxydised finish on the boiler, and pinstriping on the cylinder base, while this little fellow is decidedly austere in appearance with none of those touches.
Conclusion - this is probably one of the very elusive post war Doll engines. Until this one came along, I had never even seen one. Fleischmann tried to revive the Doll name after the war, but built Doll engines for only one year: 1949.
This one has been a bit of a puzzle. It's the most commonly found of the more elaborate Doll overtypes, but my Doll catalogs don't show it. (in all fairiness, I only have two Doll catalogs, of pre-1912 vintage) Since Doll had a habit of casting accurate model numbers onto the bottom of their cast iron bases, and since all three examples of this engine I have all sport a '107' cast into their base, I am going to assume this is a model 107.
A solid engine, nothing fancy, but nothing cheap, either. Cast iron cylinder mount, double action reversable valve gear, sight glass with the distinctive Doll 'column' style sight glass cover, and a vaporizing burner.
Note that this engine has a red base with black corners.
|A second example. This one has the correct cylinder, and runs quite well. That exhaust tube was rigged up later, definitely not original equipment. This engine has the other style of Doll paint - dark blue base with red pinstripes.|
|A third example, with red base.|
|Another, overtype, slightly larger than the 107. Classic Doll lokomobil - handsome design, solid construction.|
|A 3rd tier engine with it's pressed steel cylinder/crankshaft mount, but well made and an enthusiastic runner. Despite their simple construction, 511's command healthy prices.|
|Larger than the 107 or 108. Three vents, no burner, valves on both ends of the sight glass. Black paint with blue and red pinstripes. Rather un-Doll sight glass arrangement|
Late production, Bing style sight glass cover
|Large overtype, model unknown.|
|An early Doll model, with the spring loaded slide valve. Remains of the original paint scheme are visible; red with yellow pinstripes. Cast iron base. Interesting vent on the spirit burner, vent tube goes out the other end. No casting number on the base, so no easy identification. Quite similar to the 108, but not exactly the same.|
|Large overtype, model unknown|
|Burner is incorrect, and the top of the smokestack is
missing. Paint scheme on the flywheels and cylinder base is the Doll red/blue
pinstriping. Original boiler finish has been polished off. Sight glass cover is
distinctly Doll. Base has been repainted, seems to have red paint under the
flat black, probably matches the 107 paint job. Doesn't quite match up with any
of the other overtypes shown above. Note the vent holes - not round like all of
the overtypes shown above.
Fired this one up (with borrowed burner and pressure valve), and it ran like a champion. Very smooth runner, no leaks.
|Interesting little fellow. About the size of the 511/1, but this one has a cast iron cylinder mount, whereas the other small Doll overtypes such as the 511 have tin cylinder mounts. Has the old pewter Doll bade.|
|Overtype, model unknown|
|Damaged on nose cap around smokestack mount, rear sight glass muddled up. Should make for an interesting, if not extensive, repair job. The rest is in good shape. No burner. Early style spring loaded slide valve.|
|The Doll Verticals|
An almost complete example of one of the finest Doll verticals. Someone has really mucked up the sight glass on this one. Can be repaired, if I can find the sight glass cover. Also in need of a pressure relief valve, but otherwise, this one is in excellent condition.
Interesting boiler design - very similar, if not outright identical, to some of the largest Falk and Schoenner verticals. Contrast this with the 905 below, which is close to the same size. Given that some of the larger Doll overtypes also bear a remarkable similarity to Falk/Schoenner models, I have to wonder if boiler production wasn't shared between Falk and Doll.
This was another epic cleanup job. When it arrived, almost none of the pinstriping was visible, so covered with grime and oily residue it was. About 8 hours of cleaning went into this one. The real trick is not to get the grime off, it's to get the grime off while not disturbing the paint underneath.
A little free play on the connecting rod makes this one a noisy runner - need to sleeve that before it beats itself into even worse shape.
|Larger version of the 354. Posing below with it's little brother. An excellent running engine.|
|Somewhat larger than the one above, but not as complete
nor in as good condition. Cylinder not marked DC, or if it was, the decal is
long gone. Has the Doll red/blue pinstriping on the base and cylinder
|57, converted to electric by Bing|
|A fairly simple 57 vertical, converted to electric by
the John Bing corporation of NYC.
This was not an uncommon event - I have seen several Doll engines, including a couple of larger overtypes, with the John Bing electric conversion.
Electrically heated engines were popular in the US, largely because the US had the widest distribution of electric power by 1900.
The one unanswered question is why John Bing would be converting Doll engines, when the parent Bing Werke corporation produced similar engines. I don't have the answer to that question.
|Smaller vertical, single action slide valve. Marked DC 320 on the bottom of the base. A solid, eager runner.|
|Verticals, unknown model|
|A pair of verticals that should yield one running engine. Boilers are slightly different in construction.|
|360 Ship's Engine|
|Believe it or not, the only pieces missing from this model are the smokestack and the fill plug. The rest is there, including the burner. Sight glass is intact. Covered with appears to be solidified kerosene or diesel fuel, which is turning out to be the devil to get off. Partially disassembled for cleaning. There is a crack in the boiler where the steam feed line is attached, which can be fixed with a sleeve on the inside. Original paint is about gone. Just enough there to see the color scheme: black with red highlights and pinstripes. Unlike the ship's engine in the Bing section, this one has two complete steam cylinders.|
| Boiler repair
Click on the link to see how the boiler was repaired.
|As received, after a bit of disassembly||Current state - definite improvement, but not finished.|
|In even worse condition than the 360. Someday I'll get
a Doll 2 cyl in great condition, but not today. (update: oh, yes I did. That
magnificent 352 at the top of the page!) The boiler looked to be a writeoff on
first examination. Removal of the end cap showed that it wasn't so bad. It's
essentially intact, with the plate on the end covering up a drain valve hole.
Fill plug hole has been enlarged to make room for a larger plug. The nuts for
the original fill plug and drain valve were rattling around inside the boiler,
and like those on the 360, they were made from scrap brass.
Repair is possible - sleeve the enlarged hole from the inside and refit the original nut and fill plug. Never, ever run a boiler that has been patched on the outside - you're asking for a face full of hot steam. Interesting discovery on the dome over the steam feed line: I removed the pressure valve, and can see the original finish - no plating, looks like it was turned out in natural copper. As I don't have a spare lying around, I'm in need of a Doll drain valve.
A slightly different paint scheme: black and dark green on the cylinder base, with crimson and - the first time I've seen this on a Doll - white pinstripes.
|Current condition. About as disassembled as it gets.|
|Boiler and base, probably 362/2 or 365/2|
|Don't see this one very often. A good running little
|An interesting case. Unique steam valve on top of the boiler. Cylinder with corrugated lagging may be late Doll/Fleischmann manufacture. Big old ugly screw stuck in the front of the boiler, definitely not original. Has been repainted, but otherwise quite intact.|
Missing smokestack, gauge, whistle and steam line, but the rest is in very good condition. Very nice 2 wick burner with flame spreaders. The paint on this one is original, the red and blue pinstripe over black that Doll used on many of his models. Boiler finish is about 75%.
|Very similar to the one shown above. Everything but the burner is present. Sight glass needs repair, but otherwise, steam ready.|
Double action cylinder. Very good condition, and has the burner. Runs well.
|Slightly larger than the one above. Some rust on pedestal, sight glass missing, holes soldered over.|
|Oscillating cylinder. Smoky art deco base, probably late 20's production|
|Repaint job with a brush (!), looks like someone tried to reproduce the dark red and green scheme of the horizontal shown above. Manometer gauge has DC on the face.|
|Horizontal, oscillating cylinder, unidentified|
| Black and gold DC label indicates late 1930's
Fleischmann production. Curious little burner, but it seems to fit the mount
inside the pedestal, so it's probably original.
|1935 production, with the black and gold badge. This engine looks like it has been fired once or twice, at the most. All accessories present: burner, funnel and fill pan. Extremely clean. Came with the instruction sheet.|
|Possibly a 343/2|
|Has been visited by the patron saint of bad paint jobs,
covered with flat black paint. The 2nd photo shows what little removal I tried,
just enough to uncover the DC decal, and show the original colors: red base
with a fat gold border, and green cylinder pedestal.
Counterweight missing. I may start casting repro counterweights, if I can get a decent mold off of the originals I have.
|Cylinder and boiler for Doll 504 Steam Roller|
|This was purchased on the basis of a fuzzy ebay photo. Didn't know the maker at the time, but I figured it was at least good for parts. Photo comparison in the Dampfspielzug book confirms that this is the 'guts' of a Doll steam roller. A pity the rest of the model isn't there...|
|Flue through boiler||Cylinder detail. Note color on cylinder mount, the black with red and blue pinstripes characteristic of many Doll models.|
|Not a true overtype/lokomobil, and that's probably not the correct smokestack, though it is probably a Doll smokestack. Someone soldered an ugly extension onto the whistle. ???|
|Might be a Doll, then again it might not. The more I look at this old fellow, with it's maroon paint on the cylinder mount, and the wood base, the more I think... early Carette. I just don't know...|
Just the boiler for what is probably a Doll vertical. Might also be Bing, but sight glass mount doesn't look right for that..
A Doll transmission.
This poor little thing still bears the DC emblem. Pedestal very rusty, chunk missing out of the flywheel, and something ugly has been soldered to the top of the boiler. Roughly the same size as my small Doll horizontal shown above, but different paint scheme. Looks like light blue, with red detail, and black border on the base.
Small osc cyl model, probably 339/1. Repaint job by someone who doesn't know that small steam engines get hot when you run them. Burner marked DC.
Another small osc cyl model, probably Doll judging by the construction of the cylinder. Wood base, a bit warped.
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