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Clockwork toy - Doughboy Tank

Doughboy Tank

  • Object:

    Clockwork toy

  • Place of origin:

    United States (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1930s (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Louis Marx & Co Ltd (manufacturers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pressed tinplated steel, printed

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Clockwork toy in the form of a First World War tank, made from pressed tin-plated mild steel, printed with a design representing riveted steel plates, coloured yellow, blue and black. The mechanism is operated by a key on the right side below the stop/start lever. The toy moves on two wheels on either side of the base, and a third in the centre back of the base. The clockwork mechanism and the back wheel are connected by a spring and metal bars to a concealed figure representing a soldier aiming a rifle. As the rear wheel swivels in a semi-circular arc, the cover over the sniper lifts, he comes out then drops back inside, and the cover falls. At the same time a sound representing gunfire is heard. The sniper is printed to represent a US Army sergeant, in a red tunic with a brown helmet. On top of the tank is a swivelling turret with two 'guns', and mounted on either side of the tank is a sponson containing a gun (the left one is missing).

Place of Origin

United States (manufactured)


1930s (manufactured)


Louis Marx & Co Ltd (manufacturers)

Materials and Techniques

Pressed tinplated steel, printed

Marks and inscriptions

Printed on the back


Length: 22.8 cm, Width: 10.8 cm, Height: 14 cm

Object history note

Purchased in 1975 from Christie's, South Kensington [75/1664]

Descriptive line

Tank with concealed sniper; 'Doughboy Tank', tin, pressed, clockwork, Marx, American, 1930s


Steel; Tin


Printing; Pressing

Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Tanks


Mechanical toys; Toy vehicles; War

Production Type

Mass produced


Museum of Childhood

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