Australian Toy Steam
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Renown Roller
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Renown Steam Roller (Model 105)
This was the third model Renown produced.
It was made some time during 1948 and utilised a lot of components from the vertical model.
The boiler was turned on its side and two top end caps were fitted from the vertical to make the roller boiler.
It also utilised the same engine mount, flywheel, cylinder and piston, safety valve, whistle and overflow plug as the Vertical.
Even the wick holders are made from the engine cylinders to cut down on the new parts that had to be manufactured.
It's interesting that the Australian and New Zealand mobiles all used a similar method of propulsion that I haven't seen used else where.
I'm unsure whether Renown was the first to use it or Cranko in New Zealand or even a third unknown company.
The pulley on the flywheel via a steel band drove a large pulley which then via rubber wheels on the shaft drove the rear wheels by friction.
The large pulley on the Roller was actually a part created for the windmill so again kept the new parts needed lower.

The front and rear wheels were cast aluminium with the rest of the roller made from brass sheets riveted together with the exception of the roof which was made from sheet metal pressings.
The large pulley on early models was made from cast brass but on later models made from pressed steel, very similar to large Meccano pulleys in construction.

The burner was permanently fixed to the roller but swung out to allow filling.

I'm aware of three variations.

One with just Safety valve, whistle and overflow plug
One with safety valve, whistle, overflow plug and filling plug.
One with safety valve, whistle, overflow plug and filling plug and Golden Fleece logo stencilled onto the roof.

My poor example (before restoration)of the type with no filling plug. It has Mamod Roller wheels for the rear wheels, is missing the middle pulley and friction drive wheels and numerous other problems that need fixing. It is currently in bits on my workbench being repaired.

The lever is broken off the whistle which is a common fault with Renowns.

The burner mount on mine is also damaged and need repairing and has the wrong overflow plug fitted to it.

Here is the same roller after extensive restoration.
The rear wheels are cast copies off another Renown roller I was given to restore whilst on holiday in the UK

Restored Renown Roller
This Roller belongs to Colin Andrews in England.
Considering how few of these that were made its amazing how many found their way outside Australia.
This is the second one I know of residing in England now and even my Roller spent some time living in Europe before the previous owner brought it back to Australia.
Colin's has been restored and repainted but has kept the original colour scheme and shows a much more complete example than mine.

photo 2008 Colin Andrews

photo 2008 Colin Andrews

Renown Roller Box

photos 2008  flywheel61

Roller Instructions
I recently was contacted by someone who owned a near perfect boxed example of a Renown Roller that still had its instructions.
They kindly provided me a scan so I could make it available via my website.
Click the picture for a high resolution scan.

The Great Renown Roller Race
Here we have to Renown rollers racing each other.
Mine with the orange roof sporting new reproduction wheels I had cast and a colleagues Renown That I restored for him.


2007 Tony Muir unless stated otherwise. Should you wish to use any photos though just ask and permission will most likely be given