Automatically Firing Gun Boat Kasuga (Bing 13804/1)

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Exhibit

Automatically Firing Gun Boat Kasuga (Bing 13804/1)

BTMM map 025.gif
location:
Arch Two , Area 25
The Great War (display)
Shelf 5
1906

A grey Automatically Firing Gun Boat with a black lower hull, made by Bing circa ~1906.

Identification

The boat's most distinctive feature is its domed front gun mounting, and it also has railings, a single funnel, a ventilation port, a raised middle section, a hatch, and a rear dome-shaped object. It seems to be essentially identical to the model 13804/1 and 13804/2 shown in the 1906 Bing catalogue, except that the single catalogue picture shows the boat having two funnels. Since /1 and /2 were different versions of the boat in two sizes, we're assuming that the illustration only corresponds to the larger, nearly fourteen-and-three-quarter-inch /2, and that our version is the ten-and-a-quarter-inch 13804/1.

The larger 13804/3 version (with a separate catalogue image) has more deck superstructure detail, an upper deck with railings, a more complex mechanism and fires two shots instead of one before returning.

This toy is shown in the catalogue with "Kasuga" written on the gun dome, and the image for /3, show the ship flying what appears to be a Japanese flag.

Operation (1906 Catalogue description)

After winding up the clockwork the boat is put on the water. It will sail straight ahead for some distance, then, just as if it intended to attack an enemy, it will suddenly fire a shot. After this, the Boats (size 1 and 2) will sail on in a circle, whilst boat size 3 will turn round and steer back to its original starting place, as shown in the above illustration.

— , Bing, , Catalogue, , 1906

The Kasuga

This Japanese warship Kasuga was originally built in Italy for Argentina (Giuseppe Garibaldi-class) and launched in 1902 with an Argentinian name ... but was then promptly sold in 1903 to the Japanese and renamed. It sank in 1945.

The Kasuga did indeed have two funnels (as on the Bing catalogue pictures) and a distinctive single large front gun turret ... although nowhere near as big as the one of the Bing toy. However, it also had a rear gun turret fitted with a pair fo smaller guns

References

  • The 1906 Bing Toy Catalogue, reprint (New Cavendish, 1991) ISBN 0904568520 pp.124

External links