WilescoSteam fun for young and old in the Wilesco-World of Steam Engines
The Company Ets. Wilhelm Schröder GMBH & Co. - Wilesco -, manufacturers of metal products was founded in 1912 by Wilhelm Schröder. At the beginning, the production of Wilesco related to aluminium forks and spoons using to the chilled casting process. Some of these products still form part of the production of Wilesco, a great part of which is exported.
At the beginning of the Twenties began the facture of forks and spoons and aluminium pans for doll's tea parties (toys called today "domestic toys"). We can thank those which made this decision, because, at the time of the world economic crisis of the end of the Twenties, of great quantities of small raviers for doll's tea parties furnished with knives, forks and spoons were exported in the United States. The Wilesco company thus could survive this difficult economic phase.
While the sale of the simple aluminium forks and spoons decreased, the possibilities of manufacture in the cast aluminium in shell as well as in zinc were widened and adapted to the needs for the market.
Zinc or the cast aluminium products are especially used as parts of clutch and connection parts in the car industry and electric industry. Of course, the castings for the Wilesco steam engines, such as wheels or stems, are produced by the Wilesco company.
Relatively late, in 1950, the manufacture of Wilesco miniature steam engines started. The customers existed already: it was that of the doll's tea parties. Wilesco very quickly succeeded in cutting an appreciable share of the market thanks to esthetics of the models and with high quality of the products. In 1966, the mobile steam engine "Old-Smoky" model was introduced.
This model is a very faithful reprodution of the original. In 1987, for the 75th birthday of the creation of Wilesco, a steam firemen car was manufactured. This model, being based on an original MAGIRUS from 1904, was a great success. It is, above all, this kind of toy of very high technicality which, thanks to its successful presentation, has its place on the market of the hobby and of model making. Approximately 50% of the sales turnover of Wilesco are carried out by the sale of the steam engines.
The manufacturing surface reaches approximately 15.000 m2. During last decades, the buildings were enlarged several times. The Wilesco steam engines are exported in the whole world where they have their place in the field of toys and hobbies. Today, Wilesco can be proud to be the largest producer of quality steam engines models
Related web sites : Wilesco sur Wikipedia,
and History and principles of steam machines,
and finally the excellent Musée des Arts et Métiers - section of steam machines.