Wilesco

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Wilhelm Schröder GmbH & Co. KG (Wilesco)
GmbH & Co. KG
Industry Toys and metal goods
Founded 1912[1]
Founder Wilhelm Schröder
Ernst Wortmann[1]
Headquarters Lüdenscheid, Germany
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Thomas Schröder (CEO)[2]
Products Mainly toy steam engines and accessories
Website wilesco.de

Wilesco is the trade name of German toy company Wilhelm Schröder GmbH & Co. KG, known for manufacturing live steam toys such as steamrollers, traction engines, and stationary steam engines.

Initially a producer of aluminium forks and spoons, the company expanded into miniature aluminium accessories for doll's tea parties in the 1920s. This decision also helped the company weather the economic crisis of the late 1920s and early 1930s because these toys were also exported to the US.[3]

In 1950, Wilesco started manufacturing miniature steam engines.[4] In 1966, the D 365 "Old Smokey" steamroller was introduced which has been popular among collectors and continues to be produced.[3][5]

The company also manufactures various accessories for their steam engines such as electrical generators, steam workshops and fairground rides.[6] While most of their steam engine models are heated by esbit, electrical heating is also available.[7] Steam-powered toy locomotives (G scale) were also available from Wilesco for a while.[8]

The company still manufactures a range of plastic and aluminium scoops and hooks, as well as steam toys.

Wilesco's main rival is the British-based steam model manufacturer: Mamod. Mamod and Wilesco produce similar models, at similar prices and size range.

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