Toy History and Manufacturer Listings- Alphabetical Order
Acme Toy Works Chicago, Illinois
Founder: Jacob Lauth
Specialty: Clockwork toy autos.
All-NU Products Inc. New York City, New York
Other name: Faben Products Inc.
Founder: C. Frank Krupp
Specialty: Military Miniatures. Krupp designed and fabricated Barclay`s tin helmet line of soldiers, then left to start his own company. He declared bankruptcy in 1945, but was back in business a year later.
Alps (Shojo Ltd.) Tokyo, Japan
1948 to date
Specialty: Toy vehicles and novelties. A lot of these toys were battery operated; mixed tinplate and tin. Space toys are among the most popular.
Althof, Bergmann New York City, New York
Founder: Three Bergmann brothers and the jobber, L. Althof.
Specialty: Tinplate trains, bell toys, still banks, horse drawn vehicle. One of the first U.S. toy makers to build carpet running trains, renowned for painted clockwork toys, notably the hoop variety.
American Flyer Chicago, Illinois
Acquired by A.C. Gilbert
Specialty: Electric train engines and rolling stock. Also produced a popular line of comic figures on bicycle gravity toys, including Charlie Chaplin, Uncle Sam, Roosevelt Bears (Circa 1912). A.C. Gilbert revitalized the ailing American Flyer line; following the second world war , it moved to “S” gauge models, retaining the American Flyer name..
American National Co. Toledo, Ohio
Early 1900s to ?
Trade name: Giant
Slogan: “Raise the Kids on Wheels”
Founder: Walter, Harry, and William Diemer
Specialty: Scooters, bicycles. Produced sidewalk toys including pressed-steel trucks, competing briefly with Keystone and Buddy “L” in the late 1920s.
Andes Foundry Co. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1919 – 1930s
Other names: Merged with Kilgore and Federal Mfg. In 1927, and became American Toys.
Founder: Eugene Andes
Specialty: Paper caps and components, airplanes, trucks. First made paper caps and cast iron components for Kilgore cap guns and cannons. Merged with Kilgore and Federal Mfg. In 1927 and became American Toys until the company dissolved a few years later. Specialized in Arctic ice cream wagons, airplanes, stake and dump trucks..
Arcade Mfg. Co. Freeport, Illinois
1868 – 1946
Founder: E.H. and Charles Morgan
Specialty: First made toys and coffee mills and then moved to a new site in 1893 (after fires, financial issues, and renaming from Novelty Iron Works). Arcade toy catalogs appear to start at 1902. As late as 1939, Arcade`s toy line included over 300 toy items. Yellow Cab was their first successful toy. Andy Gump in 348 and Chester Gump in His Pony Cart were other popular toys for collectors. Arcade also made toy banks, doll house furniture, and cast-iron penny toys.
Arnold Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1906 to date
Founder: K. Arnold
Specialty: Stationary steam accessories; nautical toys. Introduced “Rapido” gauge “N” model railroads in 1960s.
Auburn Auburn, Indiana
1913 – 1968
Other name: Double Fabric Tire Corp.
Specialty: English Palace Guards toy soldiers and military miniatures. Made English Palace Guards toy soldiers, as well as miniatures for the European and American branches of the military service. Also made a number of animal and wheeled vehicle toys. Toy division moved to Deming, New Mexico..
Automatic Toy Works New York City, New York
1868 – 1874
Founder: Robert J. Clay
Clockwork tin toys
Girl Skipping Rope, Toy Gymnast, Creeping Baby were precursors of all Ives articulated dancing platform toys. Bought out by Ives in 1874.
Barclay Mfg. Co. Hoboken, New Jersey
1923 – 1971
Founder: Leon Donze, a Frenchman, and Michael Levy
Introduced a line of toy soldiers in 1932; became the largest U.S. producer of toy soldiers up to World War II.
Barton & Smith Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1890s – ?
Made cast-iron mechanical banks, including “Boy on Trapeze”.
Bassett-Lowke Northampton, England
1899 to date
Founder: Wenman J. Bassett-Lowke
Innovated mail-order catalog of toys concept.
The first to recognize the quality workmanship of German toy train manufactures (i.e. Bing, Maerklin, Carette, and Ismayer) and to commission specific British designs. Bassett-Lowke also innovated the mail order catalog of toys concept, mailing its first edition, with tipped-in photographs, in 1899.
Bing Corp. New York City, New York
1924 – 1935
Founder: John Bing
Spin-off of German firm, Gebruder Bing.
Served as jobber for parent firm with mechanical boats, zeppelins, and steam engines.
Gebbruder Bing Nuremberg, Germany
1866 – 1933
Karl Bub; toy trains/Fleischmann; toy boats
Founder: Brothers Ignatius and Adolph Bing
Wide-range of spring-driven, cars, buses ,boats. Perhaps its biggest coup was a line of trains initiated in 1882. Bing went under during the crash of 1929; Karl Bub acquired the toy trains division and Fleischmann the toy boats.
R. Bliss Mfg. Co. Pawtucket, Rhode Island
1832 – 1914
Sold to Mason & Parker, Winchendon, Massachusetts.
Founder: Rufus Bliss
They were in the toy business for 100 years.
Bliss had over a one hundred-year history, although the earliest ad for toys appeared in the New England Business Directory in 1871. Pioneered in development of lithographed paper on wooden toys including dolls` houses, boats, trains, and building blocks.
Blomer & Schuler Nuremberg, Germany
1930 to date
Tin mechanical motor toys.
Logo features an elephant with howdah..
George Borgfeldt & Co. New York City, New York
1881 – 1962
Founder: George Borgfeldt, and Marcell and Joseph Kahle.
Importer and wholesaler of toys.
Toys which included comic novelty tin wind-ups under the name “Nifty.” Trademark was “Nifty” smiling moon face. Also distributed “Oh Boy” pressed steel trucks and cars.
James H. Bowen Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Founder: James H. Bowen
Pattern maker for J. & E. Stevens mechanical banks.
Designed such classics as “Darktown Battery”, “Girl Skipping Rope”, “Reclining Chinaman.
Bowman Norwich, England
1920s – 1935
Steam-driven locomotives and rolling stock.
Milton Bradley & Co. Springfield, Massachusetts
1861 to date
Variously identified as Milton Bradley Co., Milton Bradley & Co., Milton Bradley and company.
Founder: Milton Bradley
Launched his business with “The Checkered Game of Life”, a board game of high moral overtones. Milton Bradley also became well known for educational games, books, kindergarten teaching aids, and school supplies, as well as a small range of toys.
William Britains Ltd. London, England
1893 to date
Founder: William Britain
Three dimensional hollow toy soldier, largest producer of toy soldiers
Introduced a three dimensional hollow toy soldier line, faithfully replicating over 100 British Army regiments in their first decade of doing business. Britains expanded to become the world`s largest producer of lead toy soldiers. (Since 1966, alas, the figures have been made of plastic..
George W. Brown & Co. Forestville, Connecticut
1856 – 1880
Merged with J. & E. Stevens in 1868
Founder: George W. Brown and Chauncey Goodrich
First manufacturer to produce toys with clock-work mechanisms.
Beginning perhaps as early as 1850. Known for classic boats, vehicles, animal platforms toys, dancing figures, and hoop bell toy, fashioned in painted tin.
Karl Bub Nuremberg, Germany
1851 – 1966
Founder: Karl Bub
Enameled tin transportation toys,
Superbly enameled and later lithographed line of clockwork tin transportation toys including trains. Many Bub toys reached the American market via exclusive distributor F.A.O. Schwartz, New York City, during the 1920s-1930s.
Buddy L Salem, Massachusetts
1910 to date
Other names: Moline Press Steel(1910-1913); Buddy L Wood Products(1944); Buddy L Manufacturing (1930); Buddy L Corp.(to date).
Founder: Fred Lundahl
Cranes, steamrollers, trucks, construction toys.
Buddy L toys were named after the founder`s son. Lundahl introduced the line in 1921, starting with a pressed steel pick-up truck that expanded into a veritable fleet of almost 30 cranes and other construction toys some five years later.
Buffalo Toy & Tool Works Buffalo, New York
1924 – 1968
Lightweight pressed-steel aeronautical, automotive, and carousel toys.
Many of the toys were activated by a special spiral rod connected to a spring.
Burnett Ltd. London, England
1920s – 1930s
Painted and lithographed tin clockwork vehicles, including London autobuses.
Butler Brothers New York City, New York
1876 – 1950s
Largest wholesale distributors of toys in the U.S. during the first quarter of the 20th century.
Carried the most elite lines. Sold by catalog exclusively to merchants, with sample houses in most major cities.
Cardini Omegna, Italy
1922 – 1928
Five main lines of small toy automobiles
Cardini`s innovative packaging included outer box that could be transformed into the cars garage. Toys were marked by a large Cardini crest and the tires were marked Pirelli-cord.
George Carette Nuremberg, Germany
1886 – 1917
Founder: George Carette (with Gebrudern Bing`s backing).
Mechanical tin boats, cars, and trains.
Many of these toys were lithographed. Best known for electric streetcars and model trains. Carette, as a French citizen, was deported from Germany in 1917, thus closing the firm.
Carlisle & French Co. Cincinnati, Ohio
1895 – 1915 (for toy line)
Founder: Robert Finch and Morton Carlisle
First successful electric train
Produced the first successful electrically run toy train in the United States in 1879. Later expanded line included steam outline locomotives and rolling stock. Also functioned a distributor, handling the first toy automobile. ( made by Knapp Electric in 1900).
Francis W. Carpenter Port Chester, New York
1880 – 1890
Sold patent rights and inventory to Pratt & Letchworth
Cast-iron, horse-drawn vehicles.
These Toys included what many collectors view as the creme de la creme, the tally-ho.
Champion Hardware Co. Geneva, Ohio
1883 – 1954 (toys from 1930-1936)
Founder: John and Ezra Hasenpflug
Champion Hardware made cast iron transportation toys, banks and cap pistols. They also made cast iron parts for other leading toy manufacturers. (Thanks to Mark Schupska for information provided.)
J. Chein & Co. New York City, New York and Harrison, New Jersey.
1903 – 1979 (toy producing years)
Other names: Became known as Chein Industries, Inc., in the 1970s.
Founder: Julius Chein
Specialty: tin mechanical toys, banks, drums, and tea sets.
Tin toys were lithographed. Chein`s line of comic and circus tin toys received wide acceptance in the 1930s and leading up to World War II. .
D.P. Clark Dayton, Ohio
1898 – 1909
Other names: Re-named Schieble Toy & Novelty in 1909
Founder: David P. Clark
Specialty: Sheet-steel novelty and automotive toys with friction and flywheel mechanisms.
Clark & Sowdon New York City, New York
Early 1890s – 1910
Specialty: Board games
Board games such as “Rough Riders”, “Game of Golf”, and “Yacht Race”..
E.O. Clark New York City, New York
1897 – early 1900s
Founder: E.O. Clark (Successor to Clark & Sowdon).
Specialty: Board games.
Board games, including “The Charge”, “The Hippodrome”, and “The Owl & The Pussycat.”
Morton E. Converse Co. Winchenden, Massachusetts
1878 – 1934 (Mason & Converse until 1883)
Founder: Morton Converse
Specialty: Toytown Complex
“Toytown Complex” was once recognized as the largest wood toy factory in the world. Known for Noah`s arcs, ABC blocks, and doll furniture, many of which were lithographs on wood. Made steel toys in the 1890s, comprised mainly of transportation vehicles with clockwork mechanisms.
Corcoran Mfg. Co. Washington, Indiana
1920s – 1940s
Specialty: Large, pressed-steel riding toy autos and trains under the trademark “Cor-Cor”.
Corgi Toys, Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. Swansea, South Wales
Since 1956 (Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. Originated in 1934)
Specialty: Miniature toy vehicles in metal and plastic.
Courtenay Miniatures (an extension of a Doran toy makers which dates back to 1892) Duran, England
1938 – 1963
Founder: Richard and Vida Courtenay
Specialty: very limited production of lead royalty figures including Knights of the Round Table. Frederick Ping with Courtenay made many of his own medieval figures.Courtenay chose Ping to take over his molds upon his death (1963). Ping was one of the most incredible makers of 54mm figures, working in the French style of building each figure from layers of lead, on a simple lead figure. Ping kept the molds from 1963, until Peter Greenhill purchased the Courtenay molds in 1978 and continues to market miniatures under Courtenay and Greenhill. (Credit for this information goes to Glenn)
Charles M. Crandall Covington, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Inter-locking tongue and groove lithograph paper-on-wood joints.
Interlocking tongue in groove wooden joints that children used to create multiple figure forms. Some of the more popular sets; “District School House”, “Acrobats”, and “Treasure Box”. Charles` son Jesse started his own toy business soon after the Civil War, relocating in Brooklyn. Jesse Crandall was issued a number of patents for rocking toys, alphabet blocks, and construction toys. Relocated to Montrose, Pennsylvania in 1875, to Waverly, New York in 1888.
Jesse Crandall Brooklyn, New York
1840s – 1880s
Specialty: Hobby horses, rocking horses, velocipedes, and board games.
Crescent Toy Co., Ltd. Great Britain
Specialty: Hollow cast lead soldiers and plastic figures, including “Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future”; also made die-cast motor miniatures.
A. A. Davis Nashua, New Hampshire
1860 – ?
Specialty: Novelty toys featuring small lithographed figures of celebrities, animals, butterflies with moveable parts set I wooden cups, covered by glass ( i.e., “Magic Major General Grant”; see “Political” listing.)
Dayton Friction Toy Works Dayton, Ohio
Founder: D.P. Clark (see D.P. Clark) D.P. Clark was the predecessor of the Dayton Friction
Specialty: Pressed Steel friction toys with patented horizontal flywheel.
Patented horizontal flywheel (1926) under trade name “Gyro”; maker of child-size, up to 24 inches long.
Dayton Toy & Specialty Co. (SON-NY) Dayton, Ohio
1920s – early 1930s
Founder: Dick Cummings
Specialty: Large, heavy-gauge, pressed-steel transportation toys. They made the Son-ny line of medal toys.
Dent Hardware Co. Fullerton, Pennsylvania
1895-1937 ( continued to manufacture cold storage hardware until 1937).
Founder: Henry H. Dent, with four additional partners
Specialty: Cast-iron and aluminum transportation toys and banks. “Pioneer” fire truck, Ford Tri-Motor, and large hook-and-ladder toys were popular items.
Johann Distler Nuremberg, Germany
1900 – 1968 In 1917, Distler brought in Messrs, Brown & Mayer as partners. After Distler`s death in 1923, his partners took over the business. Brown & Mayer sold out to Ernst Volk in 1935. From 1939 until the end of WWII, many toy factories stopped production and were converted to help manufacture goods for the war effort. Therefore, Distler toys did not make anything except aircraft and auto parts. Then from 1962-1968, a Belgian firm assumed the toy business.
Specialty: Lithographed tin penny toys; comic and erratic action transportation toys.
Doll Et Cte (& C0.) Nuremberg, Germany
1868-Post-World War II
Founder: Peter Doll and J Sondheim. Firm was taken over by Fleischmann in1938 but the name was retained until 1948.
Specialty: Steam engines and accessories; novelty trains and cars, some of which were steam propelled. Trademark based on the initials D.C..
Dowae Toys for Modern BoysSpringfield, Mass
1927-1928 are only records for mail-away planes
Founder: Unknown, Mr. Dow
Specialty: Dowae Stunt Plane for “Modern Boys”
Dowst (Tootsietoy) Chicago, Illinois
Founder: Charles O. and Samuel Dowst
Specialty: Miniature cast-metal cars, trains, and planes. Tootsietoy name introduced in 1922 when Dowst introduced a line of doll furniture (named after a Dowst granddaughter, Toots). Merged with Cosmo Mfg. 1926; acquired Strombeck-Becker toy line in 1961 and made a name change as Strombecker Corp.
Hans Eberl Nuremberg, Germany
1900 to late 1920s
Founder: Hans Eberl
Specialty: Automotive toys bearing the initials H.E.N.; Borgfeldt was a factory agent for Eberl.
Edmund`s Traditional Toy Soldiers 1950s – ?
Founder: Edmund Fangonilo
Specialty: Confederate Regiment replicas in limited editions of 100 sets, created by the artist, Fangonilo.
EFFanBEE New York City, New York
1910 to date
Founder: Fleischaker and Baum ( from which the trade name derives).
Specialty: Early on, EFFanBEE specialized in bisque, cloth, and composition baby and toddler dolls, with slogan: “They Walk, They Talk, They Sleep.” Later the firm made a number of celebrity puppets and ventriloquists` dolls, including Charlie McCarthy, W.C. Fields, and Howdy Doody.
Gebruder Einfalt Nuremberg, Germany
1922 to date
Founder: Georg and Johann Einfalt
Specialty: Oversized penny toys; comic and erratic action tin wind-ups. Prior to 1930s, toys can be identified by the initials “G.E” or “G.E.N.”. Assumed the mark “Technofix” after 1935.
Ellis, Britton & Eaton Springfield, Vermont
1859- early 1900s
Founder: Joel Ellis
Specialty: Wooden dolls, sleds, pianos, rolling hoops, and toy carriages.
In 1873, Ellis patented his most popular toy, the Jointed Wood Doll, made of maple with cast-iron hands and feet. Two nearby firms, Cooperative Mfg. And Vermont Novelty works, continued the patent.
Toy Corporation (Emmets Dollar Trucks) New York, New York
1929 – 1932
Founder: Louis Emmets
Specialty: Emmets` toy line, like the lightweight metal toys of Chein and Kiddies, featured toy trucks made of 20-gauge steel. These trucks averaged 22-inches in length and 7-1/2 inches in height. All trucks were equipped with solid rubber tires, marked “Emmets”, in bas-relief. Characteristics of Emmets` toys were the large, non-functioning steering wheel and the “modified C` closed cab. All Emmets` trucks had a decal positioned on only the left side of the truck`s cab or service bed. The decal identified the toy as a product of the Emmets Toy Corporation, as well as indicating the toy`s production. Emmets Dollar Trucks, as they were known, were on the market for a relatively short time, thought to be about 3 years at most. Therefore, the trucks are considered to be hard to find. Advertising by the Emmerts Corporation ceased in 1932 and the company`s status after that remains unknown.
Enterprise Manufacturing Co. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1876 – 1888
Specialty: Hardware manufacturer specializing in coffee grinders, turned out a series of still banks commemorating the U.S. Centennial Exposition held in that city (i.e., Independence Hall Globe Bank). Also produced such mechanical banks as Elephant with pop-out man and Memorial Money Bank (Liberty Bell).
Erie Toys Erie, Pennsylvania
See Parker White Metal Co.
J. Falk Nuremberg, Germany
Late 1890s – 1940
Founder: J. Falk
Specialty: Stationary steam engines, optical projectors, and steam-propelled boats.
James Fallows & Sons Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1870 to ?
Organized under name “C.B. Porter Company. In 1894, name was changed to Frederick & Henry Fallows Toys.
Firm began carrying his name about 1880. Principals were James Fallows and his sons, Henry, Charles, and David.
Specialty: Painted and stenciled tin horse-drawn, wheeled vehicles, trains, and river boats. Highly prized toys often carried marl “IXL”, said to be based on word-play “I Excell”. (Some feel that it signifies the date of Fallows` arrival in Philadelphia from the old country.) Fallows` demise coincided with the advent of lithographed tin toys in the 1880s.
Farnell`s -Alpha Toys – Made in England
The firm of J.K. Farnell was founded in 1840 in Notting Hill, London, England, initially making Pincushions. They then began making soft toys. When the founder, John, died in 1897, his children, Agnes & Henry, moved to Acton in East London where they started to produce soft toys, including high quality plush teddy bears. In 1925 they registered the Alpha trademark. The quality of their toys was consistently high. Some of their Alpha toys, especially their children, rival in beauty and quality those made by Lenci in Italy. Among the dolls, they produced a series of musical dolls and a number of beautifully painted children dressed in high quality clothing and reminiscent of Kate Greenaway. Most Farnell dolls date back to the 1930`s In 1935 the trademarks Alpha Cherub Dolls and Joy Day were registered.
– Information provided by Gwen Browne Surrey, B.C. Canada
Georg Fischer Nuremberg, Germany
Early 1900s – 1914
Specialty: Tin penny toys and other novelties. Trademark “G.F”.
Fisher Price Toys East Aurora, New York
1930 to date
Founders: Irving L. Price, Herman G. Fisher, and Helen M. Schelle. Herman Fisher, who was the first president, resigned in 1966 and was succeeded by Henry H. Coords. Quaker Oats Company acquired the firm in 1969.
Specialty: Lithographed paper applied over wooden and plastic pull toys, including the early Doctor Doodle, Lookee Monk, Dizzy Dino, and Woodsy-Wee toys. Mickey Mouse, Donald, Goofy, Snow White, and scores of other Disney characters were featured in the 1930s and 1940s. To date Fisher Price, any toy featuring the vertical white reverse out of black logo predates 1962; any item containing any or all plastic parts was made after 1949.
Gebruder Fleischmann Nuremberg, Germany
1887 to date
Founder: J. Fleischmann
Specialty: Quality tinplate boats in the 1920s, as well as automotive replicas. Took over Doll et Cie just before WW II and has concentrated on model railroads to this day.
Gendron Wheel Company Toledo, Ohio
1872 to 1941
Founder: Pierre Gendron
Specialty: In 1872, Pierre Gendron made the first “Pioneer” vehicle in a small workshop in his home near Toledo, Ohio. The company was originally organized with the purpose of manufacturing wire wheels. By 1920, in addition to wire wheels, Gendron was making baby carriages, tot`s push cabs, and doll vehicles. With the increasing popularity of bicycle riding, Gendron manufactured a complete line of bikes. In 1928, Gendron Wheel Company, now recognized as one of the leaders in juvenile pedal vehicles, added pressed-steel toy trucks to their “Pioneer” line” of toys, utilizing the trade name of “Sampson”. Sampson trucks are easily distinguished from American`s Giant and Toledo Metal Wheel`s Bull Dog trucks by the unique shape of its redesigned hood and radiator. The hood was designed to follow a more conventional radiator shape than the previous Mack profile radiator used by the other manufacturers. Sampson`s near rectangular decal, with the word “Sampson”, is affixed to the sides of the various service beds and a small Sampson decal is located at the top of the radiator. All trucks, except the low end items, came equipped with hand-cranked noisemakers. In all likelihood, the American-National Company, after sharing the tooling for the trucks with Toledo Metal Wheel, sold the same tooling to Gendron in 1928. Gendron revised the design of the hood and radiator of the truck to give it a Gendron personality and continued to manufacture Sampson trucks until about 1930 or 1931.In all probability, Gendron`s “Sampson” steel trucks and airplanes were victims of the depression. Gendron continued to produce juvenile pedal toys and outdoor gym equipment until the outbreak of WWII.
Gibbs Mfg. Co. Canton, Ohio
1884 to date
Founder: Lewis E. Gibbs
Specialty: Originally manufactured plows. Added toys in 1886. Mechanical spinning tops, wagons, and lithographed paper-on-wood, metal, and advertising toys.
A.C. Gilbert Co. New Haven, Connecticut
1908 – 1966
Founder: Albert C. Gilbert
Specialty: Began as a manufacturer of boxed magic sets. Introduced Erector Sets in 1913, an instant success( 30 million will be sold over the next 40 years). Bought out Richter Anchor Block, an American affiliate of Meccano, at the beginning of WWI. Pressed-steel autos and trucks were added to the line in 1914, plus a variety of scientific toys. Purchased American Flyer in 1938 and retained only the name for a line of trains. Gilbert subsequently had financial woes of its own and the toy train line was sold to Lionel in 1966.
Girard Model Works, Inc. Girard, Pennsylvania
Other names: Girard Mfg. Co. 1922-1935; The Toy Works, 1935-1975(Spinning tops, skates, banks, trains, military toys).
Founder: Frank E. Wood
Specialty: In the late 1920s, Girard made Louis Marx a commission agent and for several years produced toys under the Marx label, along with its own line of steel autos, trucks, and trains, which were produced at Girard Motor Works. Marx and Girard toys are for all intents indistinguishable ( a few of the Girard toys bore the slogan “Making Childhood`s Hour Happier”). Girard declared bankruptcy in 1934, although toy production continued until 1975. Quaker Oats had bought out Marx`s interest in Girard when they bought Marx`s American and English toy division 1972.
Gong Bell Mfg. Co., East Hampton, Connecticut
Specialty: Hardware bells and cast-metal bell pull and push toys.
Greppert & Kelch Brandenberg, Germany
1912 – 1930
Founder: Gundka, G.&K.
Specialty: Small lithographed tin mechanical toys; mid-1920s appears to have been the height of their popularity. Often marked “Gundka Werke”, or with G.&K.
Grey Iron Co. Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Other names: 1900 ( Under name Brady Machine Shop) to date. First produced toys in 1903).
Specialty: Grey Klip Army toy soldiers (1917-1941) in cast iron, nickel-plated. “Iron Men” series, 1936; “Uncle Sam`s Defender”, 1938. The firm produced miniatures under the name “Greyklip Armies”; also an “American Family” series just prior to WWII. Still operating today as John Wright division of Cons Co.
S.G. Gunthermann Nuremberg, Germany
1877 – 1965
Founder: Sifried Gunthermann
Specialty: Began producing tinplate mechanical cars in 1898; also a number of comic and character wind-ups in the early 1960s. When founder died in 1890, his widow married Adolph Weigel; toys from that period on bore makers mark with a shield inside circle and initials A.S.G.W. Wiegels initials were removed following his death in 1919. Company was acquired by Siemens in 1965.
Gutmann Paris, France
1945 to date
Specialty: Lightweight tin motor vehicles. Trademark: MEMO
Hafner Mfg. Co. Chicago, Illinois
1900 to 1950
Founder: W.F. Hafner
Specialty: Joined with Edmunds-Metzel Co. in 1907 to manufacture trains and mechanical toys. Became American Flyer Manufacturing in 1910 and was sold to Wyandotte in 1950. When Wyandotte closed its doors, Marx acquired Hafner dies.
John Harper & Co., Ltd. Willenhall, England
1790 – 1940
Founder: John Harper
Specialty: Produced banks in the 1880s. Cast-iron still/mechanical banks and toys. Noted banks include; “Wimbleton Bank”, “Grenadier”, “I Always Did Despise a Mule”, “Football Bank”, and “Giant on Tower”.
Harris Toy Co. Toledo, Ohio
1887 – 1913
Specialty: Produced cast-iron toys in the 1880s. Harris also acted as jobber for Dent, Hubley, and Wilkins. Financial difficulties forced them out of toy production by 1913.
Hasbro Mfg. Pawtucket, Rhode Island
1923 to date
Founder: The Hassenfeld brothers
Specialty: Makers of plastic and wood toys, including Super Weeble, Potato Head, and G.I. Joe series, which has gone through several transformations. The articulated plastic figures in cloth uniforms were originally 11 1/2 inches tall; the new G.I. Joe`s, recalled to active duty in 1982, measured a mere 14 inches. In 1987, G.I.Joe was the number one selling toy in America.
O. & M. Hausser Stuttgart (Ludwigsburg), Germany
1904 – 1983
Founder: Otto and Max Hausser
Specialty: Dolls, toys, and military miniatures of composition sawdust and glue, made under the name “Elastolin”. Also made still banks from 1929-1939.
J.L. Hess Nuremberg, Germany
Specialty: Tinplate pull-along trains and various other parlor toys; toys autos that bore the trademark name “Hessmobil”.
Heyde Miniatures Dresden, Germany
1872 – 1945
Specialty: Full-round solid military miniatures. Decidedly topical, Heyde produced new sets of replications of soldiers whenever a war broke out, in a variety of sizes from 40 to 145mm. Highly prized are the special sets(i.e., “Buffalo Bill”, “North Pole Expedition”, “Tiger Hunting in India”). Heyde`s factory was wiped out by Dresden firebombing in 1945. Heydes usually bear no trademarks, but can be distinguished by their highly stylized, thin and fragile appearance.
N.N. Hill Brass Co. New Jersey
1889 – 1960
Specialty: Branch of National Novelty for four years ending in 1907. Merged with Watrous Mfg. Co. in 1905, another bell toy maker. Specialized in cast-iron and pressed-steel bell push and pull toys, toy telephones, and target games.
Johann Gottfried Hilpert Nuremberg, Germany
1770s – 1801
Founders: Johann Hilpert, Johann Georg , Johann Wolfgang Hilpert.
Specialty: The firm was the first identified manufacturer of tin soldiers. In addition to military (Frederick the Great`s Potsdam Guards are a stunning example), Hilpert also produced a variety of flat figures depicting hunting, farming, and theatrical life. Identifying marks “H”, “JH”, “JGH”, or “Hilpert” on base. Figures were often dated.
Hoge Mfg. Co. (pronounced Hoagy) Manhattan, NY.
Founded in 1909
Specialty: Founded in 1909 in Manhattan, NY, by Hampden Hoge, who had left the company by 1919. They produced only office supplies until 1931, when Henry Katz dissolved his company and came to manage Hoge`s new toy division. The firm contracted construction of their toy designs to Mattatuck Manufacturing Company. Products included stamped steel passenger and animated circus cars as well as electric and clockwork locomotives. The line ceased in 1939 and Hoge was bought and dissolved by Mattatuck in 1958. The name is currently the property of Robert Hoge (no direct relation to the founder), a Hoge collector.
Hubley Mfg. Co. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
1894 to date
Slogan: “They`re Different”
Founder: John E. Hubley
Specialty: Brand name: Lancaster Brand Iron Toys. Originally manufactured electric toy train equipment and parts. Purchased Safety Buggy Co. factory and moved to site in 1909. First manufactured cast-iron toys, horse-drawn wagons and fire engines, circus trains, and cap guns. Toy autos became the headliners in 1930s. By quickly converting to cheaper smaller toys during the Depression, they avoided financial woes experienced by many other toy companies. Iron shortages in WWII and commitments to fill war contracts did stop the toy division in 1942, until after the war.. The name was later changed to Gabriel Industries and still existed as a division of CBS as of 1978.
Hull & Stafford Clinton, Connecticut
1860s – 1880s (Established as Hull & Wright; acquired Union Mfg. Co. in 1869.)
Specialty: Intricate, enameled tin toys.
Ideal Brooklyn, New York
1903 to date
Founder: Rose and Morris Michtom
Specialty: Stuffed toys and dolls, anchored by the original Teddy Bear. Ideal still ranks as one of the top producers of stuffed toys and dolls.
Industria Nazionale Giocattoli Automatica Padova, Padua, Italy
1920 – ?
Specialty: Tin mechanical trains, cars, airplanes. Trademark: INGAP.
Ives Corp. Bridgeport, Connecticut
1868 – 1932
E.R. Ives & Co.
1868 – 1870
Founder: Edward R. Ives
Specialty: Originally made baskets and hot air toys.
Ives and Blakeslee & Co. 1872 – 1932 Specialty: Ives joined partner Cornelius Blakeslee, a brother-in-law. Ives moved to Bridgeport in 1870; by the 1880s, they were leaders in superb clockwork toys designed by Jerome Secor, Nathan Warner, and Arthur Hotchkiss. Ives also acted as jobber for other toy manufactures` toys. The firm filed for bankruptcy in 1929, another victim of the Depression. Lionel took over the company at that time, and the name Ives and Blakeslee remained until 1931.
Jacrim Manufacturing Co. Seaworthy Boats
The JACRIM Manufacturing Company was the brain child of Chester Rimmer and Arthur Jackson two graduates of MIT in 1921 in Navel Architecture and Marine Engineering. The Boston City Directory said the company began in 1921, but the first official registration was in 1924 in Malden, Mass as Jacrim Manufacturing. There is no record of Seaworthy Boats and it probably was a trade name. Chester was the treasurer and his brothers, coopers by trade, were the other officers. No mention of Jackson. The boats were mostly hand crafted and about 1930 they moved to Boston into The Keystone Manufacturing factory, Advertisements were published and a 1932 price list was issued. Then Keystone took over and all the Rimmers except Chester left the company. Jackson left to join American Enka in May of 1929. Keystone offered Jacrim Boats through the 1930`s and by the war years boats were only marked Keystone. Also the hand shaped boats gave way to machine cut and many of the Seaworthy features were eliminated. The first boats were sailboats from 12″ to 36″ and then spring motor driven motorboats called “Flying Yankee” from 19″ to 30″ , Electric Battery speed boats and in 1929 the “Tom Thumb” boats appeared. There were “Ride Em” wooden wagons, Forts and other toys and probably some still hiding in closets and attics waiting to be discovered. Keystone continued until 1957 and Chester Rimmer, a vice president, retired. (Information provided by Robert S. Jones 2008)
Jeanette Toy & Novelty Co. Jeanette, Pennsylvania
1898 – ?
Specialty: Lithographed tin toys, including trays, tea sets, and figural glass candy containers.
JEP (Jouets en Paris) Paris, France
1899 – 1965
Known originally as the Societe Industriel de Ferblanteriel, the firm underwent a name change to J de P in 1928; its contemporary came about in 1932.
Specialty: Lithographed, tin, clockwork toy automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, and other motor miniatures. JEP cars traditionally carried a trademark on the radiator of the particular vehicle replicated.
John Hill & Co.(Johillco) London, England
1900 – 1960
Founder: Wood (first name unknown), former Britains` employee.
Specialty: Primarily 54mm hollowcast toy soldiers in Britains` tradition, but in most cases lacking the quality and refinement of the latter. Never really recovered following the destruction of its Tottenham factory in the London blitz, Johillco closed its doors in 1960.
Jones & Bixler, Co. Freemansburg, Pennsylvania
1899 – 1914
Founder: Charles A. Jones and Louis S. Bixler
Specialty: “Red Devil Line” of cast-iron auto toys (introduced in 1903, when J & B became part of National Novelty Corp.). From 1909-1913, J & B and Kenton Hardware (which also became part of National Novelty toy trust) produced toys that were indistinguishable from each other.
Jones (Metal Art Miniatures Co.) Chicago, Illinois
1925 – 1941
Founder: J. Edwards Jones
Specialty: 3 1/4 inch military miniatures; primarily a dimestore line.
Judd Mfg. Co. Wallingford, Connecticut
1830 – ?
Other names: Originally known as H.L. Judd Co. when founded in 1830 in New Britain; changed name to M. Judd & Sons in 1855; Judd Mfg. In 1870.
Founder: Morton Judd
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks, including “Peg-Leg Beggar,” “Ticket Collector,” and “Standing Giant.”
Jumeau Paris and Montreil-sous-Bois, France
1842 – 1899
Founder: Emile Jumeau
Specialty: Bisque head, composition body dolls, including exquisite be`be`.