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Girard or Strauss Tin Lithographed Windup Racecar Toy Car for Sale


Girard or Strauss Tin Lithographed Windup Racecar Toy Car  

This is a tin, lithographed, windup racecar possibly manufactured by the Ferdinand Strauss Company of New York City, New York or Girard Model Works, Inc. of Girard, Pennsylvania. Our research has led us to believe this to either be Girard or Strauss, if anyone has any further information we would love to hear from you. 

When wound with its dedicated key it rolls forward. We tested this and found it to be working but like with most windup toys of this age they tend to be a bit on the weaker side with years of use and the way they were manufactured.  

Our example of this racecar is in great all original condition with no breaks, restorations, repairs, or touch ups. This piece shows the usual patina, fading, dust, chips, scuffs, surface rust, scratches, and wear that are to be expected from age and play. It is approximately 8” L x 2 ½” W. We invite you to view the photos to further determine quality and condition.      



A brief history of the Ferdinand Strauss Company of New York City, New York: 

The Ferdinand Strauss Company was founded in the early 1900’s in New York City, New York by Ferdinand Strauss. Strauss was from the Alsace region of Germany. In the beginning, Strauss imported various toys that he sold from his New York Shop. Strauss specialized in importing tin mechanical toys and produced toys from 1914 to 1927. 

During early 1900’s, European toy manufacturers had already perfected color lithography, and were manufacturing many tin toys and pressed steel toys for the North American market. Like most European toy manufacturers, Strauss also manufactured pressed tin toys that had color lithography on them.  Many of the toys also had wind-up or clockwork mechanisms in order to have them move on their own. In 1912 Strauss hired Louis Marx, who later founded the Marx toy Company. 

In 1918 Strauss began manufacturing toys on his own instead of importing them. Strauss produced (wind-up) toys for the Abraham & Strauss Department Stores and was a pioneer in the friction tin toy industry. They managed to capture much of the 1920’s mechanical tin toy craze, but Strauss was eventually out manufactured by other toy companies that had similar toys. 

The Ferdinand Strauss Company’s eventual fate is unclear, but it appears that the company faded into history by 1927. There is some evidence that the company was absorbed by Louis Marx’s company as there are several items from the Strauss line that seem to have been incorporated in to Marx’s own line. 



A brief history of Girard Model Works, Inc. of 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. 

1 in stock

Additional information

Weight 2.75 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 12 in