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Strauss Mfg. Co. Tin Lithographed Windup Sail-A-Way Toy Canoe *SOLD*

Strauss Mfg. Co. Tin Lithographed Windup Sail-A-Way Toy Canoe

What an incredible toy and iconic American theme- Indians using a cone, then in this case, with an additional sail.  Early Strauss likely produced this around 1920, so we are looking at a nearly new 100 year old toy!

The Canoe here is a sailing ship, so variation from the other Strauss Canoe with oars (so ignore the tabs on the hull top).  It is complete with its original Strauss cloth sail and wood mast.

Colors are a bit deceptive, but there is a bright orange and green, Then yellow, and additional red-orange highlights.  Indian Chief’s head iconography on the front is tremendous.  The Indian figure is in red and tan, stamped tin and original.

Deck detailing is Art Nouveau !

The windup works and propels this Indian ship across a kids floor.  The rear wheel acts as a rudder and can be positioned at top for turns.

This is the strongest condition example we have seen.

This piece 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, missing accessories and wear that are to be expected from age and play. This is approximately 9″ L. 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.   

Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 12 × 12 in