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Georg G. Kellermann Nuremberg, Germany 1910 to date
Founder: Georg Kellermann
Specialty: Clockwork tin motorcycles and penny toys. Trademark: C.K.O. Son Willy took over the firm following the death of his father in 1931.
Kelmet Corp. New York City, New York
1923 – late 1920s
Specialty: Large pressed-steel trucks under name “Kelmet” and “Trumodel.” Parts were frequently subcontracted and A.C. Gilbert assembled the finish product. A further designation was “Big Boy,” modeled after the white truck.
Kenner Products Cincinnati, Ohio
1947 to date
Founder: Al, Phil, and Joe Steiner
Specialty: First toy was “Bubble Gun” in 1947. “six Million Dollar Man” and “Bionic Woman” were mid-1970s favorites, but most spectacular success was line of “Star Wars” toys.
Kenton Hardware Co. Kenton, Ohio
1890 – 1952
Founder: F.M. Perkins (Patented line of refrigerator hardware).
Specialty: Toy production began in 1894 with a line of horse-drawn fire equipment, banks, and toy stoves. Renamed Kenton Hardware in 1900. Became part of mammoth National Novelty Corp. merger in 1903, it continued its toy line under the name Wing Mfg. Co. Involved in several unsuccessful takeovers, it eventually emerged as a separate unit, the Kenton Hardware Co., and again produced toys successfully from 1920-1935. Kenton ceased production in 1952 and assets were sold in 1953. The Littlestown Hardware & Foundry acquired many Kenton toy designs and marketed them under the brand “Utexiqual”. Littlestown folded in 1982.
Keystone Mfg. Co. Boston Massachusetts
Founders: Edward Swartz, J. M. Welsman, Isadore Marks and Benjamin Marks
Specialty: Originally produced toy motion picture machines and children`s comedy films (Keystone Moviegraph). Gained permission from Packard Motor Co. in mid-1920s to market pressed-steel riding trucks copied from full-size Packard models, including famous radiator design and logo. Keystone, in competing with “Buddy L”, added such refinements as nickeled hubcaps and radiator caps, transparent celluloid windshield, and engine crank. For 50 cents extra you could get rubber tires and headlamps. Keystone trucks also featured steering and signal arms for “stop” and “go”. Keystone introduced line of “Siren Riding Toys” in 1934 with saddle riding seat and handlebars for steering. In 1936, one of its big sellers was a “Ride-em” mail plane. In the post-WWII years, most of Keystone`s toy output was based on tools and dies purchased from the defunct Kingsbury toy division.
Keystone Manufacturing Company was founded in 1919 to produce moving picture machines. Interestingly, at the time Isadore and Benjamin Marks were the president and treasurer, respectively, of the Marks Brothers Company, which had been in the toy business since 1911. In 1924, Keystone started their line of pressed steel toys, for which it is best known. The line of toys was modeled after the Packard trucks of the day and featured the Packard logo on the grill. In 1932, Keystone introduced a line of pressed steel “Ride ‘Em” vehicles of which the mail plane is the most recognized.
Keystone began producing wooden toys in the 1930s with the acquisition of Jacrim Manufacturing Company, another local Boston toy company. Isadore and Benjamin Marks had a controlling interest in Jacrim since 1926, only four years after Jacrim was founded. Keystone Manufacturing would continue producing film equipment, pressed steel and wooden toys until 1953 when the company was divided. Keystone Manufacturing produced the film equipment and pressed steel toys while Keystone Wood Toys handled all of the wooden and “tekwood” toys. In 1954, the company would split again forming the Keystone Camera Company and Keystone Manufacturing Company, which continued to produce the pressed steel toys. Keystone Wood Toys ceased production in January 1958 and Keystone Manufacturing continued on until 1960. In 1965, Keystone Camera Company was purchased by Berkley Photo and in 1967 was moved from the Boston location, thus ending the existence of the Keystone Manufacturing Company.
Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. Elizabeth, New Jersey
1914 – 1931
Specialty: The name, Kiddies Metal Toys Inc., is a name that most collectors don`t associate with the “Oh Boy!” line of toys, and for good reason. The history of the company, besides having an unfamiliar name, is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that printed advertising establishes proof of the companies existence in 1920. It is likely the company was in existence much earlier, perhaps as early as 1914. However, without factual evidence to support this belief, this capsule history will commence with the date it is certain the company was conducting business. The Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. toy line for 1920 consisted primarily of games and novelties. Other toys in the line included a wide range of “Jack and Jill Sandhill Toys”, along with assorted sand pails, toy shovels, tea sets and doll house furniture sets. By 1926, a number of automotive toys were being produced under the trademark “Oh Boy!” and “Big Motor Toys”. These toys, made of lightweight steel, as the company so emphatically advertised, ranged in size from 19 to 23 inches. Characteristics of one of Kiddies lithographers Louis Emmets toy truck designs were the toy`s large, non-functioning steering wheel, metal wheels and high crown fenders. Nearly all of Kiddies automotive toys were affixed with a Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. decal which carried the manufacturers production number. Some toys were lithographed entirely, while others received a single coat of enamel. Kiddies Metal Toys, Inc. continued to advertise in the major toy trade publications until the middle of 1931. After that, the company seemed to have simply disappeared.
Kienberger & Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1910 to date
Founder: Hubert Kienberger
Specialty: Penny toys; simple mechanical motor toys and wheel-mounted animals. One of the most popular exports to the United States was the Billiard Player marble toy. Trademark ; HUKI.
Kilgore Mfg. Co. Westerville, Ohio
1920s – 1985
Slogan “Toys That Last”
Specialty: Originated in 1925 with the purchase of George D. Wanner Co., who made a brand of kites called “E-Z-Fly”. Its merger with Andes Foundry and the Federal Toy Co, in 1925 under the aegis of American Toy Co. In 1928, Kilgore introduced cast iron cars, trucks, and fire engines, including cast-iron cannons, cap guns, and toy paper caps. Butler Brothers became its biggest distributor. The company moved to Toone Tennessee in 1961 and remained in the cap gun and signal flare business until 1985.
Kingsbury Mfg. Co. (also see Wilkins Toy Co.) Keene, New Hampshire
1919 – 1942
Wilkins Toy Co.
Founder: Harry T. Kingsbury
Specialty: In 1895 Harry T. Kingsbury bought Wilkins and combined it with the Clipper Machine Works, which specialized in farm equipment. In the early 1900s, toy automobiles were introduced to the company line. The Wilkins line was dropped following WWI in favor of Kingsbury, which was by know an established name in the field. Kingsbury specialized in copying famous models of aircraft and assembly-line, trucks, and buses. WWII saw Kingsbury shifting to war contracts and never returning again to toy production. All production equipment was sold to Keystone in Boston. The company still exists, but as Kingsbury Machine Tool Division, a subcontractor for such giants as IBM, General Motors, and GE.
Kingston Products Corp. Kokomo, Indiana
1890s to ?
Scott & Fetzer Co.
Founder: Charles T. Byrne and James F. Ryan
Specialty: Byrne and Ryan started Kokomo Brass Works to produce brass castings for the plumbing industry. Kingston soon became an alliance of many kindred companies. Their line of toys, under the name Kokomo Toys, came into its height in the 1920s and 30s with fire engines, racers, trucks, and transportation toys a specialty. Electrically run racers were a innovative addition, though expensive for Depression times, Kingston had the dropped in 1931. Kingston today is part of Scott & Fetzer Co., and makes components for auto manufacturers.
Kirchoff Patent Co. Newark, New Jersey
1852 to date
Founder: Charles Kirchoff
Specialty: Small metal toys, noisemakers, Christmas ornaments and novelties. Kirchoff essentially was a developer of patents and in addition to toys produced Braille printers and ticker-tape machines. (Although no longer in business under the name Kirchoff, the company did undergo a lot of changes in ownership through out the years and was still recorded as being active up to the 1950s.)
Knapp Electric Novelty Co. New York City, New York
1899 to date
Specialty: One of earliest manufactures of transportation toys powered by wet cell batteries. Carlisle & Finch, noted for electric toy trains and other novelty toys, served as Knapps distributor.
Kohner Brothers. Tachau, Czechoslovakia.
1946-1969 (Aquired by General Foods)
Other names: Kohner or M. Kohner & Sons (father’s business)
Founder: Frank and Paul Kohner
Specialty: Wooden Toys and Furniture.
Kohnstam Furth, Germany
1875 – 1959 (Became part of Lesney)
Other names: Lesney
Founder: Moses Kohnstam
Specialty: European distributor of German-made toys, under the Moko trademark. J. Kohnstam Ltd. Was established in London in early 1920 and helped launch Lesney Products.
Kuramochi Co. Japan
1920? – 1950? (Please help us pin down dates)
Other names: Company Kuramochi. Kuramochi & Co., Ltd., C.K or CK or C.K. with a diamond
Specialty: Tin toys and early windups. Kuramochi is known for excellent automobile toys and very early windups from the pre-World War 2 era with imaginative designs.
Kyser & Rex Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1880 – 1884
Founder: L. Kyser and Alfred Rex
Specialty: Cast-iron toys and mechanical banks. Among their highly desirable banks are: Hindu with Turban, Uncle Tom, Chimpanzee the Organ Bank, Lion and Monkeys.
Lefkowitz Toy Co. Brooklyn, New York
Early 1900s – ?
Specialty: Ingenious Rube Goldberg-type mechanical tin toys(i.e., The Flying Cupid).
Ernest Lehmann Co. Brandenberg, Germany
1881 (Re-established in 1951 in Nuremberg and still producing toys).
Founder: Ernest P. Lehmann
Specialty: Lehmann exported vast quantities of toys to the United States from 1895 to 1929 (excluding years of WWI). Specialized in lithographed tinplate, mechanical transportation toys, and figures known for colorful patina. Some of the most desirable Lehmannn`s include: Mr. and Mrs. Lehmann, Dancing Sailor, Icarus, and Autobus.
Lenci Turin, Italy
1920 to date
Founder: Enrico and Elena Scavini
Specialty: Seamless stuffed felt dolls. The Lenci trademark was registered in Europe in 1922; in the United States in 1924. (Lenci was Elena Scavini`s pet name).
Le Rapide Paris, France
1920s – 1954
Founder: Louis Rouisey
Specialty: Electric and clockwork “O” gauge model trains, toy racers on oval tracks.
Lesney (“Matchbox”) London, England
1947 – 1982
Slogan: “Models of Yesteryear”
Founder: Jack Odell and Leslie and Robert Smith
Specialty: Die-cast miniature cars and transportation vehicles, many of which were copies of real-life models.
Georg Levy Nuremberg, Germany
1920 – 1971
Founder: Georg Levy (“Gely” trademark)
Specialty: Produced automotive tin toys under Kienberger name (“Kiko”) until 1920, then launched his own firm. Sold out and left Germany in the 1930s, but factory resumed under name of Nuremberg Tin Toys Factory.
Lindstrom Tool & Toy Co. Bridgeport, Connecticut
1913-early 1940s (resumed production after WWII)
Specialty: Mechanical toys and games of pressed-steel and tin. Included stoves, sewing machines; amusement park-type auto, the “Doodlebug”.
Lineol Brandenberg/Havel, Germany
1905 to date
Founder: Oskar Wiederholz
Specialty: Tinplate military toys and trenchworks; also composition armies, barnyard scenes, zoo menageries, Christmas cre`ches, cooking and tea sets, wooden toys. Lineol`s 7.5cm military miniatures are deemed superior to Elastolin. Lineol was nationalized in 1949 and moved to Dresden. It still produces miniatures today under the name VEB Lineol-Plastik Dresden.
Lines Bros. Ltd. London, England
1919 – 1971
Specialty: Small clockwork tin motor toys; “Minic” series, 1930. “Spot-On” series of Die-cast models, 1959; “Triangtois” on wooden toys, circa 1927. Lines closed its doors in 1971 following financial difficulties.
Lucotte Miniatures Paris, France
1780 – 1825 (acquired by Mignot)
Specialty: One of the earliest toy makers; many miniatures feature “L.C.”, the Lucotte trademark, was well as the Imperial Bee of Napoleon. Many of the figures replicated Napoleon`s army members. Known for anatomical detail and meticulous painting. Early Lucottes can be distinguished by their separate removable parts.
Gebruder Maerklin Goppingen, Germany
1859 to date
Founder: Theodor and his wife, Caroline Maerklin
Specialty: Originated as a maker of doll-sized tinplate kitchenware. When sons took over the business in 1888, firm name was changed to Gebruder Maerklin. Branched out to a variety of enameled tinplate boats, carousels, aeronautical toys. Unsurpassed in production of clockwork, steam, and electric trains. Introduced first standardized tinplate tracks in 1891. Maerklin switched to plastic train sets in the late 1950s.
Manoil Mfg. Co. New York City, New York and Waverly, New York
1937 – 1941
Specialty: Hollow-cast toy soldiers (sometimes called dime store soldiers).
Fernand Martin Paris, France
1887 – 1919
Specialty: Widely copied maker of amusing double-action tin mechanicals, including Le Clochard (Tramp) and Ivrogne (Toper or Drunk).
Martin & Runyun New York City, New York
1860s – ?
Specialty: Manufacturer of the earliest known clockwork toy, “Autoperipatetikos”, designed by Enoch Morrison, in 1862; soon followed by “Walking Zouave”.
Louis Marx & Company New York, New York
1919 – 1979
Founder: Louis Marx
Specialty: Lithographed, tin wind-up toys; Marx successfully revived the Yo-Yo in 1928; it sold well even through the Depression. Marx was one of the big four among American electric train manufacturers.
Mason & Parker Winchendon, Massachusetts
1899 – 1966
Founder: H. N. Parker and Orlando Mason
Specialty: Pressed-steel transportation toys. Later, (1907), Mason & Parker switched to wooden products, including proven standard, Boy`s Tool Chest.
Masutoku Toys Tokyo, Japan
1945 to date
Specialty: Mechanical and battery-operated tin toys. Trademark: “MT”.
McLoughlin Brothers New York City, New York
1850s – 1920
Specialty: Known early on for “revamping” popular European juvenile game, Mcloughlin also created such staples as “Pilgrims Progress”, “Fish Pond”, “Peter Coddle”, and “Jack Straws”. Lithograph paper-on-wood construction toys included the Palmer Cox Brownie series; also alphabet blocks and numerous educational toys.
Meccano, (Dinky Toys) Liverpool, England
1901 – 1964
Founder: Frank Hornby
Specialty: Metal construction sets (a la Erector). First produced miniatures called Dinky Toys in 1933. Taken over by Lines Bros. In 1964.
Mechanical Novelty Works New Britain, Connecticut
Early 1800s – ?
Founder: Andrew Turnbull, James A. Swanson, George Eddy.
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks, including “Initiation Bank” (1st and 2nd degree models), “Squirrel and Tree Stump”.
Johann Phillip Meïer/Meir Nuremberg, Germany
1879 – 1917
Specialty: One of the more prolific penny toy manufactures at the turn of the century. Meir also produced painted tin mechanical toys. Trademark: Dog pulling a cart.
Merriam Mfg. Co. Durham, Connecticut
1856 – 1880
Specialty: Enameled tinplate clockwork toys. Continues today as a box manufacturer; ceased toy production in 1880s. Known for such classics as “Horse on Sculptured Base”, ptd by William A. Hardwood, Brooklyn, New York, plus “Rabbit in Hoop”.
Metalcast New York City, New York
1899 to ?
Other names: As Sachs Tot Mfg. Co.; subsequently The Toy Soldier Mfg. Co.; changed to Metalcast in 1929.
Founder: H. Sachs
Specialty: 2 1/2 inch hollowcast soldiers, cowboys, and Indians; later, 3 1/4 inch hollowcast soldiers.
Metalcraft Corp. St Louis, Missouri
1920 – 1937
Specialty: Playground equipment such as teeter-totters. Produced pressed-steel trucks in 1928 and acquired rights to pressed-steel airplane in kit of Lindburgh`s “Spirit of St. Louis”. Produced millions of toy truck premiums known as “Business Leaders”.
Metalgraf Milan, Italy
1910 – 1930s
Specialty: Exquisite hand painted tin clockwork automobiles.
Mettoy Co. Ltd. Great Britain
1934 – 1984
Founders: Phillip Ulmann, dispossessed owner of Tipp & Co., who was forced to flee Nazi Germany.
Specialty: Tinplate automotive mechanicals and novelties; after 1945, Mettoy converted to plastic toys. Introduced Corgi Toys in 1959. Went into liquidation in 1984.
C.B.G Mignot Miniatures Paris, France
1900 – ?
Founders: A partnership between Messrs. Cuperly, Blondel, and Gerbeau (hence the initials C.B.G.) and Henri Mignot, the chief stockholder.
Specialty: Produced their own miniatures as well as limited editions using Luccotte molds acquired in 1825. (See Lucotte Miniatures). Later Mignot examples differ from Lucotte in that they were singly cast, without separate removable parts and accessories. Mignot boasted over 20,000 molds of warriors from Ancient Rome to WWII.
Milton Bradley East Longmeadow and Springfield, Massachusetts
1860 to date
Slogan “Maker of the World`s Best Games”
Founder: Milton Bradley
Specialty: Games, puzzles, blocks, optical toys, kindergarten aids. Noted Bradley games included, “Babe Ruth Baseball”, “Checkered Game of Life”, “Game of Mail Express & Accommodation”. Logos at various stages identified firm as Milton Bradley Company, Milton Bradley & Co., Milton Bradley Co.
Mohawk Metal Toy Company New York, New York
1919 – 1921
Other names: Mohawk Metal Toy Company, Inc.
Founder: Samuel Hoffman
Specialty: Limited information indicates that the Mohawk Metal Toy Company was founded in January 1919, and the toy factory was located at 43 Bleeker Street in New York City. The company manufactured a line of metal toys and novelties including miniature wagons, trains and automobiles. The company commissioned Louis Wolf and Company as their selling agent. By 1920, the company incorporated and expanded the line to include a lightweight tin dump truck measuring approximately 7 inches in length and a “Main Street” trolley car measuring 6 1/2 inches long, Mohawk Metal Toy Company advertising disappears from the various trade publications during 1921 and the company is not heard from again.
Muller & Kadeder (M.&K.) Nuremberg, Germany
1900 to date
Specialty: Lithographed tin wind-ups; aeronautical toys including zeppelins and a fanciful balloon with a parachute; also carried carousels and character toys (i.e., Buster Brown With Poodle”, “Tailor Riding Buck”, and “Clown on Pig”). In the post-WWI years, turned to lithographed tin automobiles.
National Novelty Corp. New Jersey
1903 – 1907
Specialty: A trust or consortium of over 30 leading manufacturers of cast-iron and wood toys, formed to cut costs and stifle competition. Poorly managed, the “Toy Trust” soon failed. A number of toy makers reorganized under the aegis of Hardware & Woodenware Manufacturing Co., but it, too, soon faded.
Neff-Moon Toy Co. Sandusky, Ohio
1920 – 1925
Specialty: Pressed-steel automotive toys with interchangeable bodies packaged with a single chassis.
Nonpareil Toy & Novelty Co. Newark, New Jersey
Post-WWI to late 1940s
Specialty: Lithographed tin toy trucks and wagons, mostly of the penny toy or tiny prize package toy variety.
North & Judd New Britain, Connecticut
1812 to date
Specialty: Originally in saddlery parts. Started small line of cast-iron toys in 1930s, but could not compete with the “giants” and discontinued the line after one year. Now part of a Gulf & Western conglomerate.
Parker Brothers Salem, Massachusetts
1883 to date
Founder: George S. Parker
Specialty: Created first card game, “Banking”, in 1883. World renowned for producing board game “Monopoly” beginning in 1934. Another game “Chivalry”, later updated under the name “Camelot”, has been regarded by many board game experts as a more challenging game. Acquired the rights of a number of smaller makers, including W. & S. B. Ives and the U.S. Playing Card Co.
Parker White Metal Erie, PA
The Parker White Metal Co., makers of ERIE toys, made toy airplanes and cars in the mid 30’s. They were pressure die-cast (zinc alloy based) devised by pioneers at W.A. Parker- represented an advanced reproduction technology which enabled fast and accurate reproduction to scale of models from the actual prototypes. The Parker White METAL Co. was founded in 1906 by W.A. Parker and inventive toolmaker in Erie Pa. Erie Metal Specialties was a spin-off of the Parker casting company, who did fine aluminum casting for machinery and home products. They ventured in making diecast toys in 1933 as there was great demand for metal toys at the time. Erie made small and large cars, trucks and airplanes for only three years(1936-39)and they had to stop due to patent issues with Dowst Brothers, makers of Tootsietoys, who sued them.
Paya Alicante, Spain
Specialty: Tin clockwork and A pioneer of the Spanish toy industry, tinsmith Rafael PAYÁ, produced his first metal toy, a hand-painted horse drawn coach, in 1902. The firm PAYÁ Hermanos S.A. (PAYÁ Brothers S.A.) built the first toy factory in Ibi, Alicante, Spain and began producing toys in 1906. The metal toys were well received and PAYÁ quickly produced a wide range of toys for the domestic market, being the first serious Spanish rival to imported toys
Peco (Product Engineering Co. ) Tigard, Oregon
1952 – 1956
Founder: John Benneth
Specialty: Realistic military figures, first made of a clay-like material called Pyrocon, and, later, Vinylite. Most popular in line; cowboys and Indians.
Philadelphia Tin Toy Co. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Specialty: Toy firm of Francis Field and Frances carried this name in Philadelphia area in late 1840s.
Ernst Plank Nuremberg, Germany
1866 – 1900
Founder: Ernst Plank
Specialty: Tin trains, airplanes, boats, and automobiles.
Pratt & Letchworth Buffalo, New York
1880 – 1900
Founder: Pascal P. Pratt and William P. Letchworth
Specialty: Cast-iron toy trains, horse-drawn hansom cabs, pumpers, artillery wagons. Originally known (1870s) as Buffalo Malleable Iron Works, Francis Carpenter`s stock and patent rights were acquired by Pratt & Letchworth in 1890.
Radio Flyer. Chicago
Founder Antonio Pasin
Born in a small town outside of Venice, 16 year old Antonio Pasin dreamed of a new beginning in America. His family sold their mule to help pay for his voyage, and before long, Pasin made his way to Chicago where he looked for work as a cabinet-maker. He made his way through several jobs and by 1917 had saved enough money to purchase some used wood working equipment and rented a one-room workshop. In this workshop, Pasin began fashioning wagons by night and selling them during the day. By 1923, Pasin`s business grew to include several employees. They became known as the Liberty Coaster Company, named after the Statue of Liberty, and soon created their first wagon Ð the Liberty Coaster. The No. 4 Liberty Coaster was handcrafted in wood and sold directly to stores by Pasin himself.
W. S. Reed Toy Co. Loeminster, Massachusetts
1875 – 1897
Founder: Whitney S. Reed
Specialty: Lithographed paper-on-wood toys and construction sets. Patented one mechanical bank, “The Old Lady in the Shoe”.
Rich Manufacturing Company Sterling and Morrison, Illinois and Clinton, Iowa
1915 – 1941
Rich-Illinois Company, Rich Toys Inc.
Founder: E.M. and M.E. Rich
Specialty: Most of the Rich Company`s early toys were horse-drawn, wagon pull toys, in one form or another. These early toys were without motion. However, after 1931, most, if not all of Rich`s horse-drawn wagons incorporated mechanical motion. This mechanical action was limited to the legs of the horses, featuring a “galloping” motion through the use of an off-center axle and 2 small wheels. The Rich Company, over the next 10 years , would become known as a leader in the production of quality wooden toys. In 1935, the Rich-Illinois Company was dissolved with the Rich Manufacturing Company moving their entire toy producing operation to Clinton, Iowa. Therefore, toys found with the Clinton, Iowa marking can be identified as being produced in 1935 and later. The name of the company was again changed to Rich Toys, Inc. Rich Toys remained on the toy scene until WWII, after which all traces of the company are lost. They produced toys in Clinton, Iowa until 1954 when they moved to Tupelo, Mississippi. There they continued making toys until a flood in 1962 destroyed their production and they closed the doors of the company. (latest information provide by Rita Goranson).
Richter (Anchor Blocks) Rudolstadt, Germany
1508 – 1920s (Reputedly the oldest toy company, with a 16th century founding date).
Specialty: Anchor Toy Building Bricks, alphabet and puzzle blocks. A.C. Gilbert, the Erector Set people, bought the American interest of Anchor Blocks in 1913.
Rico Alicante, Spain
1930s – 1950s
Specialty: Tin mechanical autos and airplanes. Trademark: RSA.
Riemann, Seabrey Co., Inc. New York City, New York
1920s – 1944
Specialty: Manufacturers` representatives acting as sole sales agents for Kenton, Grey iron, N.N. Hill Brass, J. & E. Stevens and other leading cast-iron toy makers.
William Rissmann Co. (RI-CO) Nuremberg, Germany
1907 – ?
Founder: William Rissmann
Specialty: Toy trains and tin mechanical motor toys. Not to be confused with Spanish firm, Rico. Look for additional word “Germany”, to differentiate from the two.
Karl Rohrseitz Zindorf, Germany
1890s – ?
Specialty: Tinplate novelties
Charles Rossignol Paris, France
1868 – 1962
Founder: Charles Rossignol
Specialty: Painted tin clockwork vehicles. Logo was of entwined letters “C” and “R”. Made first automotive toy, a Renault taxi, in 1905. Parisian buses, produced by Rossignol in the 1920s, are highly prized.
Schieble Toy & Novelty Co. Dayton, Ohio
1909 – 1931
Specialty: Carried on line of “Hill Climber” friction toys, initiated by D. P. Clark & Co.
Leo Schlesinger Co. New York City, New York
1880s – 1900
Founder: Leo Schlesinger
Specialty: Painted and stenciled tinplate horse-drawn vehicles, producing as many as 6 million a year. Later, Schlesinger made open-front tinplate miniature kitchens, including the utensils.
A. Schoenhut & Company Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1872 – 1935
Founder: Albert Schoenhut
Specialty: Began manufacturing toy pianos in 1872. Featured a series of over 20 different Living Pictures in the 1890s, which were framed cardboard figures animated by a clockwork mechanism. Schoenhut is best known for high quality dolls and wooden-jointed circus and comic strip characters, including Felix the Cat, Maggie & Jiggs, Barney Google, and Sparkplug. In the 1950s, the firm of Delvan, Seneca Falls, New York, bought the patent rights to Schoenhut wooden-jointed figures and again produced a series of circus animals. These toys received a lukewarm reception and are not up to the quality and charm of the predecessors. Schoenhut doll houses hitter thew assembly line from 1917 to 1934 and doll house furniture from 1928 to 1934. Schoenhut circus tents were known to have been produced in the 1970s.
Schuco Toy Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1912 – 1970
Founder: Heinrich Muller and Heinrich Schreyer.
Specialty: Mohair-covered mechanical toys. An idendent Schuco Toy Co. with import rights to the German toys was formed in the U.S. in 1947 by Adolf Kahn`s son, Eric ( following WW1 Schreyer Muller formed a new partnership with Kahn). Schuco declared bankruptcy in 1970.
Jerome Secor Manufacturing Bridgeport, Connecticut
1872 – mid1880s
Founder: Jerome B. Secor
Specialty: Introduced a line of sewing machines plus mechanical singing birds at the 1873 World`s Fair, Vienna. One of the first patented toys; a sheet brass whistling bird, the American Songster. His ingenious clockwork creations included; “Brudder Bones, the Banjo Player”, “Sister Lucinda at the Play”, and the rarest most coveted of all mechanicals “The Freedman`s Bank”. Secor sold his business to Ives in the mid-1880s. He continued to design and manufacture clockwork toys through Ives.
Seichow and Righter New York City, New York
1860s – present
Founder: Elish G. Selchow (John H. Righter became a partner later).
Specialty: Board games and puzzles. Best known for SCRABBLE, the crossword game.
Selwyn Miniatures London, England
1951 – 1952
Founder: Roy Selwyn-Smith
Specialty: Selwyn Smith started Selwyn Miniatures with the financial aid of Otto Goldstein.He produced Miniature lead medieval knights in true heraldry. He designed and produced the masters for 5 of the original Courtenay Knights. These being figures Z14, Z17, Z19 & Z20 and one figure that was not issued. His company lasted 9 months.Upon Goldsteins death, Selwyn went to work for Herald and designed some of their earliest plastic figures. Selwyn sold his rights to the Knight molds to Britains who eventually issued them as the Knights of Agincourt. Britains eventually bought Herald to acquire the talents of Selwyn and their plastic capabilities. Britains recognized the importance of this “new” material. Selwyn design most of their plastic figures in the 1950`s, 60`s and early 70`s including the legendary Swoppets. (Credit for this information goes to collector Glenn)
C. G. Shepard and Co. Buffalo, New York
1866 – 1892
Founder: Walter J. and Charles G. Shepard
Specialty: Tin horns; still and mechanical banks (beginning in 1882). Sold mechanical bank business in 1892; three Shepard banks were later re-issued by J. & E. Stevens.
William Shimer & Son Co. Freemansburg, Pennsylvania
1875 – 1913
Founder: William Shimer
Specialty: Cast-iron toys, banks, trains for several years prior to WWI. Toys often featured front foot oscillating mechanisms on the horses or oxen. The factory burnt down and wasn’t rebuilt in 1913. Catalogs would be GREATLY appreciated from any readers, email us if you can help.
J. H. Singer New York City, New York
1893 – 1895
Founder: Jasper Singer
Specialty: Primarily a jobber of games and novelties in lithographed paper on wood. Included toy theaters and popular games (i.e., “Authors”, “Cuckoo”, “Jumping Frog”). Lines once sold by George S. Parker. Box or novelty often identified by initials: J.H.S.N.Y. or J.H.S.
Smith-Miller Toy Co. Los Angeles, California
1944 – 1958
Specialty: Pressed-steel motor toys. Fred Thompson, Canoga Park, California, acquired the Smith-Miller name as well as existing stock in the late 1970s, and still operates under the Smith Miller name to this day.
SON-NY (see Dayton Toy & Specialty Company)
Stadden Miniatures London, England
Late 1940s to date
Founder: Charles Stadden
Specialty: Military miniatures targeted to the connoisseur collector as display specimens; sized 30 to 54 mm.
Star Collectibles (Marlborough, a toy firm in Wales) Wales, England
1950s – early 1960
Founder: Michael Curley and his wife, Star.
Specialty: Formed a distributorship out of the Midwest, importing miniatures cast by Frank and Jan Scroby in Wales. Following Curley`s death, his wife continued doing business, offering limited editions of 50 and later 100 sets, with Highland Black Watch Band and Grenadier Guard figures among the most popular.
Steiff Giengen, Germany
1877 to date
Founder: Magarete Steiff
Specialty: Stuffed toy animals and character dolls. The founder`s nephew, Richard Steiff, designed the first Teddy Bear in 1903. Steiff button and label identification is stamped in one ear or on clothing, with white and black lettering and blank buttons signifying a 1903-1904 manufacture.
J. & E. Stevens Cromwell, Connecticut
1842 – 1930s
Founder: John and Elisha Stevens
Specialty: Cast-iron mechanical banks from 1870 to the turn of the century. Elisha Stevens later joined George Brown to establish the Stevens & Brown toy firm. J. & E. Stevens supplied Gong Bell And Watrous with Castings for their bell toys.
Stevens & Brown New York City, New York
1869 – 1880
Founder: Elisha Stevens and George Brown
Specialty: Pooled their tin and cast-iron lines and also distributed for other toy makers.
Walter Stock Solingen, Germany
1905 – 1930s
Founder: Walter Stock
Specialty: Lithographed tin mechanical toys much similar to Lehmann line; also penny toys exported to America.
Ferdinand Strauss Corporation New York City, New York
1900s – mid1940s
Founder: Ferdinand Strauss
Specialty: Major producer of tin mechanical toys from 1914 to 1927
Structo Mfg. Co. Freeport, Illinois
1908 to date
Founder: Louis and Edward Strohacker and C.C. Thompson.
Specialty: Erector construction kits, ready-built and construction kit auto toys.
The Sturdy Corporation – Sturditoys Providence, Rhode Island; Sales Office; Factory, Pawtucket
1929 – 1933
Founder: Victor C. Wetzel and Charles I. Bigney
Specialty: Child-sized, pressed-steel trucks, closely akin to Buddy “L” and Keystone, but generic rather than replicating real life truck models.
S.A.E. (Swedish South African Engineers) Capetown, South Africa
1952 – 1960s
An offshoot of Comet / Authenticast, which went out of business in the early 1950s. A Swede, Holger Eriksson, resumed casting these miniatures, imported from South Africa by distributors curt Wennberg and Fred Winkler.
Specialty: 30mm scale miniatures.
Tipp & Co. Nuremberg, Germany
1912 – 1971
Founder: Tipp and Carstans
Specialty: Military line of tin toys.
Toledo Metal Wheel Company Toledo, Ohio
1887 – ?
Founder: Frank E. Southard
Specialty: Under the trade names of “Toledo” and “Blue Streak”, Toledo Metal Wheel produced a vast array of beautiful pedal cars and tricycles. The company was recognized for their fine workmanship and originality which included the innovation of adjustable rubber pedals and the “no dead-center driving gear” on their pedal toys. This unique feature made it possible for a child to start pedaling a Toledo Metal wheel toy vehicle from a stationary position without a push. Toledo Metal Wheels “Bull Dog” trucks are easily recognized by the 3-5/16-inch oval decal appearing on the sides of the service bed of the truck, and a 1-1/8-inch x 5/8-inch oval decal affixed to the front of the truck. Both decals feature a standing bull dog and the words “Bull Dog”. A few of Toledo`s early trucks were produced with a “Blue Streak” oval and diamond decal. This decal features a lightning bolt and the words, “Blue Streak”. Even rarer is a rectangular “Blue Streak” decal which appears on only a few of the earliest trucks. This decal, measuring 2-3/4-inch by 1-3/8-inch, is bordered by fancy scroll artwork. Trucks with this decal are not known to have the oval hood decal. The two, 30-inch pressed-steel automobiles do not have the “Bull Dog” or “Blue Streak” decals, but have “Toledo” on the nameplate at the top of the radiator. Knobby tread, black rubber tires, marked “Juvenile Federal Rubber Co., U.S.A.” are found on “Bull Dog” trucks. Additional, each truck has a hand-cranked noisemaker at the front of the toy.
Tommy Toys Union City, New Jersey
1935 – 1938/39
Founder: Dr. Albert Greene, Charles Weldon, and several other partners.
Specialty: Miniature soldiers and nursery rhyme figures and vehicles under name “Tommy Toy”. Sculpted and designed by Olive Kooken and Margaret Cloninger. Tommy Toy was acquired by Barclay following financial difficulties.
Tops All Toys San Francisco, CA
Founder: Unknown. 102 Clay St, San Francisco
Specialty: Die cast Metal Trolleys have been found. Unknown product line.
Tower(Guild) South Hingham, Massachusetts
1830s – 1850s
Founder: William S. Tower
Specialty: Founded Tower Guild, a marketing cooperative for woodworkers and carpenters, who fashioned much prized wooden toys.
Trix, Mangold Nuremberg, Germany
1930s to date
Specialty: “OO” gauge locomotives railroad accessories under “TTR” trademark. Set up British subsidiary with Bassett-Locke as agent.
John C. Turner Co. Wapakoneta, Ohio
1915 – 1948
Founder: John Turner
Specialty: Known for line of “Victory is won” flywheel toys sold by direct mail.
Union Manufacturing Co. Clinton, Connecticut
1853 – 1869
Founder: Hull & Stratford acquired this small tin toy-producing firm in 1869.
Unique Art Mfg. Co. Newark, New Jersey
Unique Art Manufacturing Company was an American toy company, founded in 1916, based in Newark, New Jersey that made inexpensive toys, including wind-up mechanical toys, out of lithographed tin. One of its early products was a wind-up toy featuring two tin boxers.
The company scored a hit in the 1940s when it acquired the rights to a popular comic strip and released the Li’l Abner Dogpatch Band for Christmas 1945. The windup toy featured Abner dancing, Pappy on drums, Mammy with a drum stick, and Daisy Mae playing piano. Unique followed with a Howdy Doody band several years later.
Unique’s president, Sammy Bergman, was a good friend of toy magnate Louis Marx, and the two men’s companies at times cooperated, with Marx providing tooling to Unique and sometimes acting as a distributor for Unique’s products.
Specialty: Comic/character tin mechanicals, including “Li`l Abner Dogpatch Band” and “Gertie, The Galloping Goose” 1940s.
U.S. Hardware Co. New Haven, Connecticut
1896 – 1901
Specialty: Cast-iron toys (i.e., “Marine Oarsmen”, “Fairy Rubber Balls”).
Vindex Toys – part of National Sewing Machine Belvidere, Illinois
1886 – 1955 (toys approx 1931-1940)
Founder: Harold D. Neff
Specialty:National Sewing Machine Company was a Belvidere, Illinois-based manufacturer formed before 1886. The company manufactured sewing machines, washing machines, bicycles, an automobile, home workshop machinery, and cast-iron toys and novelties (under the Vindex Toy Company label).
Warren Lines New York City, New York
1936 – 1940
Founder: John Warren, Jr.
Specialty: Upscale quality 60mm solid cast and hollowcast soldiers, including U.S. infantry, cavalry, and horse artillery lead figures. Some of the more limited production models included the Scout Car and Staff Car. Horses were Margaret Cloninger, one of Tommy Toy`s specialists. More figures feature two movable arms and plug heads.
Watrous Mfg. Co. East Hampton, Connecticut
1880s – 1930s
Specialty: David Watson Watrous was one of the founders in 1851 of the East Hampton Bell Company. He left in 1860 and founded the company Clark and Watrous, and then in 1865 created D. W. Watrous & Co., which later became Watrous Manufacturing Co.. The company created sleigh bells, and bell toys. By the early 1900s Watrous Manufacturing Co. had developed a distinct style. Their toys often utilized nickel-plated or coppered steel frames and nickel-plated steel wheels. Flattened cast iron figures often move to strike a bell or chime. The mechanisms were frequently exposed. Parts were often lacquered over the nickel-plating, which gave the paint an iridescent quality. The Watrous Manufacturing Co. became associated with two neighboring companies. For a while Watrous Manufacturing Co. and N. N. Hill Brass Co. combined their catalogs into one while they were both branches of the short lived, 1903 -1907, toy manufacturers consortium, National Novelty Corporation. The Watrous family was also associated with Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. In 1912 Clifford M. Watrous became general manager at Gong Bell Manufacturing Co.. In 1921 he patented the popular Playphone 600. D. W. Watrous died in 1918. His son John Lazarus Watrous ran the company till his death in 1923. The family owned company stock was sold to the Gong Bell Manufacturing Co. in 1923. Watrous Manufacturing Co. toys are often incorrectly attributed to N. N. Hill Brass Co. or Gong Bell Manufacturing Co.. In addition to the bell toys, chime toys or gong toys, the company also produced an erector set called Modelit around 1916, and a mechanical tin and wood airplanes toy called Flying Areoplanes. Provided by Robert K. Watrous
Waverly Toy Works. Waverly, CT
1900-1905, Possibly Later (we need catalogs if you have one to share)
This is actually the rebranding of Crandall’s Toys which was of Covington & Montrose, PA and Waverly, New York. Charles Crandall died in Waverly, NY on June 30, 1905.
Weeden Mfg. Co. New Bedford, Massachusetts
1883 – 1852
Founder: William N. Weeden
Specialty: Produced working toy steam engine in 1884; also steamboats, fire engines, and automobiles in miniature with steam as motor power. Manufactured several ultimate rarities among clockwork tin mechanical banks, including “Ding Dong Bell” and “Japanese Ball Tosser”.
Welker & Crosby Brooklyn, New York
1883 – 1888
Founder: M. Crosby
Specialty: Meticulously detailed cast-iron, animal-drawn toys, featuring distinctive swivel wheel.
Wells Brimtoy Hollyhead, Wales, and Wells, London, England
1920 to date. 1922-Acquired Brimtoy Co.
Specialty: Tinplate automotive toys; Wells Brimtoy also ventured into Die-cast motor toys. Most popular are the post-WWII tinplate buses.
Whiteley, Tansley & Co. Ltd. (Whitanco) Liverpool, England
Specialty: They manufactured tin plate toys such as trains, cars, buses, spinning tops, horse & carts, cannons, and tanks. The company was formed in 1912 on Hope Street in Liverpool, but moved to Beech Street by 1919 where they produced 1.5 million toys & trains and employed over 300 people.
Wilkins Toy Co. Keene, New Hampshire
1890 – 1919 (see also Kingsbury)
Founder: James S. Wilkins
Specialty: One of the earliest manufacturers to produce toy automobiles, circa 1895. Another Keene, New Hampshire, firm, headed by Henry T. Kingsbury, bought out Wilkins that same year, but the toy line carried the Wilkins name and trademark until 1919.
A.C. Williams Co. Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Ravenna, Ohio
1844 to date
Founder: John W. Williams
Specialty: The A.C. Williams Company was started in 1844 in Chagrin Falls, Ohio by John Wesley Williams. A.C. Williams, Jr. bought his father’s business, the A.C. Williams Co., in 1886. At the time, it was a leading manufacturer of hardware items in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. When fires in 1889 and 1892 destroyed the Chagrin Falls operation, Williams Jr. decided to move the company to Ravenna, Ohio. In 1905, the business was incorporated as The A.C. Williams Company and A.C. Williams’ son-in-law, J.H. Bigalow joined the company. Williams produced cast-iron, horse-drawn rigs, autos, airplane, and tractor toys from 1893 to 1923; the line included mostly miniatures distributed through Woolworth, Kresge`s, and other five-and-dime stores.
Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1903 – 1950
Founders: Benjamin F. Bain and his wife.
Specialty: The Wolverine Supply & Manufacturing Company was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1903, and incorporated in 1906. Wolverine`s early toys were set in motion by the weight of sand or marbles. These popular toys were usually designed to unload sand or marbles from an elevated hopper. The toys, once set in operation, continue to operate unattended until the supply of marbles or sand was exhausted, thereby providing endless hours of fun for youngsters. These type of toys were called “Sandy Andy”. In 1918, Wolverine`s line expanded to include girls` toys. Introduced at the New York Toy Fair in March of that year, were such toys as tea sets, sand pails, wash tubs, glass washboards, ironing boards and miniature grocery stores. In 1928, Wolverine introduced their “Sunny Andy” and Sunny Suzy” toys. Company advertising explained that the new names for the toys would cover all toys not operated by sand. By 1929, airplanes, boats, buses, and other toys had joined the Wolverine family of toys. Wolverine continued to expand their toy line throughout the 9130s, right up to the beginning of WWII, almost as if they were immune from the effects of the Depression. Even the sand toys, relatively unchanged from the early 1900`s, were still being sold into the 1950`s.
Wyandotte Toys (All Metal Products Co.) Wyandotte, Michigan
1920 – 1956 (Toy production began in 1921).
Founder: George Stallings and William F. Schmidt
Specialty: Toy guns, rifles, targets, pressed-steel airplanes, and other motor toys with baked-enamel finish and battery-operated headlights. Biggest year was 1935 with 5 1/2 million dollars in toy guns. Acquired Haffner Trains (1950-1955) (see Haffner).