Vindex Company

Vindex Banks

The Vindex Company is perhaps most well known for its role as a sewing machine manufacturer in Belvidere, Illinois. Although little is known about the reasons behind their venture, Vindex briefly moved into bank manufacturing during the early 20th century. The company produced a number of mechanical banks and at least two still banks during this era.


J. & E. Stevens Co.

J. & E. Stevens Banks & Toys

John and Elisha Stevens founded the J. & E. Stevens Co. in 1843. Based in Cromwell, Connecticut, the company manufactured hardware equipment, but switched to toys and banks in the 1870′s when an inventor named John Hall introduced the Stevens to his patented design for a bank with moving parts. Hall named the bank the Excelsior and it soon revolutionized the cast iron toy industry, acting as [...] Click here to continue reading.


Gutta Percha – definition

Gutta Percha

Gutta percha is defined as a tough plastic substance made from the latex of several Malaysian trees (generally Payena and Palaquium) of the sapodilla family that resembles rubber but contains more resin, and is used especially as insulation and in dentistry.


Britains Toys – Military, Toy Soldiers & Other

Britains Ltd. – Toy Maker

Begun by William Britain, Sr. circa 1845 as a manufacturer of mechanical tin toys in London, Britains Ltd., under the leadership of his son, William Britain, Jr., began making “hollow-cast” toy soldiers in 1893.

German toy makers dominated the late 19th century market, but Britains’ newly patented technique of hollow-casting soon revolutionized the toy soldier specialty. Retailers were able to sell Britain’s soldiers for far less than German [...] Click here to continue reading.


Jouets en Paris, JEP, Paris Toys

Jouets en Paris, JEP, Paris Toys

Jouets en Paris, JEP (Paris, France, circa 1899 to 1965) maker of fine clockwork toy automobiles, motorcycles and aircraft. JEP began operations in 1899 as the Societe Industriel de Ferblanteriel and changed its name to J de P in 1928 and again in 1932 to JEP.


A.C. Williams Company Banks & Toys

A.C. Williams Banks & Toys

When A.C. Williams, Jr. bought his father’s business, the A.C. Williams Co., in 1886, it was a leading manufacturer of hardware items in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. After fires in 1889 and 1892 destroyed the Chagrin Falls operation, Williams decided to move the company to Ravenna, Ohio. It was soon after this move that a Detroit buyer suggested that the miniature product models carried by the company salesmen would make [...] Click here to continue reading.


Steiff Cloth Dolls

Steiff Cloth Dolls

Although best known for their mohair Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals, the Steiff toy organization traces its founding to the 1870′s when Margarete Steiff hand-made dolls for neighbor youngsters. The popularity of these led to other stuffed animals made from discarded factory scraps, which proved so well received the enterprise incorporated itself under the names of Margarete and her brother Fritz Steiff. By 1903, the company had a booming European [...] Click here to continue reading.


Mignot Miniatures

C.B.G Mignot Miniatures

A manufacturer of miniature soldiers and other figures, the firm was founded in Paris, France in 1800 by Henri Mignot, a maker of toys and “flat” miniature soldiers, and is still in business today.

In 1825 Mignot joined with Messrs. Cuperly, Blondel, and Gerbeau (skilled craftsmen of the Luccotte firm of miniature makers) to form C.B.G. Mignot, with himself as the chief stockholder. The new firm produced their own miniatures as [...] Click here to continue reading.


Lucottes Miniatures

Lucotte Miniatures

Miniature toy soldiers were manufactured by Lucotte Miniatures in Paris, France from 1780 to 1825, when they were acquired by Mignot. One of the earliest such manufacturers, their work can be recognized by the trademark “L.C.”.

A metal worker by trade, and perhaps not wanting to copy the German flat soldiers of the time, M. Lucotte produced the first “ronde bosse” or fully-rounded figures which became known as Lucotte’s Petit Hommes, his [...] Click here to continue reading.


Schoenhut Toy Company

Schoenhut Toy Company

Albert Schoenhut immigrated to the United States near the end of the American Civil War and began operations as a toy manufacturer in Philadelphia in 1872. Frequently linked to early composition Rolly Dollys and wooden toy pianos, the name Schoenhut is most synonymous with the wooden articulated Humpty Dumpty Circus figures made from 1903 to 1935.

Schoenhut’s first circus set was a simple ladder, chair and clown combination. Many different [...] Click here to continue reading.


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