Williams, A.C. Co.

An A. C. Williams cast iron toy race car with driver

p4A ItemID F7964954
An A.C. Williams cast iron Graf Zeppelin penny or coin still bank in yellow paint

p4A ItemID F7941298
An A. C. Williams Gasoline tank truck

p4A ItemID F7941136
An A. C. Williams Graf Zeppelin cast iron pull toy

p4A ItemID F7932631

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 nice toys. This suggestion led to the beginning of the A.C. Williams Company’s venture into toy and bank manufacturing.

The expansion into toy production soon increased, making the company the largest toy and still bank manufacturer in the world, bringing them well-known chain store customers like Woolworth’s. The company’s production of still banks grew rapidly, including large numbers of character, animal, transportation, and building bank types. Production boomed until the beginning of World War II, when iron was needed for military consumption. After the war, the company continued to manufacture toys until 1977, although bank production was never resumed.


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