Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Arcade Toy Company

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Arcade Toy Company
(Part I)

     The Arcade Toy Company, like many of the other toy companies of the late 1880's-early 1900's, started out manufacturing other products than toys. Initially, they made spring hinges,coffee mills (grinders), and other household items. The company was created in 1868 by 2 brothers - Edward H. & Charles Morgan,but was called the Novelty Iron Works. The company was located in Freeport, Illinois (USA). The company closed,and was restructured as the Arcade Manufacturing Company. Edward H. Morgan remained with his new partner Albert Baumgarten. The company moved to a new location in 1891, had their factory burn down, and then rebuilt in 1893. Their products were still household items, and their coffee mill was a big seller.

     1908 saw the Arcade Manufacturing Company start to produce cast iron toy banks.Some of them were mechanical, and like other companies these toy banks were very popular at the time. In 1921, Arcade started to produce their first car - a Yellow Cab Taxi, under license and authorization form the cab company. That item became a huge success, even though toys accounted for a mere 5% of the company's production.  The huge taxi toy success let the company to drove itself to producing more toys, such ascast iron cars and trucks.

(please click on the link above to be redirected)

(*Introduction paraphrased and rewritten from the Stephenson County Historical Society
located in Freeport, Illinois where the Arcade Company was located)

     Most of the toys in the early year sof the Arcade Company were taxis, road signs, and trucks.
As the company became more known and successful, other  cast iron toys appeared on the market.c I've already presented some of those outstanding toys, especially the machines, but in a future post, I'll present  different ones.

     The earlier toys had steel wheels. Later, the steel would be replaced with rubber. I have a great resource book by the name of O'Brien's. When I have time, I'll try and match up the toys with the year of production. In this way, I will be able to authenticate what I said. Some of the toys are not as old as the steel wheel production years, so I could have erred.

Thanks for visiting, 
and have a great part of the day, 
wherever you may be.



Kevinwernick1956@gmail.com said...

Looking for history on the "Freeport Toy Company". I have a Greyhound bus with that name on the bottom.

toysearcher said...

Hi Kevin,

I can't find any information on the company.
Freeport, Illinois was famous for several toy companies, with Structo and Arcade toys
coming to mind.

I'll continue the search, and if I ever find information, I'll try to remember to add my comment here.


Stacey Bindman

Ben Thompson said...

hey I just got a bunch of Arcade Toys that are farm implements for $5
Are they hard to find?
did Arcade make them?

toysearcher said...

Hello Ben,

The Arcade farm implements are rarer than the trucks and cars. However
they can occasionally be found at auctions or on ebay. You
won't lose any money trying to sell them

Thanks for writing,