Thursday, November 8, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
(Please press on the above link to visit the Bertoia website)
Yesterday, was very fortunate to have been given permission to use the fine photographs of Bertoia Auctions. For those who didn't read yesterday's post, Bertoia Auctions is one of the finest
auction houses for exceptional toy collections and other collectables.
When I started buying and selling old toys, I thought that I would be able to compile a database of toys for everyone to look at. I especially like the American toys from the 1900-s-1950's. The problem was that I could only afford to buy toys on E-Bay, and my ceiling was about $ 250.00. I'd buy the toys, photograph them , then re-list them on E-Bay to sell, and then buy more toys. For now, I'm taking a break form that, and have been asking many people if I might use their photos to write about toys on my blog.
I had sent a few e-mails to Bertoia, and never heard from them, so I finally decided to phone them. Christmas came early this year, and my wish to have a resource to write about old toys had come!
So thanks to Bertoia Auctions (Jeanne Bertoia, Rich Bertoia, Michael Bertoia, and all of the staff who work there) I now am able to fulfill my objective. That is to say, to write about the many toy companies that produced the many outstanding toys of the first half of the last century!
(Paraphrased and rewritten with material from Wikepedia)
I was surprised to find out that there was never a "Vintex Toy Company". The company that made the Vindex brand of toys really made mostly other products. That company was the National Sewing Machine Company. It was established in 1879 in Belvidere, Illinois, USA. The toys were incentives for people to buy their products. These products included washing machines,sewing machines, bicycles, and home workshop machinery. They even made a car (I'll have to try and track that lead down!).
Towards the last decade of the 1800's, National merged with the Eldridge Sewing Machine Company, and later with the June Manufacturing Company. Some of the bigger customers of the National Sewing Machine Company were Montgomery Ward, Macy's (New York) and Wannamaker's (Philadelphia). Vindex was also the name of a washing machine line of National., and I would assume that Mr. Harold D. Neff who ran the toy division also was in charge of the washing machine line. National and a magazine titled Farm Mechanics partnered to increase their subscriptions by having children try to sell the magazine. In return successful sellers would receive Vindex toys.
In 1953, National and another sewing machine company called the Free Sewing Machine Machine Company merged together. However, by 1957, with the influx of less-expensive machines form Japan, the company had to close down.
After my world of toys expanded from just those on E-Bay, I realized that there certainly is a universe out there of toys. Vindex toys are no different. I rarely have seen Vindex toys on E-Bay, and I thought they were rare. I still think they are "rarer" than the Arcade or Hubley brand of toys in terms of not seeing as many on the Net. However, like anything on the Net, you have to do different searches with different search engines in order to find what you're looking for.
For today's presentation, I'm just going to present you with the photos. Most of the Vindex toys are from Bertoia Auction's April 29th, 2005 auction, and those toys can be found at Live Auctioneers.
If I had to write a brief about the recap about the Vindex toys, I'd say that the National Sewing Machine Company certainly produced fine toys. Some of the toys had nickel-plating, and were cast iron. There was a diverse line of toys for both boys and girls.