Monday, January 7, 2013

The Arnold Toy Company

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Arnold Toy Company

    As I was looking for my next topic, I came across the German toy manufacturer - Arnold. Needless to say, when I put in a search for Arnold Toys, I ended up with 40% hits of  Arnold Schwarzenegger! Anyway, I figured out to to find the "real" toy company, and that's today's post.

   I'm probably going to post 3 times on this company because they have an interesting history, as well as having being able to survive this tough business for a long time!

   The Arnold toy company - K. Arnold & Co. started in 1906 in Nurnberg, Germany by Mr. Karl Arnold. The company started to produce tin plated steel toys that were lithographed with the usual brilliant colours of similar other makers. The company evolved and succeeded even more when a Mr. Max Ernst was hired as the managing director. (taken from Wipededia).

   For today's instalment, I'm just going to present that much history, and a bit more. During their early years, the company also produced steam engines. I only just discovered yesterday, that  toy steam engines were not made as stand-alines, or toys to be played or watched just by themselves! These toys had all kinds of accessories called - steam engine accessories. For myself, this was a "Eureka Moment". How could I have been writing about toys and steam engines, and not figured out that the steam engine toy would have accompaniments to accessorize the toy and make it all the more interesting? I wonl' write any more than that, and perhaps some of you will "do some research" to see what I mean. I will continue in the near future with part ! of the Arnold company and steam engine accessory toys.

   What I find most interesting about toys with keys (the wind-ups today) is that the original  keys still come with the toys. I don't know about you, my readers, but I can;pt tell you how many keys Ive lost for locks, or keys that I've saved that I have no idea to what they're supposed to lock or unlock! So without further adieu, here are the early K. Arnold & Co. windup mechanical toys.

 A beautiful 1920's tin canoe operated by a clockwork (wind-up mechanism)
Length: 8" (203mm)

# 2030 - This # was obtained from the Liveauctioneers site .I'm assuming that this number and all of the others below were from the original catalogue of the company, way back then!

What I like about the toy is that key! Now that's a key that won;t get lock so easily!
Here's another clockwork (wind-up) toy, circa 1920's
It's also 8" long (203 mm)

I find it hilarious to have a Native American "rowing" a canoe rather than paddling. However,
for "poetic license", the toy would not have worked with with just 1 paddle instead of the 2 oars.

# 1612

A long submarine at 12" (305mm), and again a clockwork (wind-up) mechanism.
3 2004

 A beautiful 1920's tin rowboat operated by a clockwork (wind-up mechanism)
Length: 8" (203mm)

I like the small attention to detail that is painted or lithograhed on the rower - the muscles, the shoulder emblem, the cap, and the name of the boat - Conneaut Lake.

 A 1920's boat operated by a  wind-up crank mechanism at the stern (back) of the toy.
Length: 7" (178 mm)

You have to imagine that these toys were all handmade, and that each one had to be soldered carefully, and pressed on a large heavy machine. Later, they would be tested for their "seaworthiness" and lack of leaks.

# 1000/0

 A beautiful 1920's tin powerboat operated by a clockwork (wind-up mechanism)
Length: 8" (203mm). This particular toy is one of my favourites. It "screams" colour at you. Also, the ornate, but functional and exposed wind-up mechanism is outstanding for its design and detail.

# 1625

 A very nice 1930's tin ocean liner.
Length: 12" (305mm)

The description didn't mention the method of propulsion, but I'd assume it was some 
sort of wind-up. I also like the twin-propellers.

 A beautiful 1920's tin canoe operated by a clockwork (wind-up mechanism)
Length: 8" (203mm)

# 1644

What impresses me about old toys like this is that the box still exists. I've seen photos of these old boxes, and way back when, boxes were made well. Except for certain products (Apple Computers), Most items that I do buy that are boxed inevitably tear either when I open the box, or after a few taking out / and putting back repetitions.

   I will be continuing with the K. Arnold & Co. in the next few days.  THeir steam engine toys are certainly interesting, especially because of their emphasis on machines and workers operating those machines. You'll better understand what I mean, when I write up and illustrate the company later in the week.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope that you're all feeling well. I've read this week and last, that this winter, the flu season has been much harder on people than in the last few years.

I was sick last week, as was my wife, and several friends and people that we know. Newspapers in North America have also noted that this season has been tough, and it's only the first week of January.

As always, have a nice morning, afternoon, or evening
wherever you may be.



sarah reade said...

Any suggestions for finding and buying these toys except Ebay???

toysearcher said...

Hi Sarah,

Check out my posts on Mike Matuska & his auctions. He lives in Scandinavia (*Sweden), and he has mostly European toys for sale.

Thanks for the question,

(Mr.) Stacey Bindman