Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kilgore Cast Iron Toys

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kilgore Cast Iron Toys


    The Kilgore Manufacturing Company originated in Westerville, Ohio. THe company purchased another company called the George D. Wanner Co. in 1925, then merged  with 2 other companies - Andes Foundry and the Federal Toy Company in 1925. In 1928, the company started to produce cast iron toys ranging from the toys that you'll see below, to also including the popular cap guns,cannons, banks, and fire trucks. Butler Brothers, who was one of the giant catalogue companies at the time (I wrote about them in 1 post) was their largest distributor in the USA.  The company eventually moved to Toone, Tennessee, and remained n business until 1985. What was interesting while I was researching the company, was the fact that some of the toys were made in Canada. SOme of the toys were made in Beaverton, Ontario at the Beavertown Foundry, about 45 miles (75km) NE of Toronto, while other toys were made in Waterloo, Quebec.

   Whenever I look at Kilgore toys, I'm reminded of a famous US College marching band called the Kilgore Rangers. The College was established in 1935 at the height of the oil boom in Texas.

   With regard to the Kilgore cast iron toys, the company produced many of the toys similar to the other cast iron companies of the time. However, as you'll see below, some of the toys are different from the "same-same", such as there tricycle, and the Chris Craft boat. What I've also noticed is that there never seems to be as many toys to be found compared with other brands such as Arcade or Hubley.

The Morphy Auction website described this particular cast iron toy car as being one of the finest
examples of this specific Kilgore toy ever found!

What's interesting to note about the baby carriages is that Kilgore made 3 different types of these.

This is a beautiful example of a cast iron bank. Most of the banks at the time were usually mechanically-oriented. That is to say, one of the characters (person or animal, or several) would do some kind of action when the spring-activated trigger was cocked.

For those who don;lt know, Chris Craft created some of the finest luxury boats and speedboats at the time (1920's-1930's) in the USA. The "real" boats were superbly designed with fine materials and large horsepower inboard engines. The original boats are in high demand today, and many people restore them to their original glory, at huge expense. The company is still in existence today, but builds finely-crafted boats made from modern materials.

What's interesting about the 1920's coupe above is the fact that it has 2 people - the driver and a passenger inside. Normally, I've only ever seen 1 passenger in a cast iron toy from the 1920.s What's also interesting is the added expense (e.g. nickel-plating) for the second person in the car.

This is the first time that I've ever seem a twin-seater cast iron airplane.

Notice here how Kilgore decided to spend the "extra" cost to make the seat with nickel-plating, rather than painting it black.

So that's it for today.

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


Tom Pugh said...

Kilgore was a class act and made some of, if not the best toy cap pistols ever made. I wish I'd kept my Grizzly!

toysearcher said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the comment.



Preston Cook said...

Hello. I am in possession of a No. 239 "Fast-Draw" Eagle Single Holster Set with box. The belt and holster are plastic. I am trying to determine the age of this item. If anyone knows, please let me know. Thanks. Preston

toysearcher said...


Just do a search on the Net.
Here's a result on E-Bay:

Stacey Bindman
Blogger author

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