Monday, April 1, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Yesterday, I wrote about several of Louis Marx's toys, one of which was called "The Parade". While searching out to see if he had made any another similar toys, I came across a similarly designed toy that was manufactured by Henry Katz. It took me a while to find out information about Mr. Katz, as he only made toys for a short time (1928-1931) and then dissolved his company to work for the Hoge toy company. Before joining the Hoge company, Katz had worked for the famous Ferdinand Strauss toy company (1917-1928).
Since Henry Katz only had his company for 3 years, a short time in the toy industry, he naturally didn't make many toys. However, his toys did last, and I was able to find 10 from Bertoia Auctions.
There are several interesting things about the Henry Katz toys. First, he was producing quality toys at an early time (1928-1931). Secondly, he used lithographed tin. At the time, many of the European toy companies were producing marvellous and beautifully-crafted toys with this method. Lithographed tin is simply the process of printing (like photos in magazines) on a metal (tin). I don;t know why more American companies weren't using this method, but the Europeans were "en masse"! His 3 mini "landscape" toys were also complex, and were similar in mechanical design. They all had moveable parts or characters that moved around, or in a line. I was surprised that for whatever reason, his toys do not yield high values at auction considering the rarity and the age of the toys. And finally, what's even more interesting is that several of today's toys still came with their original boxes!
Many of Henry Katz's toys were airplanes. That's not to figure out why, since the Wright Brothers had made their famous flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (USA) on December 17, 1903. What's more, these toys were huge compared with many other toys of the time.
Other toys were made such as the train and the kitchen set-up above. There again, we see an "ice box" - the item second from the left. For those who don't know, an ice box was a tightly-sealed container that was used to store perishable foods. An "ice man" would travel door-to-door, and deliver one or 2 blocks of ice to a household. The blocks were about a cubic foot or .3 cubic meter, as the block of ice had to fit into a small-sized compartment. Although the first household refrigerator was invented in 1913, by Mr. Fred R.Wolf, electricity was still not all that common, and the cost of a unit at the time was high, relative to the average worker's wages at the time. The iceman would come to your house about every 3-5 days with another blog of ice.
As for my next blog post, it will be perhaps tomorrow!
Have a Happy Easter Monday, Passover, or other holiday.
If you don't celebrate at this time, then have a great day, wherever you happen to be.
Thanks for dropping by to read my blog.