Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Exceptional Old Kenton Catalogues-Part I

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Overcast,rain, and seasonally colder

Exceptional Old Kenton Catalogues
Part I

  I'd been aware of the Kenton Toy Collectors who can be found on the Hardin County Historical Museum website. For those who are unaware, Kenton Toy was one of the largest and most popular cast iron toy companies in the USA at the end of the 19th and well into the 20th century. I'd been visiting the site often, and was interested in the toy catalogues. However, I procrastinated and procrastinated, and never got around to contacting the group and the Kenton Toy Collectors.

  Last week, I finally did, and heard from Mr. Tim Striker, the president of the Kenton Toy Collectors, as well as being one of the people to contact about how to purchase the Kenton toy catalogues. I purchased several catalogues after corresponding with Tim, as well as how to pay. I paid with PayPal (the monetary payment company of ebay. I was expecting the CD's to arrive next week, but  I received them today in a very fast time.  

 As an aside (off topic), I do have to say that I am a great supporter of both the USPS (United States Postal Service) and Canada Post. I have never had an issue with items getting lost or stolen, and the one "incident" that I did have was due to terrible packaging by an ebay seller. Sadly, because of the times (e-mail, texting fax machines,FedEx, Purolator, etc., etc), people are using the mail less. Consequently,  at least here in Canada, the government has decided to reduce home delivery of mail by postal carriers and we will be getting mail boxes with keys. Businesses will still get personal "real people" delivery.

  Immediately, I loaded the CD on to my computer, and made a copy of it. It's always a good idea to make several copies of any CD, and store the original CD in a safe place. I was elated at the content of the CD with the catalos, as well as the quality of the scans.  I don't know how the person scanned the catalogues, but the quality was exceptional. Clean, straight, and well -exposed. The copied scans appear to be from original catalogues that the Kenton Toy Collectors had access to.

 I decided to scan a fine 1902 Kenton Toy catalogue,and I'll present it in 2 parts. I hope to present many of the catalogues over time and over the years that the company existed.  For those who might not know,the Kenton Toy company manufactured cast iron toys. At the times that I mentioned that the company was in existence, cast iron toys in America were very popular. considering that European toy manufacturers were making toys from tin with coloured lithography on the tinplate.

The red jacket below is the cover for the 1902 Kenton Hardware Manufacturing Company. LIke most of the other hardware companies of the time, Kenton got into the toy business. For those who might not know, home hardware products consisted of mostly anything metallic needed around the house. Door hinges, food fasteners,door handles, door knobs,and so on.

I'd be curious to know who the young boy was and who he was related to.

Old toy catalogues are a great resource to write about, as well as to refer to for identifying toys.
But what I like best are hand-drawn illustrations, as well as the vintage graphic design (page layout).

I only took a few page samples for some of the more numerous toys that Kenton produced. 
Toy stoves were very popular a long time ago,and I have a feeling that these toys could actually work and cook things. I'm sure parents,especially mothers would oversee what their children were doing with these stoves. The detailing was exceptional, both the "real stoves" and their downsized toy versions. If you do a search on the Net, you will be very amazed at the beauty of these toys.

Fire wagons were very popular at the time. Needless to ay, Kenton made many models and sizes.
Once again, I only chose 2 pages from the catalogue.

When I was a between 5-9 years old, the big thing among children my age was to spot new cars for the upcoming year. Ir wasn't like today,when a 2015 car comes out in June of 2014.  In the 1950's , next year's cars came out in September and October, and there hardly any foreign cars then - imagine!

What I was wondering is if children in the late 1890's and early 1900's would look and see if they could identify a dray,  a cabriolet, a hansom, a phaeton, a standhope, trap, and a surrey.

I still have trouble identifying what some of these horse-pulled "items" are,
and I forgot to add the cart  and wagon to the list.

At least I think I know how to identify them from the other vehicles.

Many of the toys were based on people who worked on farms or made deliveries in the cities for companies. As such, many of the figures portrayed with the vehicles were black or as described back then "Negroes".

If you ever have a chance to purchase an old catalogue or a reproduction of an old catalogue, by all means do do. And even if it's just a Sears catalogue from 1900, do so.

They make the most interesting coffee table items, and people never tire from looking at them. 
Just one thing though - you have to air them out so that they don't have that "old musty smell".

Thanks for dropping by,
and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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