This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
The J.Chein Toy Company
2016-10-14 Overcast 15 Celsius / 59 Fahrenheit
The J.Chein Toy Company
J. Chein & Company was an American toy manufacturer in business from 1903 through the 1980s. It is best remembered today for its mechanical toys toys made from stamped and lithographed tin produced from the 1930s through the 1950s.
Founded by Julius Chein in a loft in New York City, Chein's earliest toy production was a line of premiums for the Cracker Jacks snack line. The American Can Company provided the lithographic printing for Chein's early output until 1907 when Chein opened their own full production plant in Harrison, New Jersey. With their new facilities, they were able to produce piggy banks noisemakers and model horse-drawn carriages. They also manufactured a number of toys under license from such companies asKing Features Syndicate and Walt Disney Productions, producing Popeye, Felix the Cat and various Disney character toys.
In the 1920s and early-1930s, Chein produced a popular line of toy trucks under the "Hercules" name, rather than their own name. They heavily exploited the toy vehicle market with a wide range of toy boats and wheeled vehicles. They also produced many noisemakers such as tambourines andrattles a mainstay; their coin banks were also consistently popular.
In 1926, Julius Chein was killed in a horse-riding accident in Central Park. Control of the company passed to Chein's widow who then turned the management of it over to her brother, Samuel Hoffman, who was already the founder and CEO of the rival Mohawk Toy Company. Under Hoffman's direction, J. Chein & Company expanded and prospered, producing many increasingly complicated mechanical toys. They had particular success with circus and amusement park-themed toys such as roller coasters, Ferris wheels and carousels. These toys command high interest from collectors today and are considered prime examples from the "golden age of toys".
During World War II, J. Chein & Company suspended toy production, instead producing nosecones and tail units for bombs and casings for incendiary devices. After the War, Chein returned to toy production with considerable success. However, as the 1940s drew to a close, they encountered increasing competition from Japanese manufacturers who produced mechanical tin toys for lower prices.*
Many of these toys are still in existence, and can still be found in very good condition. You have to remember that the J.Chein Company produced a vast amount of toys for the Woolworth COmpany. In the 1920's-1940's the Woolworth Company was in its' heyday. There were many, many stores, and the J.Chein Company filled all of those stores with their toys.