Saturday, July 27, 2013
Kingsbury Toy Cars-The Earlier Years - Part I
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Kingsbury Toy Cars
The Earlier Years-Part I
In researching old and antique toys, one very interesting fact keeps arising. It's the fact that a long time ago, an American company, and for that matter probably any European company, could start up in small towns across a nation. As of the 2010 census, there were 23, 409 people living there, and as I mentioned, several toy companies were able to establish themselves in the early 1900's in Keene!
I've had the pleasure of having purchased a Kingsbury toy car, and I mostly restored it. If you do a search on my blog, you'll find the post. It's a much later Kingsbury car, if my memory serves me correctly, from the 1930's. I was impressed. I like pressed steel toys for the way they are assembled, and pressed. However the Kingsbury toys are just beautiful to look at in photos, especially when I place them against a white background.
Today, I'm writing about the Kingsbury toy cars in the years from about 1918. At the time, the company had already been making wagons, trucks,and a few other items. However, I'm going to be writing about their fine cars for the next couple of posts. There were a few of the 1918-1920 models and later on, more car models developed. I'm just presenting 9 different car models that I've found. The "big" toy show will be in the next post, and you will definitely will be impressed!
The early cars or automobiles as they were then called are boxy. That's because the "real" cars then were boxy. The early Kingsbury cars are made from pressed steel of a moderate thickness. The cars come with white rubber tires and have a well-designed and durable clockwork mechanism on the underside (undercarriage). Also, the early models (1918-1920) come with hand painted cast iron drivers.
By the mid 1920's and later, the real auto is becoming "curvier" and more sophisticated in design.
The Kingsbury company had expanded their product line, and had 5 basic models with a myriad (lots) of different colour combinations (wait till you see my post tomorrow!).
The Kingsbury models included:
1. The convertible "Fire Chief" coupe
2. A regular coupe
3. A regular coupe with a driver
4. A sedan or "Landau" with electric (battery) lights
5. A larger sedan
The later models below still are made from pressed steel, and are painted. However the colour schemes are many and are usually two-toned. As well, there may be an accent colour, usually fold on the sides. Sometimes, there is a wide band of colour on the sides of the cars.
The very durable wind-up motor mechanism is still incorporated into the undercarriage of the car, along with white rubber tires. The hubs or wheels are sometimes metallic discs. AS well, a new feature has been incorporated into many models, and that is the battery-operated (electric) front headlights, and rear night light (not a break light). An on/off switch on the underside turns the running lights on or off.
Also, have a look at the textured front grill that changed form the earlier smooth front grills of the earlier times.
I've only presented one model (the last one below) with battery-operated lights. The rest were still carryovers from the earlier years design.
You can see how beautiful these cars are, and I especially like their sizes. They're quite large,and are hands-on toys! Also the many different colour schemes make for nice collectibles. As far as toys go, there are still plenty of these Kingsbury toys around, and that certainly says a lot about the fine company and people that once made these fine cars.
Thanks for dropping by,
and as always, have a great weekend, or part of the day or night if you happen to visit at some other time,