The intent of this site is to research and share the true story of Keystone Manufacturing. There are many bits and pieces of Keystone history out there, some correct and others not, that tell a very similar story. I will be gathering and reviewing everything out there to remove the inaccuracies and create a cohesive story of Keystone’s history. The history will be built on confirmed facts, documents and catalogs. If a bit of information cannot be verified with written proof it will not be added. As the history of Keystone is fleshed out there will be inaccuracies that will change as more information comes to light. This will usually pertain to time frames of production, company personal times of service and company movements to new locations. Included in this history will be information on the Marks Brothers Company, Jacrim Manufacturing, Keystone Manufacturing, Keystone Wood Toys, Keystone Camera Company and Dover Film Company as all of these companies were connected at some point. Be understanding to the process of finding the true history of a company, or anything for that matter. If you can add to the Keystone Company history with verified information I would love to hear from you.
1919 – Keystone Manufacturing Company is founded. Keystone Manufacturing was incorporated to build machines etc., with $20,000 capital by Edward M. Swartz, J.M. Welsman, Isidore Marks and Benjamin Marks.
1920 – Keystone Manufacturing Company moves from 101 Albany street to 53 Wareham street in March.
1920 – Marks Brothers Company moves from 40 Winchester street to 615 Albany street in March.
1922 – Jacrim Manufacturing Company is founded in late summer or fall . Jacrim Manufacturing was incorporated to make metal products with $10,000 capital by Charles H. Jackson, Arthur L. Jackson and Chester A. Rimmer.
1925 – Keystone Manufacturing Company moves from 53 Wareham street to 288 A. street.
1925 – Marks Brothers Company moves from 615 Albany street to 288 A. street.
1925 – Jacrim Manufacturing Company moves from 3 Cross street Malden, Mass. to 615 Albany street Boston.
1928 – Jacrim Manufacturing Company moves from 615 Albany Street Boston to 288 A Street Boston. The 288 A Street address is now shared by Marks Brothers Company, Jacrim Manufacturing Company and Keystone Manufacturing Company. All three companies are producing toys.
1929 – Jacrim Manufacturing Company begins producing the “Tom Thumb Toy” and “Flying Yankee Motor Boat” toy lines.
1930’s – Continuing through the 1930’s the address of 288 A Street Boston was shared by the Marks Brothers Company, Jacrim Manufacturing Company and Keystone Manufacturing Company. There was a great deal of interconnectedness within the three companies at the management level but I have been curious as to how separated the three were outside of that. A little clue to this question came with my recently acquiring several Marks Brothers invoices. One invoice, from August 1933, lists the salesman’s name as Kesselman. The name L.W. Kesselman appears as the salesman on a Jacrim invoice from January 1931. I also have a Marks Brothers invoice from March 1938 that has K as the salesman and several Keystone invoices through 1938 that have a K, KE or KES in the upper corner. Could this be the same Kesselman? It would appear that there was a combined sales force that represented all three companies. Charles Kesselman became the vice president of Keystone Wood Toys in 1954.
1931 – Keystone Manufacturing Company introduces the “Ride ‘Em” toy line of steel toys.
1932 – Keystone Manufacturing Company applies for a patent for the use of the phrase RIDE ‘EM on February 1st.
1934 – Jacrim Manufacturing Company was legally dissolved by an act that was approved on 04 May 1934 and was effective 31 March of that year. Jacrim wooden boats appear as one of the products on a piece of Keystone letterhead dated March 26th 1934. A 1941 Keystone Boat catalog states “Keystone’s Jacrim Boats” in the introduction and each page has “Jacrim Wood Division” at the bottom. All of the boats are physically labeled as Keystone at this point. How long the Jacrim name continued to be used by Keystone is still an unknown.
1942 – Keystone Manufacturing Company and Marks Brothers Company move to 151 Hallet street Boston.
1944 – Keystone Manufacturing Company purchases equipment from Kingsbury Toys.
1946 – Keystone Wood Toys First mention of Keystone Wood Toys as a separate, taxable entity different from Keystone Manufacturing Company.
1953 – Keystone Wood Toys (143 Hallet Street) and Keystone Manufacturing Company (151 Hallet Street) now at separate locations. Keystone Wood Toys sells all of the wooden and masonite toys while Keystone Manufacturing Company continues to sell the steel toys and camera equipment.
1954 – Keystone Manufacturing Company splits again with the formation of the Keystone Camera Company.
1958 – Keystone Wood Toys auctions off all of its manufacturing and office equipment on January 21st of this year.
1960 – Final year of production for Keystone Manufacturing Company.
1965 – Keystone Camera Company is acquired by Berkey Photo.
1967 – Berkey Photo moves Keystone Camera Manufacturing from Boston to Clifton, New Jersey and it becomes a division of Berkey Photo.