I found an interesting theses paper online yesterday. It was titled “Characteristics and Problems of the Toy Manufacturer” and written by Norman Sas in 1947. When I want to shell out $45 to MIT I think I would like to have a copy. I skimmed the content and it was an interesting look into the state of toy manufacturing at the close of the war and shortly thereafter. What is of particular interest to me was Mr. Sas’ information about Keystone Manufacturing and who he interviewed. The paper was dated May 1947 so it would be safe to assume that the interviews were done within the year prior, if he wanted current information. The interviewed was a Mr. Swartz who was a founder of Keystone Manufacturing. Mr. Swartz’s position is not listed but in 1947 (he was the treasurer) this would give him 28 years of involvement with the company. I. Marks is listed as the president of Keystone. This would be Isadore Marks who was one of the founding brothers of Marks Brothers Company. Isadore was president of Marks Brothers, Jacrim (from 1926 to 1933) and Keystone (from 1936 to 1951).
The other interesting thing is a line in the paper that states “Hasn’t made toys for the last year as they can’t get enough material”. So for some portion of 1946 and 1947 Keystone was not producing toys. Was this just metal toys or all toys? Mr. Sas has Keystone listed under metal toy manufactures. What effect did this have on specific toys? Did some toys not survive this stoppage and did some begin production for the first time directly after? Like most companies Keystone did convert their production to the war effort, specifically their metal fabrication equipment. When did toy production fully resume? Did it start and then stop again due to shortages? So many new questions. Now I really want to find more ephemera from 1946 and 1947!