Keystone Manufacturing Company

Breadcrumb Navigation

Keystone Manufacturing Company

Boston, Massachusetts


Founders: Edward Swartz, J. M. Welsman, Isadore Marks and Benjamin Marks


Keystone Manufacturing Company was founded in 1919 to produce moving picture machines.  Interestingly, at the time Isadore and Benjamin Marks were the president and treasurer, respectively, of the Marks Brothers Company, which had been in the toy business since 1911.  In 1924, Keystone started their line of pressed steel toys, for which it is best known.  The line of toys was modeled after the Packard trucks of the day and featured the Packard logo on the grill.  In 1932, Keystone introduced a line of pressed steel “Ride ‘Em” vehicles of which the mail plane is the most recognized.

Keystone began producing wooden toys in the 1930s with the acquisition of Jacrim Manufacturing Company, another local Boston toy company.  Isadore and Benjamin Marks had a controlling interest in Jacrim since 1926, only four years after Jacrim was founded.  Keystone Manufacturing would continue producing film equipment, pressed steel and wooden toys until 1953 when the company was divided.  Keystone Manufacturing produced the film equipment and pressed steel toys while Keystone Wood Toys handled all of the wooden and “tekwood” toys.  In 1954, the company would split again forming the Keystone Camera Company and Keystone Manufacturing Company, which continued to produce the pressed steel toys.  Keystone Wood Toys ceased production in January 1958 and Keystone Manufacturing continued on until 1960.  In 1965, Keystone Camera Company was purchased by Berkley Photo and in 1967 was moved from the Boston location, thus ending the existence of the Keystone Manufacturing Company.

15 Replies to “Keystone Manufacturing Company”

  1. Hello to whom ever gets this e-mail. My name is Dannielle Bell. I have a product that I think was made by you between 1919-1940. The model A-7 No.A 128732 16 millimeter if you can tell me more about what I have I greatly thank you.

    1. Hello Dannielle,
      Keystone Camera Company, formally Keystone Manufacturing, was sold off in 1964 so I have no affiliation with the company. I am simply a collector of their toys. As for their camera equipment I know almost nothing about that product line. There are several camera sites on the web that have Keystone camera and projectors collectors. Sorry I can’t help. Best of luck.

    1. Hey, I just found the same item! The projector screen is very cool and pops out of the box, is self-standing, then rolls back in for easy storage. There is nothing on line about them that I can find anywhere, unlike the projectors. I think we own a very unique item!

        1. Ah well. It led me to your site which is quite delightful! I will enjoy learning more about these toys, particularly the wooden pull toys. It is all good!

  2. I own a Curtiss Candy Keystone pond boat probably
    made in late 40’s to early 50’s. My father worked for them from late 40’s to early 60’s when Standard Brands bought the company. Value of these old boats?

    1. Hello Drew,
      As a private label boat I would put in the $100 range. I have two of these and honestly do not know the numbers produced. As you can guess the less that were made the more valuable it would be.

  3. I recently acquired a Keystone Sixty K 8mm projector at an estate sale and would to find any information as to when it was made or any other information that may be out there about this model.


    1. Hello Steve,
      While I do have information about the camera side of Keystone I know very little about it. There are several camera collector website that may be able to help.

  4. I just purchased a working Keystone model C 18 projector including the manual.
    I would sincerely appreciate any information
    you might have including the year manufacturer and the current value.
    Thank you for your support.

    1. Hello Donald,
      I really know nothing about the projectors and camera equipment. My focus is Keystone wooden toys. I include everything in the interest of producing a complete catalog of Keystone products.

      1. Thank you for your extremely fast response.
        We diffently have a lot in common. We both love toys. My wife and share the joy of our 400 square foot model railroads.
        Of course as I am sure that the money both of us have have spent joyfully, it’s hard to call them toys.
        So I respectively shout out to all your friends, please help me if you have any information on my newly acquired
        Keystone C 18 8mm projector.
        Impatiently waiting for response.
        Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.