A Brief History of the U.S. Toy Industry

1903 was a significant year in the beginning of the modern era. The first regular transatlantic radio broadcast was established. The first transcontinental auto trip was completed. (It took 3 months.) The Pepsi-Cola Company was formed, and the first Western movie premiered—“The Great Train Robbery.” The Ideal Toy Company created the first Teddy Bear, named for Teddy Roosevelt.

Of course, there were always toys, but they were often made by companies in the market where the toys were sold and were generally fairly simple. Dolls, games based on classics that were neither trademarked nor patented, balls, and so forth were staples. Blocks and wooden Noah’s Ark sets were also very common, though these ...

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