East Hampton, Connecticut, 1866 - 1960s. Produced hardware bells and cast-metal bell pull and push toys.
Gong Bell, established in 1866 by H.H. Abbe, E.C. Barton, E.G. Cone & A. H. Conklin in East Hampton, Connecticut, was incorporated under the laws of the state of Connecticut in April, 1899. Gong Bell made valuable and important inventions in gongs, bells and toys. In 1872, Barton patented a toy called 'Revolving Chimes' - 'a pair of cast brass gongs, mounted between two malleable iron wheels.' This was the beginning of Gong Bell's toy making history. In the 1880's, the 'Chestnut Bell' became a popular craze all over the States... You attached the bell to your coat lapel to warn someone that his or her story was a repeat. The company also manufactured the first foot bell ever used on automobiles.
In 1921, Gong Bell produced one of the most successful toys invented at the time: a toy telephone called 'Playphone 600', a toy telephone with bell and movable receiver hook. This was also the time Gong Bell started concentrating on wooden toys.
During World War II, Gong Bell also took on military contracts to make hardware for parachutes. Gong Bell received the Walt Disney contact to make Disney toys winning the contract from the N. N. Hill Brass Co. in the 1930s who had the Disney license at that time. There are several stories on why Gong Bell went out of business in the 1960s. One of the stories is that with the introduction of plastic toys and other companies being more prepared for this new toy making process, Gong Bell just couldn't compete...
One characteristic of Gong Bell wooden toys is their incorporation of some sort of metal bell into the toy either as shown in the Rabbit and Cart pull toy should with the rabbit holding a bell or the Galloping Cowboy chime wheels. The characters are most generally lithographed on the toy much like most Fisher Price toys.
What's your 'Gong Bell' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):
|Teddy Bear Bell Ringer Cast Iron Nickel||08/2019||$575.00|
|Wild Mule Jack C 1930 S Cast Iron Bell||08/2019||$242.39|
|The Mfg Co Health Milk Co 123 Truck Pull||06/2019||$227.50|
|Toy Co Healthy Milk Delivery Pull Toy||08/2019||$200.00|
|Japanese Chinese 2 Gongs Sea Freight||06/2019||$160.00|
|Co Sleeping Beauty Musical Wooden Cradle||05/2019||$132.00|
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