For years, children and adults alike wrote letters to the Vindex Toy Company, thanking them for the wonderful cast iron toys they made, ordering other ones, or asking if they wouldn't please manufacture a Rumely Oil Pull, or maybe a Woods Brothers Thresher.
Only problem is, the Vindex Toy Company never existed... There never was a Vindex Toy Company, but a line of cast iron toys and novelties, including some bank numbers, manufactured by National Sewing Machine Co., of Belvidere, Ill. Vindex toys were merely an afterthought to a company doing well selling other products: in this case, sewing machines (making 500 Family Sewing Machines daily) and washing machines (250 per day). Then came 1930, the Great Depression, plunging prices, and badly depressed sales.
Vindex toys covered a wider field than cars, motorcycles, and farm toys, however: horse-drawn wagons, book-ends, table lamps, dog door stops, and dog and owl banks. Vindex made several hundred thousand Bull Dog Door Stops (#151), which were sold at $1 each to the trade.
Vindex also made a series of trucks (Stake Truck #6, 7, and 8 - each a different size in red, blue and green; Box Truck #48 and 49, Autocar Dump Truck and Crane #65, Autocar Dump Truck #64), as well as cranes (P & H Power Excavator #55), which at 3 1/4 pounds and $18 a dozen was only a third of the weight (10 pounds) and cost ($48 a dozen) of the P & H Power Excavator #70. These are very rare.
Vindex also made a few racecars (Speed-Demon Racer #45), motorcycles ('Mike' The Speed Cop #1, P.D.Q. Motorcycle Delivery #3), a Belvidere Blimp #51 (silver with gold letters), and airplanes (Lockheed Speedy Mail Plane #41), and Fokker Planes #40 and #90.
Most of the Vindex cars and motorcycles were produced prior to 1936, and in 1938 National stopped making Vindex toys and novelties altogether, because the union was demanding high wages.
Vindex toys thrived until the early 1940s, when the National Sewing Machine Company was required to discontinue toys, sewing machines, and washing machines, to make materiel for World War II. They resumed production of sewing machines after World War II, but not Vindex toys. The company closed in 1955.
What's your Vindex worth? Here are some recently sold items.
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