Hubley Manufacturing Company Catalogs and Newsletters, 1922-1965

Call Number: MG-565

2 boxes     42 folders     .75 cubic ft.

Repository:  LancasterHistory (Organization); PV7

Shelving Location:  Archives South, Side 12

Scope and Content Note:  This collection contains catalogs and price lists of the items made by the Hubley Manufacturing Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The primary products were toys and decorated repeating cap guns, rifles and holsters. The first miniature toys were made of cast iron; later, plastic became the prominent material. In its earlier years, the company made a line of “metal art goods,” which included lamps, tables, bookends, doorstops and knockers.

Creator:  Hubley Manufacturing Company.

Conditions for Access:  No restrictions.

Conditions Governing Reproductions:  Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language:  English

Biographical and Historical Note:

“The Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, one of the oldest and largest makers of toys in the United States, was founded in 1894 by John E. Hubley to manufacture equipment and accessories for electric trains. Financial difficulties forced Mr. Hubley to sell the entire stock in 1909. At this time the electric train business was discontinued and the cast iron toy business started. Among the first toys produced were a coal range, circus wagons and mechanical banks, all collector’s items today.

Included in the 68,000 square feet of floor space in the Hubley plant were a die-cast room, warehouse, tool room, paint room and all the special assembly machinery. Besides making their cast iron toys, the company made castings for other companies in Lancaster which were without foundry equipment.

By 1940 increased freight costs and foreign competition forced the company to look for other materials. During World War II scarcity of metal forced the company out of the toy business and into war-related items. After the Korean conflict ended and regulations on metal were suspended, cast iron toy production resumed.

Following common manufacturing methods of the time, Hubley toys of the 1890s, and for a time thereafter, were cast in sand molds in two parts which were then riveted together to form the toy. All toys were designed by John Hubley, who had remained deeply interested in children’s playthings since the time he first made his own children’s wooden toys.

In 1936 Hubley started casting in multiple cavity steel dies. Die castings were broken off, trimmed, and tumbled in revolving cylindrical machines. They were then taken to the paint department where they were given baked enamel or lacquer, air-dried paint finishes in various colors. At one time, a dozen girls were employed in the paint department. Portions of the earlier toys were handpainted and some were dipped.

Each different toy was started on its own moving assembly line where parts were added, details sprayed on, oiling and inspection took place and the assembly completed. For example, a fire engine took shape on one line. It started as a red chassis. The rubber-tired wheels were added, followed by the spraying on of the radiator, bumpers and headlights. The driver was added, and the ladder, fire axes and other accessories followed. Near the end of the line, the toy was individually boxed and packed in a corrugated container. In 1949, due to union disputes, the foundry was closed. This was a difficult decision for the firm, since Hubley was one of the first companies to devote their entire factory to die casting.

The Hubley Company maintained a designing department where ideas were conceived and developed for model forms. Design engineers kept up-to-date on the models and style changes by attending automobile shows and studying advertisements. Their designs changed when the larger counterparts changed. After items were conceived and models developed, the toys were analyzed for pricing. The more play features a model had, the more expensive it was.

Hubley is now a division of Gabriel Industries, Inc. of New York City and is still making die-cast metal vehicles.” 1

1 Bland, Ann S. “Automotive Cast Iron Toys.” Old And Sold Antiques Auction & Marketplace. (accessed October 21, 2011)

Source of Acquisition:  Gift of Mary Ellen Gardner, in memory of Joseph L. Gardner, Sr. Catalogs and price lists, 30 January 2010; The Toy-ler, 2 June 2012.

Accruals:  No further accruals are expected.

Preferred Citation:  Hubley Manufacturing Company Catalogs and Newsletters (MG-565), Box #, Folder #, LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pa.

Subject Headings:

Hubley Manufacturing Company. (LHo-LOC n 2001017854)

Toys. (LHo-LOC sh 85136372)

Manufacturing industries. (LHo-LOC sh 97001369)

Art metal-work. (LHo-LOC sh 85008010)

Search Terms:

Art metal-work

Business records



Hubley Manufacturing Company

Manufacturing industries


Price lists


Finding aids

Manuscript groups

Processing History:  Processed by RW. This collection has been documented, preserved and managed according to professional museum and archives standards. The finding aid was updated using DACS conventions.


Box 1

Folder 1

Line Sheet No. 100 “Small Stuff” Animals (3 Copies) No Date

Line Sheet “Lamps and Tables” No Date

Catalog “Cap Pistols” No Date

Catalog 26 “Kiddie Toys” No Date

Catalog 27 “Kiddie Toys” No Date

Line Sheet “Kiddie Toys” No Date

Pamphlet “A Little Journey Thru the Hubley Foundry” c. 1929

Product Announcement “Cowboy Repeating Cap Pistol” No Date

Product Announcement “Self Display Picture Packages” (2 Copies) No Date


Folder 2

Insert 1

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1922

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” [1922]

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement” [1922]

Insert 2

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1926

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” [1926]


Folder 3

Insert 1

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1927

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 1” (2 Copies) [1927]

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 2” (2 Copies) [1927]

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 3” [1927]

Insert 2

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1928

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” [1928]


Folder 4

Insert 1

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 1” [1929-30]

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 2” [1929-30]

Insert 2

Price List “Metal Art Goods” Spring 1931

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 3” [1930]

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 4” 1930

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 5” 1931

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” [1931]

Insert 3

Price List “Metal Art Goods” (3 Copies) 1932

Price List “Metal Art Goods” (2 Copies) 1932

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” (2 Copies) [1932]


Folder 5

Insert 1

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 1” 1933

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” (2 Copies) [1933]

Insert 2

Catalog “Metal Art Goods Supplement No. 1” [1934-39]

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1937

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1938

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1939

Insert 3

Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1940

Catalog “Metal Art Goods” [1940]

Catalog “Metal Art Goods by Hubley” Fall 1940

Insert 4 Price List “Metal Art Goods” 1941


Folder 6

Price List “Cast Iron and Die Cast Toys” 1937

Price List “Cast Iron and Die Cast Toys” 193

Folder 7

Insert 1 Price List “Iron and Steel Toys” 1925

Insert 2

Price List “Iron and Steel Toys” 1933

Catalog “Cast Iron Toys Catalog No. 3” [1933]

Catalog “Supplement No. 1 to Toys Catalog No. 3” 1933

Catalog “Supplement No. 2 to Toys Catalog No. 3” 1934

Insert 3

Price List “Cast Iron and Die Cast Toys” (2 Copies) 1939

Catalog “Hubley Toys” 1939


Folder 8

Catalog “Plastic Kiddie Toys” [1940]

Catalog Page “Plastic Kiddie Toys” [1940]

Catalog “Plastic Kidde Toys” (2 Copies) [1940]


Folder 9 Catalog “Kiddie Toys for 1952” (3 Copies) 1952

Folder 10 Catalog “Kiddie Toys” (2 Copies) 1953


Folder 11

Catalog “Cap Shooting Rifles & Pistols” (2 Copies) 1953

Catalog “Cap Shooting Rifles & Pistols” 1954


Folder 12

Catalog “Kiddie Toys for 1954” (3 Copies) 1954

Magazine Reprint “Hubley Pistols and Toys Have Delighted Several Generations” by Martha Alexander [1954]


Folder 13 Catalog “Kiddie Toys” Spring 1955

Folder 14 Catalog “Cap Shooting Rifles & Pistols” (2 Copies) 1955


Folder 15

Line Sheet “Hubley Toys for ‘56” 1956

Catalog “Cap Shooting Pistols & Rifles for 1956” (6 Copies) 1956


Folder 16

Catalog Sheet “Fall and Christmas Return Sheet Toys” No Date

Catalog Sheet “Fall and Christmas Return Sheet Toys” No Date

Catalog “Kiddie Toys” (5 Copies) 1956

Announcement, Sales Aids for 1956, 1956


Folder 17

Mail Stuffer “Frontier Repeating Cap Rifle” No Date

Mail Stuffer “Atomic Disintegrator” (2 Copies) No Date

Mail Stuffer “Buffalo Rifle” (2 Copies) No Date

Mail Stuffer “Early American Flintlock” (2 Copies) No Date

Catalog “Metal and Plastic ‘Kiddie Toys’” (3 Copies) 1957

Catalog “Cap Shooting Pistols – Cap Shooting Rifles” (2 Copies) 1957

Catalog “Gun and Holster Set” 1957


Folder 18

Catalog “Cap Guns” (2 Copies) 1958

Catalog “Gun and Holster Sets” 1958

Catalog “Cap Guns 1958 Toy Fair Edition” (4 Copies) 1958

Price List “1958 Toy Price List” 1958


Folder 19 Catalog “Holster Sets” (2 Copies) 1958

Folder 20 Catalog “Toys” (4 Copies) 1958


Folder 21

Catalog “Gun and Holster Sets” (3 Copies) 1958

Catalog “Holster Sets Spring 1959” 1959

Catalog “Holster Sets” (2 Copies) 1959

Line Sheet “Holster Sets” 1959

Line Sheet “Cap Guns” 1959

Catalog “Cap Guns” (2 Copies) 1959


Folder 22

Catalog “Toys” (2 Copies) 1959

Line Sheet “Toys” (2 Copies) 1959


Folder 23

Catalog “Cap Guns” 1960

Catalog “Holster Sets for 1960” 1960

Line Sheet “Metal Car Kits” (2 Copies) No Date

Line Sheet “International Deluxe Cars” (2 Copies) No Date

Line Sheet “Customizing Car Kits” (2 Copies) No Date

Line Sheet  “International Cars” (2 Copies) No Date

Catalog “Toys” (3 Copies) 1960


Folder 24 Catalog “Toys” 1961

Folder 25 Catalog “The 1962 Line of Guns, Holsters, Toys, Hobbies” (2 Copies) 1962

Folder 26 Catalog “TV Toys, Guns, Holsters, Mighty-Metal Toys, Crafts, Metal Car Kits” (2 Copies) 1963


Folder 27

Catalog “Toys” (2 Copies) 1964

Catalog “Kiddie Toys” No Date


Folder 28

Catalog “Cap-Firing Pistols, Rifles & Holster Sets” 1965

Catalog “Toys” (2 Copies) 1965


Folder 29

Catalog “Cap-Firing Pistols, Rifles & Holster Sets” 1966

Catalog “Toys” (2 Copies) 1966


Folder 30

Catalog “Toys” 1967

Catalog “Bulk Toys” 1967


Folder 31 Catalog “Hubley 1968” 1968


Box 2

Folder 32      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1954-1955

December 1954, Volume 5, Number 12. Letter from President about operational response to foreign toy imports. Twenty-five year service awards to William Henry Bannan, Jacob Weaver Hostetter, and William A. Gigi. Christmas party announcement and updates on military service personnel.

January 1955, Volume 6, Number 1. Funding of pension fund, Christmas party highlights, union officer election results, personal announcements, and short biography of Joseph Templeton Breneman, Chairman of the Board.

February 1955, Volume 6, Number 2. Brief history of the tool room and machine shop, sponsorship of Pennsylvania Farm Museum at Landis Valley, short biography of Elmer Lloyd Souders, personal announcements.

March 1955, Volume 6, Number 3. Layoff announcement, personal announcements, short biography of John Herman Watson.

May 1955, Volume 6, Number 5. Fire readiness, description of the Production Department’s scheduling and planning operations.


Folder 33      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1955

July 1955, Volume 6, Number 7. Midget and midget-midget baseball results, new union contract signed.

August 1955, Volume 6, Number 8. First aid instructions and annual accident summary, short biography of Elmer Brenner, personal announcements.

October 1955, Volume 6, Number 10. United Community Campaign pledge drive announcement, personal announcements, short biography of Samuel William Nauman.

November 1955, Volume 6, Number 11. Description of new paint shop, color and psychology, United Community Campaign results, short biography of Victor Rutter Singer, personal announcements.

December 1955, Volume 6, Number 12. Christmas scene built from Hubley Toys over 30 years; the President’s discussion of production efficiency initiatives, the impact of the influx of Japanese toys and the popularity of Davy Crockett on sales volume; Christmas party announcement; service awards; new Works Manager and organizational chart.


Folder 34      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1956

January 1956, Volume 7, Number 1. Retirement of Howard Henry Hartman and Herbert M. Booth, new union officers, Christmas party highlights, personal announcements.

March 1956, Volume 7, Number 3. New toys for 1956, short biography of Earl Harrison, personal announcements.

April 1956, Volume 7, Number 4. Vice-President explains rationale for a new manufacturing plant, pension information, tribute to the maintenance crew, personal announcements.

May 1956, Volume 7, Number 5. Midget baseball, retirement of Laura Hartranft Burket, personal announcements.

June 1956, Volume 7, Number 6. Toy import statistical data, monthly Hubley employee headcount since 1953, personal announcements.


Folder 35      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1956

July 1956, Volume 7, Number 7. New union contract, personal announcements.

August 1956, Volume 7, Number 8. Service award photos, short biography of Joseph Breneman.

September 1956, Volume 7, Number 9. Photo contest winners, maternity leave policy, personal announcements.

October 1956, Volume 7, Number 10. United Community Campaign and Junior Achievement announcements, paint shop fire, personal announcements.

November 1956, Volume 7, Number 11. Changes to Social Security, Fire Fighting and Prevention organizational chart, United Community Campaign results, personal announcements.

December 1956, Volume 7, Number 12. Christmas party announcement, twenty-five year service awards for Lee Roy Houghton, Kermit Murray, and Joseph Gardner with short biographies, Fall Sales Conference review of new products and features including MYLAR packaging, President’s report about the economic challenges facing Hubley and the company’s response including the new holster products.


Folder 36      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1957

January 1957, Volume 8, Number 1. Promotion of Lester Toms, Christmas party highlights, union elections, personal announcements.

February 1957, Volume 8, Number 2. Promotion of James Kilgour and Leland Schick to Vice President, progress update at new manufacturing plant, advent of production with Mylar packaging, personal announcements.

April 1957, Volume 8, Number 4. New toys with updated play features, pension policy review, reorganization of production department, detailed explanation of holster production, retelling of the move into the new production facility.

June 1957, Volume 8, Number 6. New union contract provisions, financial details of company provided health insurance, retirement of John Glackin and E. Lloyd Souders, John E. Holden announced as new marketing director, personal announcements.

July 1957, Volume 8, Number 7. Piecework rate policy, pension plan explanation, appointment of John E. Booth as Superintendent of Holster Division, discontinuation of savings bond program, personal announcements.

September 1957, Volume 8, Number 9. Photo contest winners, personal announcements.

October 1957, Volume 8, Number 10. United Campaign kickoff, personal announcements.

November 1957, Volume 8, Number 11. New roto-finish machine and description of production process, United Campaign results, personal announcements.

December 1957, Volume 8, Number 12. Sales meeting review, including the introduction of new carded merchandise and an exact scale model of Ford Powermiser tractor and a review of demographic and market trends toward the suburbia and self-service shopping; President’s annual review, including challenges associated with the move to the new production facility and the seasonality of holster production; personal announcements.


Folder 37      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1958

January 1958, Volume 9, Number 1. Biographies of Ralph Murray and Philip Adam Long, service award announcement, retirement of William H. Bannan, new union officers, Christmas party highlights, perfect attendance announcement, organization changes in the sales division, personal announcements.

March 1958, Volume 9, Number 2. New Colt reproduction pistols and exclusive branding agreement with Colt Patent Firearms Co., new toys, personal announcements.

April 1958, Volume 9, Number 4. Service banquet highlights, public relations activities, new chrome plating process, recreational fund finances.

May 1958, Volume 9, Number 5. New Recreational Fund Committee, personal and sports announcements.

June 1958, Volume 9, Number 6. New labor agreement, personal announcements.

August 1958, Volume 9, Number 7. Obituary of Joseph Breneman, Chairman of the Board; personal announcements; the hazards of power lawnmowers; in memoriam.

October 1958, Volume 9, Number 8. Kickoff of United Campaign, new “Flip Special” reproduction rifle from “The Rifleman” television series, sporting and personal announcements.

December 1958, Volume 9, Number 9. President’s report detailing the detrimental effects of the recession on performance, personal announcements.


Folder 38      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1959

April 1959, Volume 10, Number 2. Toy fair highlights including new toys, personal announcements.

June 1959, Volume 10, Number 3. New assignments for John E. Holden, Leland W. Schick, and Joseph T. Breneman, II; new contract with Local 173; increase in plant capacity; personal and sporting announcements.

August 1959, Volume 10, Number 4. New warehouse nearing completion, family picnic at Hershey Park, personal and sporting announcements.

October 1959, Volume 10, Number 5. United Campaign kickoff, visit from Art Linkletter, summer picnic highlights, personal announcements.

December 1959, Volume 10, Number 6. Tic Toy Clock awarded a ten best toy by Science & Mechanics magazine; new New York showroom and sales force; entry into the hobby market with new scale international car models; President’s annual message including recovering economic conditions and sales volume, television advertising, and decision to begin manufacturing in Canada to serve the Canadian market; personal announcements.


Folder 39      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1960

February 1960, Volume 11, Number 1. Service awards, Junior Achievement, union officers, new TINYTOYS line endorsed by Art Linkletter, personal announcements.

April 1960, Volume 11, Number 2. New Metal Car Kits, service awards, Canadian manufacturing commencement, new 1960 toy fair toys including SAFE-T-FOAM swim toys, personal announcements.

August 1960, Volume 11, Number 4. Summer picnic highlights, Richard Hobday appointed Comptroller, Clarence Work elected president of Forman’s Association, personal announcements.

October 1960, Volume 11, Number 5. United Campaign kickoff, obituary of Melvin M. Gerhart, personal announcements.

December 1960, Volume 11, Number 6. President’s message reporting a decline in sales and profitability from increased competition and marketing expenses and delay in fulfilling hobby line orders, design award received for TINYTOYS packaging, personal announcements.

Folder 40      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1961

February 1961, Volume 12, Number 1. New union officers, welcomes to George Kane and Horace Keller, personal announcements.

April 1961, Volume 12, Number 2. Retirement of Errel Johnsons, new packaging machine, 1961 Toy Fair highlights.

June 1961, Volume 12, Number 3. Service award banquet highlights, union contract changes, production shutdown, personal announcements.

October 1961, Volume 12, Number 5. United Campaign kickoff, annual picnic highlights, new toys at Spring-Summer Toy Show, personal announcements.

December 1961, Volume 12, Number 6. Christmas party announcements; participation in “Children of the World Festive Display” in Australia; President’s message explaining further decline in sales and profit caused by a decline in popularity of television Westerns, increased foreign competition from reduced tariffs, and a lack of expensive toys made for marking on television; personal announcements.


Folder 41      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1962

February 1962, Volume 13, Number 1. Service awards, obituary of Eugene M. Spangler, retirement of Elmer Brenner, new Union officers, historical occupational injuries, new 1930 Packard Sport Phaeton metal kit, personal announcements.

April 1962, Volume 13, Number 2. New “Golferino” plastic toy golf course, obituary of Doris M. Lefever, service awards, new “Americana Gold Picture Kit Series”, personal announcements.

June 1962, Volume 13, Number 3. Union contract amendments, service award banquet highlights.

December 1962, Volume 13, Number 4. Retirement of Victor Singer, personal announcements, promotions.


Folder 42      “The Toy-ler” Newsletter, 1963-1965

February 1963, Volume 14, Number 1. Buyout and retirement of Joseph Breneman, Chairman, and resignation of Joseph Breneman II, personal announcements.

April 1963, Volume 14, Number 2. Review of service award banquet, new Razz-Ma-Tazz toy piano and Jungle Hunt game, personal announcements.

September 1963, Volume 14, Number 4. United Campaign kickoff, flu shots, blood bank, personal announcements.

April 1964, Volume 15, Number 1. Service award banquet review, resignation of Ben Weaver and appointment of replacement, Lynn Ervin; obituary of Errel Johnson; retirement of Frank Phenegar and Forrest Harper; toys introduced at toy fair; personal announcements.

August 1964, Volume 15, Number 2. United Campaign kickoff, family picnic announcement, retirement of Edna Harrison, personal announcements.

October 1964, Volume 15, Number 3. Lancaster County Industry on Parade, family picnic photos, personal announcements.

March 1965, Volume 17, Number 2. Pension plan amendments, service awards, obituaries of Howard E. Stauffer and Loretta B. Shelley, personal announcements.