Online Collections

Search Tips

Quotation Marks—Enclosing a multiword phrase in quotation marks tells the search engine to list only sites that contain those words in that exact order.

The following must appear in ALL CAPS and with a space on each side.

AND—Indicates that the records found must contain all the words joined by the AND operator. For example, to find objects that contain the words wizard, oz, and movie, enter wizard AND oz AND movie.

OR—Records found must contain at least one of the words joined by OR. For example, to find objects that contain the word dog or the word puppy, enter dog OR puppy.

AND NOT—Indicates that the records found cannot contain the word that follows the term AND NOT. For example, to find objects that contain the word pets but not the word dogs, enter pets AND NOT dogs.

Matchbox Bulldozer

bulldozer

Upon their discharge from the Royal Navy after World War II, Leslie Smith and Rodney Smith teamed up to begin their own diecast company producing industrial parts. Because the parts business was only seasonally profitable, the firm, called Lesney from a combination of the partners' names, manufactured toys in the last months of the year. Lesney's engineer, Jack O'Dell lent his daughter one of the small vehicles to take to school. O'Dell placed the miniature road roller in a matchbox for safekeeping, thus supplying the name for a line of tiny but well-detailed cars, trucks, and carts that grew in popularity with each passing year. In the 1950s and 1960s, Lesney expanded the markets for its toys into the United States, Europe, and Asia. The company, however, was ill-prepared to compete with the racy Hot Wheels Mattel introduced in the late 1960s. Matchbox converted all of its vehicles to "superfast" models in 1972 and 1973 to keep pace with Mattel's popular miniatures. The conversion was successful. Matchbox cars continued, even though the company has been purchased a number of times by ever larger toy manufacturers. Today, Mattel itself owns the Matchbox line and produces Matchbox cars for kids' play and for adult collectors.

ManufacturerMattel, Inc.
Materialmetal | plastic | printed cardboard
OriginChina
Object ID116.8005

All artifact images, interpretive information, and website text
© The Strong.