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The Ted Toy-lers Newspaper Articles

from the New Bedford Standard Times



With production now averaging approximately 5,000 toys per day and a working force hovering around the 200 mark, the new toy factory of The Ted Toy-lers, Inc., is now fully equipped and running at capacity, with orders booked ahead well into the Fall. The company is now occupying not only the entire four story factory structure recently erected for its use, but is already overflowing this building and is operating one department of its activities in newly hired quarters on the top floor of the New Bedford Boiler and Machine Co. building, facing on School Street just east of the toy factory. In addition, it has been necessary to hire some storage space outside the factory to accommodate raw material supplies and store finished goods that have been made up ready for shipment.

Shipments in Large Volume.
Shipments from the local factory are now beginning to assume large volume. The products shipped out are rather bulky even if they are light in weight, and the weekly outflow of toys is sufficient to fill several freight cars from floor to roof. In fact before the middle of the Fall it is expected that the factory will turn out at least a carload of toys every day.

Growing Export Trade.
Bulk shipments are going forward not only to every state in the United States, from Atlantic to Pacific Coast, but also to the principal cities of Canada and Mexico. In fact the expert trade that is being developed is surprising in its size and scope. Toys from the local factory are being shipped to every continent in the world. The shipments during the past week included consignments to Shanghai, Peking and Hong Kong, China, to Bangkok, Siam, to Singapore, Manila, Yokohama, to Australia and New Zealand, to South Africa, Rio Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Valparaiso and Lima in South America as well as some of the regular trade that has now been established with European and Mediterranean ports.

Built in Three Months
The factory building which the company now occupies was planned last Fall by Leary and Walker and construction work was begun shortly before the first of the year. Erection of the building was completed in March and since then work has been pushed to complete the interior equipment and organize the factory on a modern mass-production basis. Special equipment of various kinds had to be built in order and special automatic machines had to be designed for mechanically performing certain of the manufacturing operations.

The working force has been gradually built up as the equipment was prepared for operation and the entire organization has now been reduced to a practical operating basis though efforts are now being directed constantly toward the improvement of methods, the shortening of processes, and the refinement of production.

Multiplying Output
An idea of the rapid growth of the organization can be had from the fact that a year ago the company had between 20 and 30 employees and turned out 100 to 200 toys per day. This force was greatly increased during the fall months and for a short period, by day and night shift work, the production was pushed to 2,000 toys per day. This is more than doubled today without two shift work, and as the present working force becomes more experienced it is expected that the output of the factory will reach 7,000 or 8,000 per day on the average.

Varied Line of Toys
The line of goods at present turned out includes toy boats of several types, toy automobiles, trains, horses, soldiers, sailors, clowns, and even extends into toy builder sets for construction purposes in the nursery. The toys are made partly of wood and partly of metal so that the work involves not only metal stamping but also wood turning, cutting, drilling, and boring, and even to sewing machine work on toy sails. All of the toys are of original design, and are protected through the patent off ices of the United States and foreign countries.

Making Process Automatic
The factory is already on a partial automatic basis and the work of turning out the parts for the toys is being more and more reduced to automatic machinery. In order to do this, however, it has been necessary to separate each toy into a certain number of parts and to assign certain parts of the work to different operators. Certain machines operate all day long as the wooden turning can be fed to them. Other machines form bodies or heads, others form arms or legs. Still others turn out wheels all day long while great stamping presses in the basement pound out metal bases, helmets, axles, or piston rods. Several hundred different kinds of parts have to be made to turn out the present line which includes twenty different numbers.

Does Own Stamping
Metal Stampings are made in the basement where there is located a series of automatic presses. Here, too are the lathes, the milling machines, and other equipment to constitute a very complete machine shop for the making not only of toy parts but for the building of special machines to perform certain operations automatically.

Wood Turnings Made
Wood turnings are made in another department, where there is located standard automatic wood turning equipment as well as specially designed wood forming machinery for making odd shaped turnings. On the top floor is the secondary wood working department, where the boring, reaming and cutting of the wood turnings takes place.

Putting on Finish
The highly important work of putting on the colored exterior finish is done also on the top floor of the building. Enamel point and lacquer all contribute their share to the final result which gives the toys a highly lustrous exterior that will not scratch or peel or fade or come off in any way, and will last for the entire life of the toy.

Automatic conveyors geared to proper speed and encased in special drying ovens carry the toy parts after they have been dipped or sprayed and discharges them when properly dried and ready for the assembly room.

Putting Toys Together
The assembly room is perhaps the most fascinating department of the factory. The work is done by girls seated on either side of long assembly tables, each of which is f our to five feet wide and forty to sixty feet long, A slowly moving conveyor belt two to three feet wide lies f lot on the top of the assembly table, stretching the full length of the table and leaving only about a foot on the top of the table uncovered at either side.

The operators seated at either side of the table are each assigned a special task in the assembly of the toys. One puts on the head, another puts on the arms or legs, another adds the wheels, another attaches the cap , and so on until the toy is finally assembled in finished form and ready for inspection and packing. Each operator is supplied with the material to perform her task and the unfinished toy is automatically delivered to her by an arm which scrapes it off the conveyor belt as it drifts by her place at the table. As soon as she adds her bit to it she tosses it back onto the conveyor and it is delivered to another girl who is supposed to perform the next operation. The conveyor delivers the finished toys at the lower end of the table where they fall onto the inspector's desk and are looked over, and either passed or rejected and sent back for reprocessing. Those that pass inspection are thrown to the packing table which is similarly equipped with conveyor belts, and are there wiped, wrapped, and boxed, then placed on the conveyor, which carries them to the labeling and sorting table where they are directed either to the stock room or to the shipping room.

This method of organization enables the assembling of half a dozen different types of toys on the same table without interfering with each other, or getting mixed either in formation or in packing. The company has a very lively advertising and selling department which functions even beyond what might confidently be considered its own domain. The products of the factory are sold to toy jobbers, to large retailers, to chain stores, mail order houses, premium companies, etc. and are not retailed to the public direct. But the selling department of the company is constantly working on new means not only to sell to its own trade, but to assist its customers to properly display Ted Toy-ler products and sell them to the public.

For this purpose special window displays are designed, special interior arrangements are gotten up, special advertisements are prepared, public demonstrations are arranged and new ways are originated to get the attention of the final consumer. They are built on the theory that the toys are good enough to sell themselves once the buyer's attention is specifically directed to them.

High pressure sales methods some may say but they have succeeded in getting a cordial reception for New Bedford-made toys from one end of the country to the other. And they have as yet resulted in no curtailment of production at the factory.