Vintage Windup Toy Appeals to Collectors


Q: I have enclosed a picture of an “Amos ‘n’ Andy” windup metal toy car. I think it was made around 1930 by Louis Marx Toy Company. It measures over 7 inches long, 5 inches high and 4 inches wide and is in excellent working condition. The words “Fresh Air Taxicab of America Incorporated” are on the hood. I don’t have the original box.
Anything you can tell me about my toy car will be appreciated.
A: On the show “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” syndicated radio actors Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll portrayed two black men, Amos and Andy, who came to the city from the South. By the 1950s, people began to speak out about the racial stereotyping.
Louis Marx founded his toy company in New York in 1919. He had factories in Erie and Gerard, Pennsylvania, and Glen Dale, West Virginia. His sheet metal pressed lithograph toys were extremely popular with children, especially during the Great Depression. Marx Toy Company reached its peak in the 1950s. Marx appeared on the cover of Time magazine and was touted as the Toy King. In 1972, Marx sold his company at the age of 76. The new owners did not have his marketing skills and business acumen, and the company went into a decline. It was closed in 1980.
This toy car would shimmy and shake when it was wound up. There are several important criteria that determine its value. The meter flag, the horseshoe hood ornament and the hand crank must all be intact and in working order.
Examples of your car that are in excellent condition can be found selling on the internet for $525 to $550.
Q: I have an ironstone platter that is decorated with a black-and-white scene of a turkey. Enclosed is the mark that is on the back. It is around 9 inches long and in mint condition. I am downsizing and have to decide what to dispose of and what to keep.
Should I keep it or put it in a yard sale?
A: Charles Meigh joined his father’s pottery located in Staffordshire, England, in 1834. From 1850 to 1851, the firm used the name Charles Meigh, Son & Pankhurst. From 1851 to 1861, the name was Charles Meigh and Sons. “California” is the name of the transferware print design, and it was made around 1850. The pottery produced ironstone transferware, flow blue ware, mulberry ware and salt-glazed teapots. The pottery closed in 1861.
Your platter would probably be worth $150 to $175.
Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at


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