|Tootsietoy, America's oldest toy company and a division of Strombecker Corp. began in 1876 as the National Laundry Journal trade paper. The Journal was being published on the west side of Chicago by Dowst Brothers Co when Samuel Dowst went to the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and made a discovery that would change his company's future.
What Samuel Dowst saw was a Mergenthaler Linotype machine that could cast lines of type as well as mass-produce the die-cast collar buttons, cuff links, and other laundry accessories that Dowst Brothers already made. This provided the opportunity to develop new products and new outlets.
First came trinkets for Cracker Jack and penny candy prizes. Next came flat iron charms as premiums for the Flat Iron Laundry Company. These items later became famous markers, along with other charms, for the Parker Brothers game Monopoly.
With their creation of the world's first die-cast model toy car, a Model T Ford, Tootsietoy assured its place in history.
American's oldest toy company registered the name Tootsietoy, adopted from founder Charles O. Dowst's granddaughter Tootsie, in 1924.