More fascinating Quad Cities history!


HR King
Gold Member
We've already touched on how this fantastic Midwest region is responsible for the invention of sliced bread and the first rail bridge over the Mississippi. Not to mention America's pre-eminent regional pizza delicacy.

But I just learned today that slot cars and the first Duncan Yo-Yos were also manufactured here in the good ol' QC of A!

Pretty cool story. Bro.

Strombeck-Becker has been given credit by some for inventing the slot-car track. Slot car sets became a large part of the StromBecKer toy business from the late 1950s into the early 1960s. The plastic slot cars were primarily sports cars in 1:24 or 1:32 scale. Motors, tracks and different road-race sets were sold. Though not covered in this article, the slot-cars were a big part of the company's toy effort and must have represented a sizable chunk of their dwindling toy business around 1960. The ad shown below is from 1960 and establishes the Moline factory as being in the slot car business. A 1972 obituary for Frederick K. Strombeck mentions that he designed and developed the original slot car racing toy.


The playthings division created numerous new toys during this period; mentioned in 1953 was the new hobby-toy, the "Tug-Apart", previewed at that years MIA Toy Fair along with the newly introduced B-47 kit. At one point in the late 1940s, the company produced toys for the Duncan Toy Co. and sometime later, the Duncan yo-yo. A complete line of toy trains (for tots and youngsters) was continued from the pre-war period.