“STRUCTO TOYS MAKES MEN OF BOYS!” proclaimed the 1916 Popular Mechanics advertisement. Now, 95 years later, those same Structo Toys have the reverse-effect: making boys of men! Structo Manufacturing was founded in Freeport, Illinois in 1908, originally as the “Thompson Manufacturing Company” — and later changed to “Structo Manufacturing” in 1911 — a play on the “inde-structo-ble quality of their steel building sets. The steel building sets were the American equivalent of the more widely known Meccano Construction Sets (Great Britain) and forerunner of A.C. Gilbert’s “Erector Sets”. Toy “builder kits” featuring roadsters, tractors, and dump trucks, introduced by Structo in 1917, launching 55 years of toy vehicle production for Structo—eventually selling out to Ertl in Dyersville, Iowa in 1973.
Early Structo Toys Logo