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Toys: Made in Minnesota: Newspapers


Newsboy distributing January 1937 Minneapolis Journal.The Minnesota Historical Society holds the world's largest collection of Minnesota newspapers, with dates ranging from 1849 to the present day.

Past issues of most newspaper titles are available on microfilm in the MNHS library, but there is also digital access to select newspapers

Use the links to the left to search for newspapers available at MNHS and to search within digitized newspaper collections.   


Suggested Newspapers & Dates


  • St. Paul: St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Minneapolis: Minneapolis Tribune
  • Minneapolis.: Minneapolis Star Tribune

"St. Paul Toymaker Hits it Big with 'Yoxo'," by Tom Webb. Article in St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 8, 2013.

"Groovy Girls Doll Company Uses Internet to Attract Young Customers," by Julio Ojeda-Zapata. Article in St. Paul Pioneer Press, February 3, 2005.

"Can't Shake this Bug; With its Odd Origin - Its Creator was a Onetime Minneapolis Postal Carrier - and Unlikely Name, Who Would Have Thought Cootie Would Last 50 Years and Sell 50 Million Games?," by Paul Levy. Article in Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 28, 1998.

"Toys For All: New Firm Offers Much-needed Diversity," Editorial in Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 12, 1993. 

"Unlike Most Toy Firms and Despite Setbacks, Schaper Revenues Up," by Susan Feyder. Article in Minneapolis Tribune, November 4, 1982.

" 'Cootie' Game's 30th Anniversary is This Year," Article in Minneapolis Tribune, August 3, 1978.

"St. Paul Firm Nears Lead in Toy Market," by John A. Wickland. Article in Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, July 11, 1954.

" 'Stadium Checkers' Gains Fans-- St. Paulite's Game Hits Market," by Roy Dunlap. Article in St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 7, 1953. 


  • 1937: The Judy Company is founded by H.D. Berman.
  • 1944: Sifo Toys is founded by Silas Ford.
  • September 18, 1946: Mound Metalcraft (predecessor to Tonka Toys) is created in Mound, MN.
  • 1948: First wooden Cootie game pieces are hand-whittled by Herb Schaper on his mail route in Minneapolis.
  • 1948: First production molds made and initial production run of the Cootie game and the Schaper Toy Comapany is founded.
  • March 20, 1950: William H. Schaper applies for a patent for the Cootie game.
  • October 13, 1951: Fire destroys The Judy Company headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.
  • November 23, 1955: Mound Metalcraft changes its name to Tonka Toys Incorporated.
  • June 10, 1952: The patent for the Cootie game is granted to William H. Schaper.
  • 1971: Schaper Manufacturing Company is purchased by Kusan, Inc., while retaining its operations in suburban Minneapolis.
  • 1972: The Cootie game is redesigned to a warmer, friendlier, and softer model of the original Cootie.
  • 1975: Sifo Toys closes.
  • 1976: Schaper Toy Company moves to its new factory in Airlake Industrial Park, located in Lakeville, MN.
  • August 2, 1978: The Cootie game celebrates its 30th birthday.
  • 1964: The Mighty Dump Truck and associated "Mighty" line of construction equipment models are introduced by Tonka Toys.
  • 1968: H.D. Berman sells The Judy Company.
  • 1986: Schaper Toy Company is sold by its parent company, Kusan, Inc., to Tyco Toys.
  • Late 1980s: Manufacturing Tonka Trucks out of steel becomes increasingly replaced by plastic.
  • November 14, 1986: The Schaper Toy Company factory in Lakeville, MN closes.
  • January 31,1991: Tonka Toys is purchased by Hasbro.
  • December 31, 1991: Hasbro closes the Tonka Products Division in Minnesota and all operations move to other Hasbro locations.
  • 2001: Tonka trucks are inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York.

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