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Toys: Made in Minnesota: Primary Sources: Archives & Records

Manuscripts

Children and Herb Schaper, creator of the Cootie game, looking at the game. Approximately 1965.

Schaper Manufacturing Company : Company records, 1950-1982.
Advertisements of the Cootie Game, Stadium Checkers, Skunk, Scarecrow, and other Schaper Company games, a copy of the "Cootie Cares" Warranty, photographs, price lists, newspaper clippings, a "Cootie" history, and miscellaneous material relating to this Minnesota manufacturer of the popular Cootie Game.Color Dayton's ad in the Picture section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Also included are records relating to Highlander Sales Company, a division of Schaper Manufacturing; and inter-office memos, and merchandising materials and price lists of the Cosom Corporation of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which manufactured marine and sports and recreation equipment. The Cosom Corporation began in 1948 and was bought by the Schaper Manufacturing Company in 1976.
MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (P2511).
 
Tonka Corporation : Tonka Toys Catalogs and Promotional Materials.
Minnetonka, Minn. : Tonka Corp., 1949-1991.
Five volumes containing yearly catalogs (some original, some copies) for retailers with images (some color) and descriptions, general specifications, and dimensions of Tonka Toys, including wholesale and suggested retail prices. 
MNHS call number: FOLIO TS2301.T7 T66

Cultural Exchange Corporation (Minneapolis, Minn.). : Cultural Toys. 
Minneapolis, Minn. : Cultural Exchange Corp., 1994.
One folder containing press releases and other information on Cultural Toys, the first African-American owned full-line toy company, founded by Jacob Miles, the former head of operations for Tonka Toys.
MNHS call number: FOLIO TS2301.T7 C85 1994

Books & Other Publications

        Boys playing with toys manufactured by Sifo Company of St. Paul. Approximately 1955.
 
I Remember: Bytes and Pieces of the Story of My Life, by H.D. (Hy) Berman and Mary O'Brien Tyrrell.  
Includes references to The Judy Company, a North Minneapolis educational toy company started by Mr. Berman in 1937.
[St. Paul, MN : Memoirs, Inc., 1997].
MNHS call number: BM755.B47 A3 1997
 
Tonka Toys.
Mound, Minn. : Tonka Toys, [1978].
An overview of the company history, the development of Tonka Toys, toy safety and testing, choosing the right toy (tips for buying toys at Christmas/what to look for in a toy).
MNHS call number: HD9999.T684 T597 1978

Cootie Courier.
[Saint Paul, Minn.]
Vol. 1, no. 11 (Apr. 1973)- vol. 3, no. 1 (Jan. 1974).
MNHS call number: Microfilm 1531
 
Sifo Educational Wood Panel, Inset Puzzles.
[St. Paul, Minn. : Sifo Novelty Co., 1946].
Dealer's price list for Sifo wood panel inset puzzles, including illustrations and descriptions.
MNHS call number: TS2301.T7 S54 1946

The Friendly Cootie Bug. 
Minneapolis, Minn. : The Company (W.H. Schaper Mfg. Co.), [1956].
A small booklet featuring a color Cootie Bug cartoon character and story. There are also color illustrations, descriptions, and prices of other Schaper Company games, including Tumble Bug, Stadium Checkers, and Tiddle-Tac-Toe.
MNHS call number: HD9993.T694 S324 1956

Toy Catalogs

Montgomery Ward: Wards 1961 Toy Catalog : A Complete Assortment of Over 1200 Toys for Tots to Teen-agers.
Features listings for Schaper games, including Cootie, Stadium Checkers, and Skunk.
Montgomery Ward. Chicago, Ill. : The Company, [1961].
MNHS call number: TS2301.T7 W37 1961
 
Sears Christmas Catalog Collection, 1961-
Features listings for Schaper games, including Tickle Bee, Tumble Bug, Stadium Checkers, and Cootie.
MNHS call number: TS199 .S442 1961

Emporium: Toytime 1959.
Emporium. St. Paul, Minn. : Emporium, [1959].
Features listings for Sifo Toys, including Kinder Dominoes, Busy Bee Work Set, and Take-Apart Wheelbarrow. 
MNHS call number: TS2301.T7 E46 1959

St. Paul Book & Stationery Company: St. Paul Book and Stationery Co., Where Christmas Wishes Come True.
[St. Paul, Minn. : The Company, 1955?].
Features listings for Sifo Toys, including a Magnetic Alphabet Board and a Sports Car with Gas Pump.
MNHS call number:  Z1036 .S14 1955

Annual Reports

Tonka Corporation : Annual report.
Hopkins, [etc.], Minn., The Company, 1965/66-1970. 
MNHS call number: HD 9999 .T684T6 .A3
 
Schaper Manufacturing Company : Annual report.
Schaper Manufacturing Company, Inc. Minneapolis, Minn. : The Company.
1961-1965.
MNHS call number: HD9993.T694 S3213
 
Lakeside Industries, Inc. : Annual report.
Lakeside Industries, Inc. Minneapolis, Minn. : The Company.
1962-1965.
MHS call number: HD9661.U54 L2513

Search for Primary Sources at MNHS

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Tuesday: 9am to 8pm • Wed. to Sat.: 9am to 4pm • Sunday & Monday: Closed • Holiday Hours