Marx Toy Museum hosting special event
MOUNDSVILLE – The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville, WV, will host a special event for former employees, and family members of those who worked at the Marx Toy Company in Glen Dale, WV. Marx Employee Day will be held at the museum on Saturday, October 13th (11 am 5 pm), to celebrate the men and women who had a hand in producing some of the best toys ever made in America!
Louis Marx & Co was a major manufacturer of children’s toys from 1919 to 1980, and was considered the world’s largest toy producer during the 1950s. The Marx company made playthings for generations of children across the USA, and around the world. In 1955, Time Magazine reported that one-in-three toys sold in the United States was made by Marx.
If you were a child during the generations of Marx, some of your most cherished and memorable possessions may have been the whimsical tin wind-ups of the 1930s & 40s, toy soldier playsets of the 1950s & 60s, or the western action figures and thrilling ride-on racers of the 1960s & 70s. Marx toys represented some of the most popular brands created throughout toy history, including the Big Wheel cycle, Johnny West western figure, Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Fort Apache playset, the wind-up Merrymakers mouse band, Jocko the Climbing Monkey, and so many more.
In the United States, Marx had three primary production facilities: a factory in Erie, PA, which focused on metal toys and wind-ups, another in nearby Girard, PA, dedicated to toy train production, and finally, the largest toy manufacturing plant in the world, in Glen Dale, West Virginia.
The cavernous Glen Dale building was originally used to construct Fokker aircraft, but at the height of the Depression, in 1934, it was sold to Marx for the assembly of toys. Initially, the factory produced metal toys dipped in paint, and shortly after, lithographed tin toys. The Glen Dale factory added a plastics department in 1947, expanding exponentially in the 1950s with the addition of a state-of-the-art facility (the South Building) designed to meet the growing consumer demands of the Baby Boomer generation.
At its peak, the Glen Dale factory employed over 2,000 people, and its assembly lines were in constant motion until the company ceased operations, in 1980. Over the years, thousands of workers, spanning multiple generations, found their employment at Marx Toys. Throughout the Ohio valley, retirees of Marx continue to reminisce fondly about their years of labor as ‘Santa’s Helpers.’ Families of those employees who are no longer alive hold on dearly to the legacy of their loved ones, and continue to pass down stories and experiences of what it was like to work at Marx, as told by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors.
Located just over a mile from the Glen Dale factory, in historical Moundsville, West Virginia, the Marx Toy Museum stands dedicated to helping preserve the wonder and legacy of Marx Toys. This not-for-profit museum immerses visitors in the rich and colorful history of Marx toys, the company, and its founder Louis Marx; it recounts myriad stories of everyday factory workers, and showcases the company’s industrial and economic importance to the region. This is accomplished through display of a world-class collection of ‘vintage’ Marx toys numbering in the thousands, along with supporting multi-media presentations, photographs, personal accounts, printed documents, and artifacts drawn from six decades of Marx toy production.
As part of its mission, the Marx Toy Museum will hold Marx Employee Day on Saturday, October 13th, to celebrate the men and women who dedicated their lives to brightening the childhood of millions. The museum invites all former Marx employees, their families, and guests to participate in the event. There is no admission charge for former employees; family members and visitors are asked to make a small $3 donation (per) to help support continued museum operation and programs.
The day will feature a cake cutting and employee group photo opportunity. Those attending are welcome to bring along old factory-related photos, paperwork, and memorabilia to share. The museum is NOT seeking donation of these items, but may ask to make on-site copies of photos and paperwork for research, display, and documentation of stories to be presented to future museum visitors.
Marx Employee Day will take place on Saturday, October 13th, from 11 am until 5 pm, at the Marx Toy Museum galleries on Second Street, in Moundsville, WV.
For more information on the event, please visit the Marx Toy Museum website at www.MarxToyMuseum.com, or call the museum at (304) 845-6022.