Girard Model Works
In 1906, C.G. Wood founded the Girard Model Works in Girard, PA. The originally made patterns, models, and specialized machinery. In 1918, Girard began making toys for a New York company which has not been identified. By 1920, they were making toys under their own name, first as “Wood’s Mechanical Toys,” and later as “Girard Model Works.”
By 1931, Girard employed a thousand people. Their most famous employee was Louis Marx, who worked with Girard in the capacity of salesman from at least 1928. Marx worked on commission, selling Girard’s “Joy Line” toy trains. In 1931, Girard experienced financial difficulties, so they terminated Marx’s position to avoid paying him the ten percent commission on sales. In 1934, Girard declared bankruptcy, and Marx, by then a stockholder, bought the company to increase the manufacturing capacity of his Louis Marx & Co. He renamed the newly acquired plant the “Girard Manufacturing Company.” Many of the Girard toys and later Marx toys are virtually identical. The last Girard toys were produced around 1975, and the company was liquidated, along with the rest of Marx toys, in 1980.