Dating printing wood blocks
Kip had discovered England's diverse architectural toys, especially the Mini-Brix block set.
The toy was made from rubber and became his favorite toy.
He was also involved with implementing the new block machines of the early 1950s.
During WWII, Halsam made products for USO and US military.
They were pioneers into plastic toys with their Elgo (ELliot Goss) division.
Beginning with bakelite dominos and checkers, they improved their products through the use of plastic-injection molding.
After WWI, Sam approached his father about entering the business. persuaded his son to find market other than the printing business, which was prone to flucuations and turmoil. settled on manufacturing toys and bought a woodworking company in Muskegon, Michigan. Halsam relocated a brand new factory at 4114 Ravenswood in northern Chicago fully funded by Sam, Sr.. Young women would then assemble the loose blocks into sets as they came down the shoot from the machine. The original machine was a "cantankerous" behemoth that required much maintenance to keep it running.
The first great idea behind Halsam was that manufacturing wood blocks could utilize the same technology as the rotary printing press: raw material (wood) put into one side of a machine and finished goods (blocks) rolling out the other side. This early move to automation allowed Halsam to quickly dominate the toy block market especially the long established Embossing Company.
Other tales of their management style include Sam Goss' policy about closing the factory early on hot days.
As a child, Kip had spent several years in Britain in the 1940s.
Hal Elliot was sent to help reorganize the Goss Co.
Halsam was always on the cutting edge of the toy business.
Besides utilizing state-of-the-art automation, they were the first Disney licensee back in 1937 Halsam forged relationships with major department store retailers, TV advertising, unique promotional techniques (Happy Halsam comic) and were early participants in the consolidation into what is now Hasbro.