While many of us are no doubt aware of the successes of the British motoring industry in the 20th century, it’s easy to forget that at one point the UK was home to the major manufacturers of miniature toy cars as well.
The names of some of these – such as Spot On and Budgie – are all but forgotten now, but in the 1960s the big three of Matchbox by Lesney, Dinky by Mecanno and Corgi by Mettoy were the world leaders in their field. Of these three, Mettoy and their Corgi range were perhaps the company with the most interesting history, which itself we find recorded in several documents at The National Archives.
Fleeing Nazi persecution, Arthur Katz and Philippe Ullmann brought their toy making expertise, honed in Germany, to British shores in 1934. Due to the metal nature of their products, the two menÂ named their company Mettoy (as in ‘Metal Toys’). Arthur Katz’s naturalisation certificate is among thoseÂ held by The National ArchivesÂ that can now be easily found as a result of a recent enhancement to the HO 334 entries on our online catalogue, Discovery. The document reference for his certificate is HO 334/466/11187. The certificate itself features the Mettoy company stamp on its reverse. Continue reading »