1923 Viscoloid Co., Celluloid Coupe Automobile Pull Toy

1923 Viscoloid Co., Celluloid Coupe Automobile Pull Toy

The Viscoloid Company of Leominster, MA produced this rare celluloid coupe some time between 1923 and 1925. Viscoloid was the trade name for the their brand of pyroxylin plastic, also known as celluloid. The company was one of the most prolific manufacturers of toys. However, after 80+ years very few of them exist today.  

Although celluloid was a generic "catch-all" name for pyroxylin plastic, Viscoloid was a proprietary material because of their exclusive manufacturing process. The company was founded in 1901 and stayed in business until 1977. At one time they employed more than 350 workers. They produced their toys using a blow-molded process. To do this, steam was blown between two thin sheets of Viscoloid placed sided by side into a mold. The heat softened the material forcing it to acquire the shape of the mold. 

The Viscoloid trademark can be seen near the left rear running board. It shows the intertwined letters VCO/USA (see photo's below).  The company started their toy production in 1923. Following a merger in 1925 the logo was altered to include a banner for the "Irwin" company. It was again revised that same year when the merged company was purchased by Dupont. 

The coupe was designed with a lengthy front hood in the style of early 1920's automobiles. The front of the vehicle was given a road roller appearance. It was the only way, using blow molding, to support the front axle and remain strong. The rear axle was designed the same way, but it's less noticeable. The car itself was molded with six windows (two on each side, one front, and one back). Doors, handles, and louvers were all embossed. Most prominent are the high relief three dimensional figures of the driver and back seat kid-type passenger. Wheels, axles, and the front oval pull hitch were attached separately. 

The body was painted using an airbrush, while the wheels and occupants were hand painted. The paint, although sometimes irregular, is all original. Some hand written text was painted on the underside chassis as well. This text resembles the marks left by a black Magic Marker, however, it is actually worn black paint. The car was purchased at a Bertoia auction where it was described as one of the best they had seen.

Size: 4". 

Sold: Dec. 2008

Price Sold: $ 165


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Subject: 1923 Viscoloid Co., Celluloid Coupe Automobile Pull Toy

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