June 2, 2008

Montgomery Schoolhouse Rocks


Montgomery Whohouse? I've been following the items eBay seller Creative Magpie has been putting up for sale from the inventory of her mother's 1970's toy store. In the last couple of days, several very fine-looking wooden toys have turned up from a company called Montgomery Schoolhouse.


The Vermont-based toymaker was absorbed into another local competitor, Maple Landmark, in 2001, where its trademark lives on as a line of rather overpainted wood vehicles. But according to their brief history, the painting only started in the 1980's, to meet the demands of taste-challenged yuppie parents; for the decade-plus before that, Montgomery Schoolhouse made simple, beautiful toys that celebrated the natural colors and grains of the local pine and hardwoods. [The toys were made in a repurposed schoolhouse that gave the company its name.]


I can't find much information at all about the original Montgomery Schoolhouse; maybe companies like this appear and disappear all the time, leaving a few maple dump trucks idling in garage sales around the country. But from the few pieces I've seen so far, ye olde Montgomery Schoolhouse looks like it was a pretty gifted and talented outfit.

Check out these vintage items at auction right now:
Lot of 3 - Truck, Bus, Boat, by Montgomery Schoolhouse, first bid $10+10 s/h, auction ends June 7
Montgomery Schoolhouse Tic Tac Tour Bus? How cool is that? First bid $5+7.50 s/h, auction ends June 8 [ebay]
1970's Wooden Carousel by Montgomery Schoolhouse, first bid $10+15 shipping, auction ends june 8 [ebay]

Or search for all the Montgomery Schoolhouse toys on eBay, and winnow out the new stuff.

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