Sturdy trucks for rough and tumble boys – and maybe girls too, when brother wasn’t around – ready to roll across carpet or dirt were “Built to last a Child-Time”.
Structo Toy Co. of Freeport, Ill. produced a full line of vehicles with realistic features: seats, steering wheels, wrap-around bumpers, windshields and windows, and white-side tires.
The company was founded in 1908 when partners Louis Strohacker and C.E. Thompson began manufacturing erector sets branded as Structo. Eventually the erector set line was sold to a competitor and the company began producing push-type stamped steel vehicles in 1932.
During World War II, the company produced various steel items for military use, later the surplus paints would be used to give their line of toys a durable finish on “America’s Most Advanced Line of Steel Toys and Trucks”.
Testing the durability involved not just children playing with the trucks, but employees skating around the factory using toy trucks. In addition to toy vehicles, from construction graders to fire engines, the factory also produced weaving looms and barbeque grills under the Structo brand.
The dump truck featured a hydraulic mechanism to lift the bed and dump the payload, with the “exciting, battery-less ‘Z-Z-Zound’ motor sound” introduced in 1965.
In 1974, after a series of acquisitions of the various Structo product lines, the toy truck line was purchased by competitor Ertl Co. and discontinued.
Model 401 of the Deluxe line shown here, was originally priced at $3.88.