The following general information is presented to help in identifying molds. It starts with a list of companies that sold and/or manufactured metal molds in the United States.
"Company name" links to general information on Company and molds.
"Mold Picture" links to pictures and ID numbers of the molds.
A.C. Gilbert -----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Ace/Kast-A-Toy-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Allied Toys(See Lincoln Lead-Kaster)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Allied Manufacturing Co. (See Dick Tracy)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
American Toy and Furniture Co. (See Ace/Kast-A-Toy)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Castings -----( Go to Mold Pictures)
DickTracy-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Ever-Ready-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Gilbert (See A.C. Gilbert)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Home Foundry-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
HDL-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
IDEAL-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
JDEAL (See IDEAL)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Junior Caster (See Rapaport Bros.)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Kast-A-Toy (See Ace/Kast-A-Toy)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Kaster Kit (See A.C. Gilbert)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Lincoln Lead-Kaster-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Lincoln Log (See Lincoln Lead-Kaster)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Make-A-Toy-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Marks Bros.-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Martin Yale/RAPCO (See Castings) -----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Miscellaneous-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Rapaport Bros.-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
RAPCO (See Castings) -----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Reb Toys (See Castings) -----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Sachs -----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Schalk (See Schneider)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Schiercke (See Schneider)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Schneider-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
Wright (J.L.) (See Lincoln Lead-Kaster)-----( Go to Mold Pictures)
The original Gilbert Kaster Kit was actually the Newton Kaster Kit. Gilbert bought the rights to the Kaster Kit and sold it under the Gilbert name. It is not clear whether Newton, who owned a foundry, continued making the molds for Gilbert (I think he did). Gilbert was responsible for improvements in the design of the Kaster Kit, additional molds, Slush Kaster Kit and slush molds. Additional information is available by request.
Gilbert "flat" casting molds are either square, rectangular or round. They have a unique protrusion on the back of each mold for holding them in the Kaster Kit. One side has an "N" while the other has an "O". The molds typically have an indication of "patent pending" or a patent number 1,931,769. The molds with the patent number are newer and are made from a different alloy.
Gilbert "slush" molds produce full round hollow castings and have an "O" protrusions on both sides. They do not have any patent info.
Gilbert Kaster Kits came in several varieties. Generally the kits for casting "flats"have either a small (red) or large (blue) base, while the slush molds all have the larger base (Blue). There are at least two different designs for the Gilbert Kaster Kit heating elements. Newton's heating pot had a slightly different design as well.
The Ace Toy Mold Co was located in Toledo, Ohio anmd Philadelphia, PA. There are two distinct types of molds attributable to Kast-A-Toy. There are cast iron molds which produce rather crude castings. There do not appear to be any markings on these molds. Other molds are made from an alloy and these molds display the Ace name. The Ace molds were stamped "Keep dry at all times". Most molds have a diamond shaped insignia with ACE inside. Some also had a small curious circular pattern that I have not had a chance to research.
Castings still produces a number of "old" molds using the original masters. They also produce newer metal molds as well. This is a good place for someone to begin to experience the joys of casting metal figures. Martin Yale Industries, Inc. of Chicago bought out Rapaport Bros in 1965 and sold molds under the Yale/RAPCO name. The molds were later bought by Reb Toys which became CastingsThe company has moved from Highland Park, IL to Longwood, FL and is now located in ????,Washington. They can be reached at (Insert Link). Castings molds are made from Zymac, a bright "silvery" metal. If you look closely at the back of the mold you can see the mold number.
The Allied Manufacturing Company of Chicago made Dick Tracy molds, which included other comic characters. I do not have much info about this company or their molds. All I have is a brochure describing the available molds.
Every-Ready molds were produced by the American Toy and Furniture Company. This is a sucessor company to Rapaport Bros. Master molds were destroyed during WWII. Ever-Ready molds look similar to Home Foundry molds, having "eared" alignment pins and similar markings on the back of the molds.
Home Foundry of Chicago, IL (originally a subsidiary of Junior Caster (Rapaport Bros.?). These molds were produced until the early 1940s. Home Foundry molds have "ears" out the sides of the molds that contain the alignment pins. Most of the molds were rectangular and had vertical and diagonal ridges that protruded from the back of the mold.
This German firm ......
This German firm sold reproduced Schneider molds, as well as, new figures. Many (all?) were triangular shaped molds. The company insignia looks like JDEAL on the molds.
J.L. Wright, Inc. were the makers of Lincoln Logs and Allied Toys, Chicago, IL. This company made single cavity and muliple cavity molds that were hinged and had wire or metal handles. The molds have numbers and typically aged to a grey metal color.
Make-A-Toy of New York appears to be a successor to the Rapaport Bros. Company. The molds clearly indicate the company name.
Marks Bros. of ????? appear to be another successor company to Rapaport Bros.
Just about anything unlabled or made by an unknown company fit in this category. Please let me know what you have. These are fun to try and track down and I would be more than happy to help. Please use the Send Comments/Messages.
Rapaport Bros. of Chicago, IL, The Junior Caster was the original company owned by the five brothers. The Rapaport name became more prominent in later companies owned by some of the brothers. The molds tyically bore the companies round insignia indicating it is a Rapaport Bros. Junior Caster mold.
S. Sachs of New York City sold Schneider molds or molds copied from the Schneider design. They also sold some of the first American made molds, although I am not sure if they manufactured them as well.
I have lumped all the early German companies into what I call the "S" companies. It appears that Gebruder Schneider of Leipzig, Germany was responsible for most of the early German molds sold in the U.S.. These molds were sold by Henry C. Schiercke of Ghent, New York and Eric P.Schalk of Stamford, CN
The Scneider molds usually have squared or sharp outlines. Many are numbered and have an "S" with an arrow through it. Threre is usually a left (L) and right (R) indicator on the mold halves as well. Some are a light metal (not sure what) and others are bronze.