Studebaker and the 1933/34 Chicago Worlds Fair

A postcard of the Studebaker exhibit at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair
A press photo of the National Products / Banthrico assembly line
An ad for National Products miniatures
This blog is a little off topic from what I usually write about, however I though it might be interesting to touch on. Back in the 1930s, National Products Company, a Chicago based manufacture of promotional items, started making scale miniatures of various Automobile manufacture's offerings. These were not toys per say, but quite accurate representations (in the manufacture's colors as well)  use as give-a-ways by certain events and by the car companies themselves. Later, these slush cast miniatures were popular as banks (with a slot on top and access to your savings underneath).

Dad's connection with these pieces started as a kid when his father brought one home for his car crazy kid. Dad's father sold packaging equipment to National Products Company (later Banthrico). Dad accumulated a collection of these from birthday and christmas gifts, and he dug them back out of the Attic (I can still remember that day) and started collecting again when I was young.

The 1934/1935 Chicago's Worlds Fair marks the starting point for these collectables as these was the first offering of automobilia on the part of the National Products Company. I'm not sure how they became connected with Studebaker, but Studebaker did make a big splash at the Work's Fair. They built a huge wooden representation of their new model and handed out these miniatures seen here.  Dad has both versions of the 1933/34 cars that were handed out and the larger scale 1935 version seen in the video.

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