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Info on Strombecker from IttyBittyWorld.com
StromBecKer (notice the clever combination of "Strom" and "BecKer" which later disappeared) was the trade name used by the Strombeck-Becker Manufacturing Co. of Moline, Ill.
In 1911, Johan Frederik (J.F.) Strombeck started a small business to make use of wood scraps he had eyed at the nearby John Deere plant, turning them into handles for tools and tent poles. The company was incorporated in 1913 by J.F. Strombeck and R.D. Becker. They eventually began to purchase their own logs after determining that scrap lumber was not a good raw material.
The company ventured into toys in 1919 and was most successful with scale model train kits and wooden airplane model kits. They even began a "Model Maker's Club" which rewarded young builders with badges denoting skill levels based on the number of kits they built.
StromBecKer ventured into dollhouse furniture in 1931. A Tynietoy furnished wooden dollhouse might have wholesaled in the 1930s for over US$250, but you could buy a cardboard house and furnish the entire thing with Strombecker wood furniture for US$2.00 to $3.00 retail!! You can imagine how popular their furniture was with the average American household at the time. They also produced “custom built” pieces that, of course, were more expensive; the Governor Winthrop secretary with bound books sold, alone, for $1.25 in 1937.
When plastic started taking over many toy lines in the 1950s and foreign (cheaper) competition grew, Strombecker was hit hard. One of its efforts to fight back was production of larger furniture for Ginny, Betsy McCall and other 8” to 10” dolls. The furniture was too small for Barbie dolls, though, which had hit the market with a roar in the 1960s, and the line was discontinued a short time before Strombecker dropped out of the toy business entirely in 1962.
Strombecker doll and dollhouse furniture is well made and very collectible. Fortunately, it can still be found fairly easily and is still quite affordable. As we all know, however, supplies dwindle as time passes so you may want to add some pieces to your collections before that happens.