Flashback Minis: Plakie Toys

Frank M. Hoover thought outside the box. The Youngstown resident started using plastic compounds to manufacture automobile gearshifts in the 1930s.

His son, Dean, played with a series of plastic samples Hoover strung together on a chain. He began a new toy company, Frank M. Hoover, Inc., based on his plastic product sample.

By the 1940s, the company expanded and changed its name to Plakie Toys, Inc. Hoover focused on producing toys with bright colors, sounds and motion.

During World War II, plastic was difficult to obtain. Plakie Toys began constructing its toys out of wood. After the war, the company went back to using plastic. The Arms Family Museum has several post-war rattles and squeakers on hand from the 1960s.

Dean Hoover donated the toys on display at the museum.

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