The tin toy factory Jos. Kraus & Co. in Nuremberg
A permanent exhibition in the Petersberg Museum
The tin toy factory Jos. Kraus & Co. was founded by Josef Kraus and his cousin Julius Forchheimer on January 24th, 1910 in Nuremberg. The brand “JKCo” was also used in connection w ith the name “Fandor” and was registered with the Reich Patent Office on July 4th, 1912.
From the beginning, the tin toy factory specialized in the manufacture of toy trains and accessories in gauges 0 and I, contrary to the established companies such as Märklin, Bing, Bub and Fleischmann.
During the first two years Kraus only produced clockwork trains. From 1913 electric toy trains were also added to the range. In addition to the “cheap range”, Kraus manufactured higher-quality models in embossed design and hand-painted or spray-painted colors. These products can be compared to the top high-qualitiy-models of that time. In addition, the Reich Patent Office granted the company numerous patents like the first fully automatic clutch (Kraus clutch) in November 1933.
Jos. Kraus & Co had been a strongly export-oriented company since 1910. Until 1928, exports to Canada and the United States predominated. After the collapse of the American market, the business concentrated on exports to European countries and the domestic market.
Immediately after the National Socialists came to power, the Jewish Josef Kraus emigrated to the USA in April 1933. After the Reichspogromnacht on November 9, 1938, the also Jewish authorized signatory Bernhard Früh was arrested by the Gestapo on November 10, 1938 and forced to relinquish his power of attorney to the German Labor Front (DAF). Immediately afterwards the appointed acting manager, Fritz Rauh, started sales negotiations with the already aryanized Nuremberg company Keim & Co. KG. The purchase contract for the property shares (machines, etc.) was concluded on May 27, 1939 and became legally effective upon payment on November 27, 1940. However, Keim & Co. already had a massive impact on Jos. Kraus & Co. business after the negotiations started.
After the last zinc sheet delivery was made in autumn 1939, production was stopped in mid-1940 for good.
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