Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Playskool Inc.
Playskool Inc.

Playskool Inc.

The Playskool Institute was founded in 1928 by Lucille King and another teacher from Wisconsin. During the early 1930s, the enterprise was purchased by a Chicago company, which changed its name to Playskool Inc. In 1938, Playskool was purchased by the Joseph Lumber Co., another Chicago company. During this period, Playskool's toy factory was running on the city's Northwest Side. In 1943, Playskool acquired the J. L. Wright Co., known for its founder's famous father, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the “Lincoln Logs” it produced. The company's annual sales grew from $6 million in 1957 to $23 million in 1965. In 1968, Playskool was purchased by the Milton Bradley Co. of Massachusetts. In 1973, Playskool, a division of Milton Bradley, renovated its plant on Chicago's Northwest Side, where it employed over 1,200 people. In 1984, Milton Bradley was acquired by Hasbro Inc. of Rhode Island. Much to the dismay of Chicago residents, who had recently helped to finance the Playskool plant renovations, Hasbro shut down the factory.