Nylint Tool & Manufacturing Company
Bernard Klint worked at J.L. Clark and Company as a tool & die maker when he obtained the patents for two kitchen utensils, a cheese slicer and a flour sifter. He borrowed money from his uncle David Nyberg who was treasurer at Highland Lumber and Fuel Company, and purchased tooling from the estate of another kitchenware manufacturer. Bernard, or Barney as he was called set up shop in the basement of an apartment building at 1661 Fifth Avenue in Rockford in 1937. The name of the company would be Ny-Lint, a combination of the Klint and Nyberg names. He would manufacture the kitchenware in his off hours and his wife Grace would visit fairs, picnics and stores peddling the kitchenware.
Nylint Tool and Manufacturing Company moved into a larger machine shop in 1940 located at 1823 Sixteenth Avenue where they would remain producing kitchenware and parts for other manufacturing concerns. In 1941 Nylint's production shifted to supporting the war efforts of our country by producing anti-aircraft magazines and torpedo-related components for the Federal government. In 1942 a fire stuck the Nylint factory but the company quickly rebounded and continued with war time production.
Nylint produced war-related products until 1945.
After the war the contract work increased with NyLint making parts for National Lock, Sundstrand, Woodward Governor Company and Amerock Hardware companies. Nylint conducted an extensive study in late 1945 after the war and decided they would enter the toy manufacturing business making steel stamped toys. Bernard soon hired Carl Swenson, a local resident who invented a wind-up toy car for research and development. NyLint became a popular toy manufacturer due to the “Amazing Car's” impressive wind-up capabilities and realism in detail after it's debut in 1946. Nylint would continue to make wind up toys until the early 1950's as a sideline to the contract work. Competition was abundant with companies such as Tonka, Buddy-L, Structo, Smith-Miller, Marx, and Wyandotte.
Branching out from cars in the 1950's, Nylint began to make toys realistically modeled after construction equipment. The contract work became less and less and was eventually phased out the early 60's as the company turned it's attention to only manufacturing it's popular line of toys. After several expansions to the factory the physical address of Nylint became 1800 Sixteenth Avenue.
Through the 1970s and into the 21st century, Nylint continued to make pressed-steel toys. Meanwhile most of the other popular pressed-steel producers of toys had gone out of business, were bought out by larger companies, or entered into other toy-making ventures. At Nylint's manufacturing peak in the 1970's it is said that as many as 400 people were employed by Nylint. Sadly by 2001 Nylint filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to declining sales. Seems that computer games replaced old fashion imagination playing with steel toys made by Nylint. In April 2001, Funrise Toy Corporation of California bought Nylint Corporation securing the rights to the Nylint branding. All of Nylint's inventory and current toy molds were moved from Rockford to Funrise ending Nylint's manufacture of toys after over 60 years as an independently owned family business. In June 2001, all remaining Nylint assets including many vintage toys, some metalworking machines, vehicles and office equipment were sold at auction.
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Nylint Logo 1968
Funrise revived the Nylint name in 2005 when it released the Nylint Rock Crawler-a remote controlled, four-wheel drive vehicle designed for ultra-rugged terrain. It enjoyed good sales and was produced until late 2007. No new Nylint toys have been released since then.
Nylints former office and factory building at 1800 Sixteenth Avenue which contained 86,499 square feet of manufacturing space and office area of 9.548 square feet.
Nylint Tool and Manufacturing Company, 1823 Sixteenth Avenue. Circa 1964
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