M-443: Military Miniatures Collection | UMSL
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M-443: Military Miniatures Collection

ABSTRACT: This collection was donated to the Mercantile Library in 2018 and consists of four boxes of vintage die-cast military toys from the 1960s. These toys are primarily from the Strombecker Military Miniatures Company, and represent miniature sets from the American Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and some foreign troops. The collection also consists of several years worth of the publication "Military Miniature Collector."

HISTORY: Diecast toys and models were first produced in the early 20th century, although their popularity and quality steadily increased and evolved through the 1950s. "Military minaturism" is a distinct sub-genre of the collection hobby which places a strong emphasis on realism and historical accuracy. Color choice of painting and finishing as well as knowledge of events, history, and geology are key components of the hobby. This collection of military miniatures represent a period of time in military miniaturism from the mid-1950s through the late 1960s.

HOLDINGS: 4 boxes, 25 trays of die-cast military miniatures including figures of soldiers, horses, weapons, and vehicles, 8 binders of catalog and 2 spiral notebook scrapbooks, consisting of the following: 

1954 – Britain’s Supplementary New Lines 1954, 109th Edition

1960 – Military Miniature Collector Volume 2, index – compiled by Norman M. Gibson

1961 – Military Miniature Collector, Volume 3 Index – compiled by Norman M. Gibson

1961 – Military Miniature Collector, Volume 4 Index – compiled by Norman M. Gibson

1963 – Military Miniature Collector Volume 5 – published by Bob Bard

            1964 – Mili History Index Volume 6 – compiled by Norman M. Gibson (2 copies)

            1966 – Milihistoriot, Formerly Military Miniature Collectors, Military Miniature Collectors and Historians, published by Bob Bard

1967 – Milihistoriot, Formerly Military Miniature Collectors, Military Miniature Collectors and Historians, published by Bob Bard

2 spiral notebooks, compiled as a scrapbook, contains Coloring Information and Figure Descriptions from original packaging and communication between the original owner and the Military Toy manufacturers concerning broken pieces, refunds, etc. Directions and communications pasted to bound spiral pages.

ACCESS: The collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building.

In observance of security procedures, certain services may not be available shortly before the daily closing time.