1963 Tonka E.R. Schwartz Private Label Ramp Hoist
Image courtesy Micah James
E.R. Schwartz Manufacturing Company is located in Lester Prairie, Minnesota. The company was formed in 1941 and began life as a steel fabrication shop. In the mid 1950's, they introduced a line of ramp hoists for truck bodies. When Tonka was looking to develop a ramp hoist truck, they worked with Schwartz to help design a toy truck with the correct dimensions and proportions.
The article above was published in the February 2001 issue of Toy Trucker and Contractor magazine in Tonka historian Lloyd Laumann's Tonka Topics column.
If you own a Schwartz ramp hoist, I would like to hear from you. And in December 2014, I received an email from E.R. Schwartz's nephew. It stated in part ...."I knew of him giving these trucks to his nephews because I and my twin brother are two of his nephews, so we each got one. I think it was Christmas of 1963 when I was 10 or 11 years old. Unfortunately, my brother passed away a few years ago and that is why I have two of them. I suppose he had about 8 nephews."
A few days later, an email from E.R. Schwart's daughter showed up in my in basket. It read in part ...."I am the daughter of Elmer Schwartz. And I always have thought that Tonka designed the toy truck after Dad's design of the ramp truck but never had any proof only my childhood memories about it. We do have 2 out of the boxes and 3 in the boxes."
Value: No recorded sales as of May 2, 2014