For data entry: Please include the length of your Hubley vehicle within an eighth of an inch (3mm).
The Hubley Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1892 by John Hubley and produced a wide range of cast-iron toys, doorstops, and bookends. Its earliest products were trains and trolleys powered by live steam, electricity, or spring mechanisms. In 1909, they began producing stoves and still banks and later added horse-drawn fire and circus wagons, cap pistols, trucks, cars, motorcycles, and, in the 1920s, dollhouse kitchen appliances. By 1940 Hubley had become the world's largest manufacturer of cast-iron toys.
As far as vehicles go, the focus was on trucks. Increasing freight charges and foreign competition made the company switch to die-cast toys of a zinc alloy and it experimented with plastics in the immediate post-war years when metal supplies were low. For a time, Hubley participated with Detroit automakers as a plastic promotional model maker.
Hubley assigned a catalog number to nearly every toy that was sold individually. Some trucks had separate numbers for the cab and trailer. In those instances, the number on the rear section is the official catalog number. Model numbers were re-used for different toys but not at the same time. Some toys came and went and came back a few years later. Released colors were poorly documented.
The company was purchased by Gabriel Industries in 1965. CBS (Columbia Broadcasting) in turn bought Gabriel in 1978. At an undetermined point, the Gabriel brand superseded Hubley. CBS later sold many dies to Ertl and Scale Models who reissued the toys with minor variations into the 1990s.
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