|Toy Brands and Manufacturers
|1846 - ~1891
Lutz was an influential tinplate toymaking company in Southern Germany in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. They were absorbed by the larger Nuremburg-based Märklin in around 1891.
The company of Ludwig Lutz of Ellwangen, Württemberg was founded in 1846 by Lutz and his wife Franziska, who moved to Ellwangen and set up their tinplate fabrication business.
The merchant Joseph Englert joined the team in 1857, creating the company Englert & Lutz, with the division of labour being that Lutz was in charge of manufacturing and Englert was in charge of sales and marketing. Ludwig's son August Lutz spent time in Paris learning the occult art of metal lithography and returned to run the factory, and with sales at home and abroad flourishing, Bing took over distribution in Germany.
Lutz' business was healthy, but its location in Ellwangen became progressively less ideal as the increased sophistication and precision of parts meant sourcing components from outside the town, and Lutz' early entry into the model railway design and production in around ~1890 indicated that here was a potentially large (but technically demanding) market that highlighted the need for Lutz's manufacturing to modernise and expand, with large amounts of capital needed to buy the next generation of machine tools.
Faced with the inevitability of some sort of major company reorganisation and upheaval, Lutz chose to partner with the larger Nuremburg company, Marklin. Märklin took over distribution of Lutz' products inside Germany in 1891, and, presumably liking what they saw, went ahead and acquired the company itself in around 1891/1892. The Lutz designs were merged into Märklin's range, and many of the key personnel moved to Nuremburg, making Lutz a key part of Märklin's "design DNA" in the 1890s and the early Twentieth Century.
Identification of Lutz pieces is problematic due to the company's habit of not marking their work. However, many of the "new" Märklin pieces that appeared in the Märklin catalogues in or just after 1891 are often considered to be "essentially Lutz" or "Lutz-based".
- Carlernst Baecker and Christian Väterlein, Germany's Forgotten Toymakers / Vergessenes Blechspeilzeug: Die Anderen Württemberg (1992) – in German and English
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