Freeport, Illinois was the home to one of the most well-known toy companies of the early twentieth century. For about 40 years, Arcade produced the most well-built, iconic cast iron toys ever made. They are still coveted today by toy collectors everywhere. Arcade ceased production of toys in 1941. In 1947, the company's office collection was donated to the Stephenson County Historical Society. Over the last 70 years, thousands of visitors have enjoyed viewing this toy collection.
In 2018, the historical society board made the decision to begin expanding the collection in order to create a museum that will celebrate the history of toy making in Freeport. Although the Arcade toy collection is the centerpiece of this museum, there will also be exhibits on other toy companies, including Structo, Freidag, Realistic, and Freeport Toy Company. Other products made by Arcade, such as coffee grinders and small hardware, will also be on display. The museum now includes over 600 Arcade toys, plus numerous other Freeport -made toys.
Have an Arcade toy that you would like to donate or loan to the museum? Contact us at 815-232-8419. It's a great way to be part of Freeport history!
The Industrial Museum showcases artifacts from prominent Freeport/Stephenson County manufacturing companies. This includes the Henney Motor Company, Structo, Stover, and Manny Reaper.