Douglas Dixon, Hopewell Valley History Project
Hopewell Public Library “Wednesday Night Out” Series
Co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society
and The Hopewell Museum
Wed., Nov. 2, 2022 – 6:45 pm Exhibits, 7 pm Presentation
Attend in person at The Hopewell Theater,
5 South Greenwood Ave., Hopewell, NJ
Or join online via Zoom – Click to Register Only for the Zoom Presentation
Free and open to the public
Yes, Hopewell did have a toy company, albeit a short-lived one. Hoproco, the Hopewell Products Company, operated from 1923 to 1929 on Burton Avenue in Hopewell, manufacturing metal and wooden mechanical toys and novelties.
In this presentation, Doug Dixon will explore the history of Hoproco, and the five known toys that the company created. Plus, come early to see examples of the actual century-old toys (and even original product boxes) from the collections of The Hopewell Museum and the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, and exhibited by local collectors Mary Briggs, Mary Ellen Devlin, and Larry and Cindi Kianka.
Hoproco manufactured some interesting products that were nicely designed and constructed, and are still admired and collected today. The “Hopewell Flyer” dirigibles, originally priced at 25 cents, have recently sold on eBay for over $60 and $70.
The presentation and exhibits will cover multiple versions of all five toys, along with associated product literature and advertising.
Dixon also will discuss the beginnings of the Hoproco company, and the factory building on Burton Ave., that was built in 1897 as a sash and blind factory, and still stands today as a residence and art studio.
About the speaker: Doug Dixon is an independent technology consultant and writer, now morphed into a history enthusiast. He is a board member of The Hopewell Museum and the Hopewell Valley Historical Society.
Over the past few years since mid-2019, Doug has developed the Hopewell Valley History Project and website (HopewellHistoryProject.org), working with over 100 local contributors to collect and freely share digital copies of local historical materials. The History Project now hosts some 540 documents and maps, 3000 images and videos, and an interactive historical map of Hopewell to aid research into Hopewell area people and places.
As a software technologist, Doug specializes in Web technology, databases, and digital media. He has consulted to the Aberdeen Test Center doing large data testing and visualization, and previously was a product manager and software developer at Intel and Sarnoff. He has authored four books on digital media, published hundreds of feature articles, and presented over a hundred technical seminars and talks.
Hopewell Public Library “Wednesday Night Out” Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society and The Hopewell Museum
More on Hoproco Toys
Hoproco, the Hopewell Products Company, operated from 1923 to 1929 at 18 Burton Avenue in Hopewell, and is still remembered for the five known metal toys it created.
- Hoproco – Hopewell’s 1920s Toy Company – Summary of the company and the toys
- Hopewell Toys of the 1920s – More on toys of the period and how Hoproco fit into the market
- Hoproco – Hopewell’s 1920s Toy Company – Talk & Exhibits – Talk description
- Hoproco Toy Company – Video and References – Talk video and references
- Talk Video – Hoproco – Hopewell’s 1920s Toy Company – 11/2022 (YouTube)
- Talk Slides – Hoproco – Updated version of the presentation slides (PDF)
- Hoproco History Brief – Hoproco Tin Toys (1920s) (PDF)
- Factory History Brief – 18 Burton Avenue – Stair / Toy Factory (1897) (PDF)
- Handout – Hoproco Toys Handout (PDF) – One page summary of the five Hoproco toys
- Image Gallery – Hoproco Toys album – 45+ images of the toys and materials
- History Map – 18 Burton Avenue – Property map and historical images