What Is Tin-Litho?


Colorful tin toys are more accurately call tin lithograph toys. Tin-litho, however, is actually tin-plated steel. The colorful designs on the toys were applied through a process known as chromolithography. This technique was originally used in the printing industry. A drawing was done on special stones with a grease pencil. When wet the ink would adhere to the drawing and not the wet stone. The drawing was then printed on paper similar to how a woodcut would work.

In the late 1800s a process of "offset lithography" was used to print designs on tin-plated sheets using a rubber roller. By the 1930s the process was further perfected and machines were used to print designs on fifty tin-plated sheets per minute. A wide range of colors was now available to the toy manufacturer. This was the real turning point for tin toy makers who could now produce colorful tin toys cheaply.



 
This Week Only!
Corporate Gift