The Lehmann toy company exported toys to the USA from 1895 to 1929 and specialized in mechanical, friction transportation and lithographed wind-up tinplate toys.
Founded by Ernest Lehmann Co. in Brandenberg, Germany, 1881. In 1951 the fim re-established and is still making friction toys. Some of the most famous include: Autobus, the Dancing Sailor and Icarus.
Lehmann distinguished itself early 20th-century by releasing small tin toys which were cheaper than the toys the competition made. End of the 19th century, beginning of th 20th, competitors were producing heavy, cast-iron toys. By the 1920s the Lehmann company had a staff over 800 people and made 80+ different toy designs.
Toy collectors don't have to worry about fakes, a feature that separates them from most other toy collectibles.
All genuine toys have the Lehmann logo: an "e" surrounded by a bell or the name itself embossed on it. Unfortunately, nowadays you can also find this mark on reproductions and knockoffs.
The most attractive Lehmann toys to collectors today were made from the early 1900s through about 1950, a time when thousands of toys were send throughout the world by a firm that employed 800 people at its heydays.
After WW2, Lehmann was taken over by Russian occupiers, and the toys made after 1948don't have the same quality and 'feeling' as their earlier toys. Even after 1951, when a cousin to the founder restarted the business they toys had lost their cache.