Mansfield PA and Richmond Township in Tioga County PA
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Historic Businesses of the Tri-Counties
Mansfield's Novelty Works
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Judging from the postcards I have, there must have been at least two Novelty Works Fires. One is dated by a postmark of 1910 on the back of the photo. Two others are dated 1920 by the Photographer's signature on the front. 
The postmarked back of this card dates it at 1910
The photos above and below are signed and dated by Bates, photographer and druggist, at 1920
Business: Novelty Works
Township: Richmond Township - Mansfield Borough
World's Biggest Producer of Toy Tops
Year: 1910 /1920
Postcards from June SMITH Mickley & Chester P. Bailey
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Mansfield's Novelty Works was at one time the foremost producer of children's toy tops in the world.
In 1899 Directory listed as Mansfield Wood Novelty Co., D H Pitts pres, C S Ross sec'y and treas, Lewis W. Osborn supt, established 1893, about 50 employees, manufs of wooden toys, novelties and turned work, Tioga R R, one blk below the depot.
1897 History -
The Mansfield Wood Novelty Works was organized June 13,1892, with a capital of $20,000. The officers were as follows: M.L. Clark, president; C.S. Ross, secretary; P. Williams, treasurer, and C.S. Ross, H. E. Metcalf, D.H. Pitts, M.L. Clark and C.S. Kingsley, directors. The plant is located a short distance south of Corey creek, on the east side of the railroad, and is devoted to the manufacture of a miscellaneous list of articles out of native woods. When run to its fullest capacity it employs about fifty men. L.W. Obourn is the superintendent.
Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the Business pages of the site  by using the Business button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? You will also find extensive business information in the Directory section.
Mansfield Novelty Works
Chester P. Bailey
     The Mansfield Novelty Works was organized June 15, 1882 with the capital of $20,000.  Officers:
                     M.L Clark, President
                     C.S.Ross, Secretary
                     P.Williams, Treasurer
                     Directors – C.S. Ross, H.E. Metcalf, D.F.Pitts,
                                        M.L. Clark, C.S. Kingsley.

     The plant was located on the south side of Corey Creek, east side of the Railroad, and is devoted to the manufacturing of a miscellaneous list of articles out of native woods.
     The Novelty Works was moved here from Monroeton, PA and located in new buildings.  Some of the workers there also came to Mansfield.
     When the plant operated at fullest capacity it employed about 50 people.  L.W. Obourn was superintendent.
     In 1900 the plant was purchased by Pitts and Ross with L.W. Osbourn Supt.  In 1923 O.L. Schanbacher and Osbourn bought it and moved the machinery to the old Doan factory on Railroad Street opposite the train station.
    In 1925 on the death of Osbourn, Mr. Schanbacher became owner and was joined by his brother Walter.
     Both before and after 1947 the plant was enlarged by several cement buildings.  It was at one time the largest manufacturer of Children’s tops in the country and shipped many carloads over seas including Japan.
During World War I women were first employed.  They also made foot rulers and yard sticks and other small wood products.

Photo Sent by Lourens Bas of Holland Lauren's tops are in excellent condition - apparently unused
Tops in Joyce's Museum sent by Sue in New Jersey
1959 Carontawan Ad

1971 - Mansfield Novelty Works Victim of Urban Renewal.

NOVELTY EMPLOYEES ARE: Left to right--Back row --Mrs. Chester Schanbacher, Mrs. Pat Schanbacher, Jean Bartlett, Edna Bartlett, Robert Horton, Keith McKay, Wesley Hemengway, Edwin Kingsley.
Front row:  Harold Brace, Luther Benson, Chester Schanbacher, Clifford Jones.
Middle row: Jon Bixby, Tom Fahsbender, Bob Morris, Dave Maxson, Mike Hufnagel.
Second row: Alberta Ayers, Yulonda Hemengway, Eunice Knapp, Rachel Smith and John Stevenson.
Back row: Jim Crum, Greg Starkweather, Greg Zagozewski, Gene Belknap, Scott House, Missing- Bruce Kenyon.
Photo by Loveland
Mansfield Advertiser, 16 June 1971
Mansfield Novelty To Close in Sept.

After doing business since 1892, the Mansfield Novelty Co. will close its doors in September.  When it does, about 20 persons will be out of a job.

The company plans to shut down its operation instead of relocating.  The Urban Renewal Agency plans to tear down all Novelty Co. buildings.

At one point in its long history, the company was the largest manufacturer of old-fashioned toy spinning tops.  The business also makes rulers and yardsticks for school suppliers, and wooden jaws for plant hangers.

In addition, the company’s store handles hardware and construction equipment sales, as well as lumber and building supplies.

Chester Schanbacher and his brother, Gerald, are managing partners of the company.  Here are seven brothers and sisters who own the business, in addition to a saw mill just west of Mansfield.  All members of the family do not live in the Mansfield area.

Chester Schanbacher discusses why the company is going out of business.  He said original urban renewal plans called for improvement in the block just south of where the various buildings of the Novelty Co. are located, then it was decided to take the next block also, Mr. Schanbacher reported, ported.

“Of course when you relocate you need to buy land and put up buildings,” Mr Schanbacher said, noting high costs of relocation, “and we just couldn’t afford to relocated.”

So it was decided to discontinue the only building material supply business in Mansfield, “People will have to go to either Wellsboro, Blossburg or Tioga if they want materials,” he said.

“Everyone said you can move and be better off, but that’s easier said than done,” Schanbacher reflected.

The company will probably cease operations sometime late next month, Schanbacher said, in order to vacate the property by September 1, the date set under the renewal program.

The “Novelty” has long been dear to the hearts of Mansfield’s citizens.  It has suffered several fires at least one of them devastating.  Many of the people of the Community feel they have a small share in the “Novelty” because of their contributions, cheerfully given, to help it recover.  The Town is indeed sorry that such a fine old company finds it necessary to discontinue operations.

Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 19 OCT 2002
By Joyce M. Tice
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