Nylint has been in my heart since my childhood in Rockford, Illinois. When I was growing up, Rockford was in a phase of decline. My family's stories of a once vibrant community, full of manufacturing jobs, were visible and tangible in the many wonderful Nylint toys they had helped to create.
Nylint was founded in 1937 in Rockford, Illinois, by Bernard Klint, brother Ragnar Klint, and their uncle, David Nyberg. They first produced kitchen utensils and later manufactured goods to support the military during World War II.
In 1945, they changed course to toy production, focusing on steel-pressed trucks, construction vehicles, and other automobiles. The toys were a hot commodity for the next 55 years.
Nylint, as a family business, was built on and prospered through the ideals of high quality in the toys kids would play with. Rags and Barney, two kids who still knew their family in Sweden and who didn’t speak a word of English on their first day of school, grew up to create a brand that embodied the 20th century American spirit and enabled the American dream for not just Nylint's customers but also its workers.
My grandfather Rags and his brother Barney built Nylint because they believed in treating their workers fairly, providing good-quality manufacturing jobs, and offering quality toys that were well-made, but not too expensive for ordinary, middle-class families and children to enjoy.
They created this strong foundation. My favorite story about my grandfather and Nylint: he’d go to lunch with the factory workers in the 1970s, and he’d give them $100 bills. Appreciation and respect for his workforce. Recognition of the work and ingenuity that made America an economic powerhouse.
Nylint embodies business at its best: respecting workers, creating opportunities for people, spreading enjoyment and learning for kids.
Restarting Nylint has been my dream and goal since I was 13 years old.
My long-term vision is to set a viable example with Nylint as a business that develops its workforce with the support and training they need to form the next generation of American manufacturing professionals and technical experts and creates more opportunities for them to prosper.
“Everybody said ‘no.’ I kept saying ‘yes.’”
Nylint owner Emmy Klint, granddaughter of Nylint founder Ragnar Klint, on her vision for re-launching Nylint.