Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Catalog Pages for Snow White Balloons by Oak Rubber Co.

Due to their inherent ephemeral nature, balloons produced during the premiere run of Snow White are not the easiest of things to come by. We can, however, get a pretty good idea of what they looked like by perusing some of the catalogs of the era.

The primary licensee of early Disney balloons was the Oak Rubber Company of Ravenna, Ohio. Their Oak Hytex Toy Balloons were made from virgin rubber and came in different shapes and sizes--round, tall, some with ears or noses, others with attachable feet. A wholesale catalog (no. 389) was issued in 1938 (48 glossy full-color pages, 7.75" x 10.75").

Fifteen pages featured Disney character balloons, with two dedicated to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Round balloons were imprinted with illustrated scenes on one side and text on the other (10" and 12" diameter versions). The paddle-shaped "airships" featured individual characters (7" x 18"). The "toss-up" novelties came with cardboard feet (13" or 20" high versions). All are printed with two colors except for the dwarf toss-ups.


A 1939 "Practical Sales Promotion Plans" booklet. "How To Increase Sales With Oak-Hytex Balloons" (16 pages, 3.75" x 7").

The inside cover show a variety of balloons including a yellow/red Dopey toss-up toy, a green/yellow Snow White paddle-shape, and a blue/red toss-up.

The text includes games and promotional schemes involving balloons.


A four-page glossy supplement to catalog no. 389 was published in 1940.

A 20" Dopey toss-up balloon is pictured with red and yellow colors. Cardboard feet.

Oak Rubber Catalogs via pezdudewelch and Hakes.


Oak Hytex Toy Balloons were also available in other 1938 wholesale catalogs. The N. Shure Company of Chicago was offering the 20" Snow White toss-up for 35¢/dozen or $4.00/gross. An illustration of Snow on one side, the dwarfs on the other.

The same toss-up also appeared in the Gellman Brothers publication. Identical price for the two-side illustrated balloon, but slightly cheaper for ones without the dwarfs. The catalog also included the paddle-shaped balloons for $2.25/assorted gross.

On the next page, we see the one-color toss-up dwarfs for $1.00/gross. The round "print" balloons are also pictured for $3.05/gross (10") and $3.50/gross (12").

Additional catalog pages via gdawg.


Twenty years later, the Oak Rubber Company was still producing Disney balloons that were featured in the 1958 US Snow White pressbook (p.6).

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