French Toys From the Natenshon Family Collection – Part 2
By Louis Natenshon
Best known for the car company he founded, Andre Citroen actually made his fortune earlier.
He obtained the patent for helical cut gears and manufactured them. They were in demand when factories changed from overhead pulleys, to electrical motors that powered machinery.
The inverted ‘V’s, seen on Citroen emblems, represent those gears.
During World War 1, France was unable to produce enough artillery shells to supply its army. Citroen was given the contract to provide them. He bult the largest factory in Europe, imported American machine tools, and produced all that were needed. When the war ended in 1918, so did the demand for artillery shells, so he decided to build popular priced cars at this factory.