The Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Fame has started with four people who started the Fisher-Price toy company during the Depression in 1930: Herman Fisher, Irving Price, Elbert Hubbard II and Helen Schelle.
“It was great because it kind of goes back to how the artistic movement in this area kind of started,” said Geoff Walker, executive vice president at Fisher-Price, by phone Friday. “It was a natural confluence of different factors.”
Walker also spoke last week during the formal announcement at the toy company’s Heritage Center, near its toy store on Girard Avenue.
Starting the Hall of Fame with people responsible for Fisher-Price is a good way to highlight the company history and unique local character, said Walker. East Aurora’s Roycroft artists’ skill in woodworking helped make the village an attractive place for a company that started out making wood toys, he said.
In 1930 Herman Fisher, a salesman for a Rochester toy company, was looking for capital to start his own company and found Irving Price, who had retired to East Aurora after working at a company Woolworth’s bought out, said Lauren Bingel, a toy designer who has worked on company history.
He had money to invest, along with Hubbard, son of the Roycroft community founder. Schelle, who got to know Fisher when he called on her Binghamton toy store, also bought stock and moved to East Aurora with her investment.
“Helen is an unsung hero. She was a woman of independent means,” Bingel said. “She was interested in creating toys that children loved.”
Also this week:
• A Historic Preservation Commission meeting about landscaping work at the Roycroft Campus will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in Village Hall, 363 Oakwood Avenue.
• The Aurora Town Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Southside Municipal Center auditorium, 300 Gleed Avenue.
• A meeting about demolition and new fire station construction at 33 Center St. will be held 7 p.m. Tuesday at the current fire hall, 585 Oakwood Avenue.
• Western New York College Consortium of eighteen local colleges and universities will hold an open house for juniors and seniors at East Aurora High School at 1:15-2 p.m. Wednesday in the school library, 1003 Center St.
• Artists reception for Malcom Bonney and Robin Mols will take place 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Red Fish Art Studios, 21 Elm St.