Key (company)

The establishment Key is a company Plastic founded in 1952 by Clement Gaget to Oyonnax 1 . The latter gave him the first three letters of his first name as the name of his business 2 . Clément Gaget establishments ceased their activities in 1986 3 .


Clément Gaget establishments, better known under the name “Key” indicated under the key logo, manufactured during a 35 years, a large number of articles in plastic material. The factory, founded by Clément Hector Gaget (born June 25, 1922 and died May 28, 1977) 4 , was located in Oyonnax in the Gouilloux district, in the center of the Plastics Valleylocated in the departments of Ain and Jura , around Oyonnax , within the Community of Communes Haut Bugey and which owes its name to the many firms specializing in plastics 5 .


Clément Gaget establishments have produced a range of very diverse items such as plastic flowers, beach watering cans, clothes pegs, buckets, bowls, jerry cans, lockers, wine racks, boxes eggs, rubbish bins and everything needed for the bathroom, kitchen and dining room 6 .

The company Clé is also famous for the manufacture of many plastic toys, including miniature cars ordered by many international and French companies, as an advertising medium or as a gift to the public when buying one of their products. . Clément Gaget’s establishments worked for Procter and Gamble, which had just launched the laundry brand Bonux 7 in Europe in 1954 .

Key made small cars of the 1950s . The amount of production of small plastic miniature cars was very important for the Bonux gifts and contributed to the enrichment of the company Key. In the 1960s , Key expanded its production of miniatures to meet the expectations of its customers and to meet the demand of many commercial companies. Key produced series of vehicles by themes: old 1:48 scale bots, cars from the Roaring Twenties to 1/64, cars and utilities from the 1960s to 1/48 and 1/64, trucks from 1960s to 1/90, racing cars “Le Mans” and Formula 1 at 1/32 8 . Key designed small kits to build oneself for societyUnipol which possesses Huilor and Vegetal; Prior crackers and biscuits, Unico chain store , Shell oil company , Vaillant weekly magazine , etc.

Key produced in parallel many more sophisticated models with friction motor 9 and other low-priced models that were sold on “Tout à 1 franc” stalls in French markets as well as in the bazaar and hardware departments.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Yvan Lacroix, History of the toy from the Jura cradle toy , p. 138,  [ archive ] editions of the Dauphin , Paris, 2014, 244 p.
  2. ↑ Andrew Ralston and Mike Forbes, Plastic toys cars of the 1950s and 1960s , p. 27, Veloce Publishing Ltd editions, Dorchester, 2007, 128p.  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ Dictionary of the miniature and the model  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ Obituary of Clement Hector Gaget, Oyonnax Cemetery  [ archive ]
  5. ↑ When making cars in Oyonnax  [ archive ]
  6. ↑ The establishment Clement Gaget  [ archive ]
  7. ↑ Key and Bonux brand  [ archive ]
  8. ↑ The dictionary marks  [ archive ]
  9. ↑ Friction model  [ archive ]

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