The Canadian Toy Association

Harry Adelman

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Canadian Toy Industry Hall of Fame Inductees


Harry Adelman, an extraordinary toy salesman and master promoter, dedicated a great deal of time and energy to making Canadians not only aware, but proud, of their toy industry. He started in the business in 1946 as a salesman for Reliable Toy Company. Based in Montreal, his first challenge was to cover the Eastern territory, which he did with zeal, going as far as Miquelon and St. Pierre to expand his client base. At the same time, he became involved in the Canadian Playthings Manufacturers Inc., the forerunner of the CTA, and served as its first Vice-President of Publicity. Community-spirited and a natural organizer, Mr. Adelman helped set up Children’s Day in Montreal during which children from orphanages enjoyed treats, toys and the company of hockey stars. Among other things, Mr. Adelman set up Christmas media preview shows, and was one of the driving forces behind the annual national contest for a Miss CPMI, a child who would serve as a face of the toy industry.

Mr. Adelman also started the popular Toy Fair Breakfast Speaker series in which government ministers and department store CEO’s met face-to-face with industry members. Equally popular were the industry golf tournaments that he started in Montreal and the Toy Old Timers, a twice yearly gathering of peers, which met for more than a decade. In 1950 Mr. Adelman served as sales manager for the games division of Summerville Industries, returning to Reliable as their General Sales Manager in 1959. In 1968 he went back to Somerville where he remained until 1975 when he joined House of Games as Sales Manager – a position he held until his retirement in 1982. Mr. Adelman says he enjoyed a tremendous career, and that he wouldn’t have worked in another industry for the world.

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