John McLoughlin Jr. founded a New York printing company in the mid-1850s. When his brother joined the business, it operated as McLoughlin Brothers. The company produced not only children's books, but games, alphabet and building blocks, paper dolls, and other paper toys. McLoughlin Brothers continually experimented with color-printing processes and earned a reputation for producing well-illustrated and vividly colored products. Initially, McLoughlin employees painstakingly hand stenciled the company's offerings. Later, they used zinc etching and chromolithography to illustrate books and other printed materials. By 1871 the firm employed some 75 artists-notable ones among them included Thomas Nast, Palmer Cox, and Ida Waugh. McLoughlin Brothers continued operation until 1920 when it was purchased by competitor Milton Bradley.