Fred Ertl Sr.
A German immigrant, Fred J. Ertl Sr. settled in Dubuque, Iowa, during the 1920s and immediately went to work as a journeyman gray-iron molder, making cast-iron furnace parts for the Adams Company. As a result of a labor strike in 1945, he started his own business manufacturing toy tractors from aluminum alloy. His sons removed the backseat of the family car to make room for the models which they sold at toy stores and five-and-dimes.
Fred Ertl is selected to the Hall of Fame for creating the foundation from which all contemporary diecast makers spring.
Thanks to Dana Johnson for historical account!