A local company that filled an industry gap with a range of toy bricks 90 years ago is being researched ahead of a major exhibition.

In 1917, before the arrival of plastic building bricks, Ernest Lott's company Lott's Bricks, based in Vale Road, Bushey, created toy bricks made of stone, arranged in kits designed by a leading architect.

In preparation for an exhibition in June 2008, Bushey Museum and Art Gallery, Rudolph Road, Bushey, is asking for information about the bricks and their manufacturer, once one of the leading employers in the village.

The bricks became successful after World War One stopped Britain's trade links with Germany, the previous producer of many building toys.

At a launch event at the British Industries Fair in 1917, the fist box of bricks was bought by Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, and the bricks were soon owned by homes throughout the country.

Bryen Wood, director of the museum, said: "They were a very important industry in Bushey.

"I had several sets of Lott's Bricks myself.

"The problem with them was they were enormously heavy as they were made of real stone.

"That's one of the reasons they lost favour with a lot of people but you could make some marvellous models with them."

The bricks were used to make buildings including market halls, churches and stations for model railways.

They were popular across the country but competition from other companies and more flexible building toys led to the end of the company about 1968.

Gary Birch, researching the history of the bricks for the exhibition, said: "The bricks were made of artificial stone and the kits were designed by Arnold Mitchell, a real architect who practiced in Harrow.

"They were very heavy so the company later started making lighter toys such as chemistry sets to lighten the load of the transports and reduce costs."

The museum already has a collection of Lott's Bricks which will be featured in the exhibition, alongside items loaned by toy enthusiasts and collectors.

Ahead of the event, the organisers of the exhibition are interested in hearing from employees of the company, along with collectors and anyone else with information about the toys and their manufacturer.

If you have any information, telephone the museum on 020 8420 4057 or fill out the form below.

The exhibition will run from June to September 2008.