The Lefton Company was founded in 1941 by George Lefton. He was a Hungarian immigrant who arrived in Chicago in 1939. Although his background was in marketing and designing specialty clothing, he had a passion for collecting fine porcelain. Lefton traveled to Japan in 1945 to seal an importing agreement and the first Lefton China product marked "Made in Occupied Japan" reached the United States in 1946. See "Brief History of Inarco, Lefton, and Napco". Midwest Sales Court. 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2014-11-05. From 1945 through 1953, these pieces were stamped with the words "Made in Occupied Japan." Figures from 1946 to 1953 may also bear a red sticker with either silver or gold trim on their bases, which reads "Lefton's Exclusives Japan." Objects made after 1953 added the words "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off," while those made after 1960 swap that phrase for the simpler "Trade Mark." Unfortunately, during the 1960s, '70s, '80s, the use of these stickers (and others) overlapped, so they are not a perfectly reliable way to date a piece of Lefton. See "Vintage Lefton Figurines". CW Collectors Weekly. Retrieved 2014-11-05.