Toys are items used in play and as a way to educate children. Over the years, toys have been made of wood, tin, cast iron, paper, china and plastic. These are all present in our collections. Toys reflect lifestyles of families, events and ways to prepare children for society over the years.
The earliest toy in our collection is a wooden monkey on a stick dating from the 1880s. The 1900s toys include household items such as china tea sets, cookware, and household items such as toy irons, stoves and doll furniture for girls.
Friction and pull toys were also popular. Toys for boys include tin soldiers, small tools, vehicles and building blocks. Farm animals, both large and small, were frequently played with. Books and games for boys and girls have always been prized and are included in our collection. Manufactured toys such as trains, cars and trucks made of heavy metals became popular in the 1920s and 1930s.