This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Pratt and Letchworth
Monday, April 8, 2013
Pratt and Letchworth
I found a Pratt and Letchworth that was located in Buffalo, New York. As it turned out, the company was founded by 2 brothers Samuel Fetcher and Pascal Paoli Pratt, and William Pryor Letchworth as the Buffalo Malleable Iron Works. The company originally produced saddlery hardware and was the largest in the USA. In 1889, Mr. George S. Crosby, a toy designer was hired. The toys were marketed by the name of Buffalo Toy with the company then being known as Buffalo Indestructible Malleable Iron and Steel Toys).* * reference atca-clug.org/article02.php
When I saw the first Pratt and Letchworth carriage, I was fascinated that these toys were so large, and so ornate. I'm sure they're quite heavy, and to have a young child pull them on dirt roads would certainly not be my favourite activity had I lived in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Also, I'm sure these fine toys cost a lot at the time. However, if I was a child way back then and had one of these toys, my imagination would have had me travel around Canada, the USA, and the world. I would also have certainly moved the figures around!
A Readership Milestone
Last night, I reacher 59,994 page views for this blog. This morning, when I awoke, the number was 60,051. For those who don't know, a page view is a statistic to indicate each time a blog viewer comes to my site, and looks at a page of my blog. I rarely get more that 10 page views in 1 day for a new post. However, each day, I will have between 120-280 page views. I donl' know if 1 person has looked at forty pages, or 40 people have looked at 1 page. Nevertheless, the 60,051 as of this time is welcome and appreciated by me.
I reached the 40,000 mark on december 10, 2012, so I am now averaging about 5000 page views per month. Of course, as the warm weather approaches, numbers will drop, and when the fall and winter approaches, numbers will rise.
So once again, my readers,thank you, and thank you also to all of the people and auctioneer houses who have allowed me to use their fine photos of new and old toys to use for my blog.
I don't know if all of the items for the wagon "load" are authentic and came with the toy. What's interesting to not efor this toys and others is the front wheel. A string would be attached to the eyelet and pulled along. The wheel and eyelet design is interesting as it allows the toy to turn via this part.
You have to be very careful when you come across any cast iron toy, especially toys like these. I once purchased a reproduction from California that arrived broken. I ever collected the insurance, as the U.S. Post Office would not pay due to poor packaging. I didn't pursue the matter with the seller, as at the time, I was new to E-Bay, and didn't want to make a fuss.
The 25 pound 4 horse fire wagon at about 30 inches arrived partly broken. I took the toy to a local craftsman who repairs all kinds of antiques, and he said the repair would cost about $ 300.00. I eventually threw the toy out and took the loss.
When you purchase a toy from a reputable auction house, you may pay more than on let's say E-Bay. However you have to realize several things. First, what you get will in fact be what is described.
Secondly, the item has been researched to authenticate what it is. And finally, this item will be superbly packaged if it is to be shipped, or even taken with you in your car or SUV.
What I liked about writing this post is of course first and foremost the toys. However, in my later years,I got to like language. I like the terms for the items above that you hardy ever see in print anymore. A "dray" a 4 seat "brake", a"transom", a "surrey", and a"wagon". Of course, the unique names for different wagons is no different that today's language for cars. The minivan, the SUV, the station wagon, and so forth.
I selected the 2-horse dray above to close the post for today. It's my favourite because of the complicated graphic-design to the dray. I like the colours, that front wheel guide, and best of all, I can take apart the toy with its removable wood floor slats and side panels. Now that would have been my toy way back when. Play with it outdoors, and when I'm indoors, I could take it apart, or load it.
So thanks once more for helping me reach my milestone
of 60,000 page views today, and for having dropped by for a visit.