Monday, November 24, 2014

Determining a Toy's Age from its' Design and Characteristics - Part I

Monday, November 24, 2014
Cloudy with rain, stopping ion the afternoon

Determining a Toy's Age from its
Design and Characteristics
Part I

  I was on Liveauctioneers yesterday, when I noticed a nice trolley. I decided to search our more trolleys to have enough to create post.As I did, I got a large amount of them , and so decided to create a 2 or 2 part series on trolleys, but with a "twist". I'd write about them as they changed with the times. In this way,one could determine approximately when the toy might have been made. 

  As times marches on as the expression goes, toys change with the times. In the case of  real trolleys, they were first pulled by horses, since electricity was not common in the earlier times. Eventually electricity was developed enough to replace the horse. Also, with electricity,there would be flexible row attached to the wires above. Also, the trolleys could be larger because horses no longer had to pull them, and electrical gearing could be designed to pull larger loads. In some cases, electrical trolleys were double-deckered in height.

   For today's post, I'm just presenting lithographed paper on wood trolleys. At the same time and era  (1870's-1900's), toy trolleys were made both from lithographed paper on wood, as well as tin or other metals.

If you didn't know the identity of the manufacturer (Bliss), you could place the approximate date of manufacture in the late 1880's , give or take 10 years. Bliss, of course was an early American toy manufacturer that focussed on wood and paper lithography for its manufacture. However, without the manufacturer's identity, they team of horses as a means of movement, and the wood an paper lithography dates the toy to the time that I mentioned previously.

Here's an almost similar toy, but the question would be "was it made earlier or later" that the first presentation? Also,it's missing the pair of horses pulling it.

The illustrations of the riders help to zero in on the era that the toy was made. With the first two Bliss toys, the conductor  is wearing a long coat , a cap with metal medallion, and of course the long goatee under his chin.

Below, the "sophisticated" passengers are all well dressed (unlike today!). The "gentlemen" are moustached and beard, and both are wearing hats. The gentleman on the left even has a walking cane. The lady and the young girl are also well-dreeed in dresses and also wearing hats!

I can't date the Hutzler toy below since Bertoia did not give the date. I tried to research the name Hutzler and it turned out to be a store in the USA (I forgot the city). I did find that it continued into the 1950's with a board game. More research will be required! As for the number of Hutzler's toys on Liveauctioneers, there were only two!

Here's another late 19th century or early 20th century trolley toy. The animal is described as a horse, but the long ears lead me to believe it is an donkey,of course I defer to Bertoia Auctions who are of course the toy experts. And as they say, donkeys are very stubborn, and you would not have wanted your donkey to stop in the middle of traffic (horse, horses and carts, drays, phaetons, and a whole host of other wood vehicles in the downtown area.

That would be a traffic jam to see had you been there in the 1880's! 

Thanks for dropping by to visit, and as always,
have a great part of the day or nigh,
wherever you may be,

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