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, October 11, 2016 Overcast and Rainy 17 Celsius / 62 Fahrenheit
Excellent Photography from Mr. Dirk Soülis
I've written about Mr. Dirk Soülis several times in the 5 years that I've been blogging. I discovered his find website and auctioned toys by having done a search one day. His photography is always superb, and he presents lots of photos of his toys going to auction.
Pratt and Letchworth 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
Since the company was established in the mid-1890's and existed later on, it manufactured toys that were popular at the time. These included horse-drawn fire wagons, and a whole group of different carriages, also that were horse-drawn.
A SCARCE PRATT & LETCHWORTH BAROUCHE IRON TOY CARRIAGE
A high quality cast iron horse drawn toy circa 1890, unsigned, all original paint etc,
measures 6.5 x 17 x 5.25 inches. Very good, complete, original condition.
Monday, October 10, 2016 Overcast and raining 17 Celsius / 62 Fahrenheit
Ives, Blakeslee, & Williams Catalogue
I started out with 2 posts of toys, and when I was looking through the catalogue, I came across baseball equipment. I had never added a post about sports, so for today, this is the final post of the series.
What's of course most interesting is the equipment, which by today's standards is so antiquated, and rightly so. The next most interesting thing (if you haven't noticed before) are how inexpensive (by today's standards) are the costs of the equipment.
It's certainly interesting to see how many differently-priced baseballs that the company manufactured. Of course the "National League " baseball was the priciest at $ 1.00 which was a lot of money back in 1893.
Once again, we see the widespread pricing of the belts. Notice also, that the price is for a gross of belts, which is the equal to 144 belts. I also just remembered that the company (Ives et al) was a whole seller.
Once again take a look at the prices for a gross. What's more fascinating though is the actual cost of a baseball bat. The most expensive bat per gross is the men's second growth ash bat, priced at $ 60.00 US. That works out to 41.6 cents (US dollars). The lease expensive bas is the "youths' Hard Wood , White and Blue Band", prices at $9.00 per gross or 3 cents per bat. However, this is a boy's bat and is made of "hard wood". What's also interesting is to see from how many different trees bats were made from. Three mentioned are bass, ash, and maple.
Finally we have the clothing. The complete outfits (all inclusive) range from $ 5.00 - $ 12.00.
Of course not all parents could afford to equip their children with such 'luxury". Also, there were few laws for child labour in the USA in 1893. A good number of children had to go to work at young ages to help their parents out with the cost of living!
Sunday, October 10, 2016 Overcast and Raining 17 Celsius / 63 Fahrenheit
Ives, Blakeslee, and Williams Co.
Yesterday, I added a post about a catalogue reproduction of an 1893 original. Yesterday's content was exclusively iron pull toys, that would be pulled along the road or sidewalk by a string. Today's entry is about the "mechanical toys" or wind-up toys. These toys once wound up , would be able to move by themselves or feature moving people doing some kind of action, such as dancing, or playing a musical instrument.
The toys below can run in a straight line, or if a part of them are turned, will run in a circle.
The toys below can run in a straight line, or if the front axles are turned, will run in a circle.
Below's toys are more sophisticated in nature. The horses (middle photo) move around in a circle, until there is no more energy, and the winner is the one that lines up with the # 60 on the base of the toy. The cat toy has the animal playing a violin on the top of a house roof.
Below are assorted toys that will perform different actions. The largest one (immediately below)
has 3 people doing different actions and when wound, will run for 60 minutes.
These American toys developed after the high-quality and lithographed toys from Europe were imported into the United States. The European were more colourful,as the Europeans, especially the Germans had developed lithography (printing) on metal, and had very sophisticated and multi coloured colour themes.
Saturday, October 8, 2016 Overcast with rain 17 Celcius / 62 Fahrenheit
An Ives, Blakeslee, & Williams Co.
A great resource for researching toys are old catalogues or their respective reproductions. This reproduction was from a circa 1893 Catalogue "featuring a complete line of toys for home and export trade". It was reproduced by" L.C.Hagarty, a collector of iron toys & mechanical banks, from Coalport, Pa., USA. in 1965".
I decided 3 posts on this interesting catalogue. In the late 1800's, there were still many toys that included all kinds of wagons pulled by horses. The "horseless carriage, truck , and cars would not appear for another 15 years. This first part is a set of toys that were pulled by a cord.
What is most interesting is the price of the toys. Most of the prices of the toys are stated as the cost by the dozen.
What is also interesting is that there is no name as to who the manufacturer was.
So my question is this: was it customary to not include the names of the manufacturer, or were the toys in this catalogue reproduction of authentic North American manufacturers of toys?
The topmost toy is most interesting because it includes a stable for sheltering the horse and cart, and I've never seen such a toy before.
The topmost toy is interesting because of the description of the wagon. It's called a "truck",
which I never knew was called a "wagon". I've usually seen these things titled wagons.
Yesterday, I'd forgotten that I had once purchased some toy catalogues from CabinCreekCDs. I was searching for my paper catalogues, when I remembered that I also had some CD toy catalogues. I decided to view them on my monitor and check what's on them.
For today's post, I selected a fine cast iron mechanical bank that moves with a wind-up key.
Horse Race Mechanical Bank (Flanged Base) with Box
Yellow version, billed as "The Race Course Bank","The Toy of the Period",pulling on
string at front of the bank activates an internal spring. Drop coin into slot to start the horse race.
Colors are bright and striking. Provenance: Al Carron to Bill Norman Collection.
Cracks to top surface, (Pristine condition).
Price Realized: $ 20,400.00 USD
The catalogue image is different from the Bertoia Auctions one. Notice the horse buggy is dual wheeled with large wheels. It is different but similar to the J & E Stevens Company one.
Also notice that the toy cost $ 1.00 in the catalogue in 1871-1872.
The final winning bid for the J & E Stevens Bank was $ 20,400.00 USD.
The scanned image above is from the Emerson's Bazaar catalogue.
Above is a business card for CabinCreekCDs. If you type in their web address, that will take you to their website. The company is an excellent place to start if you are searching for certain toy catalogues. Of course, they have lots of other interesting items for sale. Thanks for dropping by, and as always, Have a great time of the day of night, Wherever you may be. Stacey Bindman email@example.com
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Overcast and Seasonal 19 Celsius / 66 Fahrenheit
Four Arcade Busses
I recently wrote about cast iron toys that were similar in size and shape but different in their exterior finish. As I was searching for something to write about I came across a current Bertoia Auctions auction, where there were a group of nice cast iron Arcade busses. The arrangement of the busses on this page are by year, with the later busses starting from top to bottom.