Toys have a universal appeal. Everyone has a favorite toy from their childhood. Beyond nostalgia or collector research, the history of toys is the history of our civilization. Toymakers from Germany and England brought European designs to America. The tradition of fathers and grandfathers making toys for their families was changing as the population moved to the larger cities. More elaborate toys could be bought with higher urban wages, and soon most toys were store-bought and it was the marketers who designed toys.
Preserving the history of these playthings may help sociologists and cultural anthropologists, but it’s fascinating to anyone who remebers a special toy received for a birthday or holiday.
So, in that spirit, we offer here an assorted history of American playthings.