What’s Old at the Museum – December 2022

Christmas time makes us think of children’s gifts and toys. So, I thought I would do a bit of research.
The first record of children’s toys is in the 14th century when small stone and clay marbles were found in children’s graves in Egypt.
– In the 16th century there was evidence of wooden dolls and a cup with a wooden ball on the end of the handle. You would swing the handle and try to get the ball into the cup.
– The first dolls were made in Germany in 1558.
– The first jigsaw puzzle was made in 1767 intended to teach geography by cutting maps into
– The Kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 and alphabet blocks were patented in 1882.
– The 19th-century middle-class girls played with wood and porcelain dolls and had doll houses, model shops, and skipping ropes. Boys played with marbles, toy soldiers, toy trains and toy boats. Poorer children had few toys and often had to make their own.
– The 20th century brought plasticine in 1900 and the same year Meccano sets. Crayons were
invented in 1903.
– Popular toys in the 20th century were small tin cars and teddy bears were introduced early in the century. Silly Putty was invented in 1943.
– The 1950’s saw Lego, Mr. Potato head, Play-doh and Barbie dolls.
The museum has a large toy selection most of which is located in the Nursery area upstairs. We have an extensive doll collection and you can see examples of board games and puzzles under the tree in the window.


The museum will be opened by volunteers if you would like a tour. There is a card in the
window with the numbers to call. If you are looking for a Christmas gift, remember “A Soldier’s
Wish” a book about the life of an ordinary soldier in WW1. It is available at Boundary Coop and
the Civic Centre in Hartney and can also be purchased through Amazon.


We do not have any metal boy’s toys (trucks, graders, etc.) that were popular in the 1950s. If
you have one and would like to donate it, we would be very happy to have it. You may call
Dawne at 858-2071 or Barbara at 858-2358.

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