Past Gallery Exhibit – Toys

Toys: 1890s - 1940s

Toy stove Toy soldier Toy drum

This exhibit featured a wide array of antique toys and vintage games. These items were donated by Margaret and Elisabeth Runge, Marjorie Runge Kelso, Mrs. Rai Kelso, Margaret E. Biehl, Dr. Edward and Sally Futch, Mrs. Fred Burton, Herbert L. Ganter, the Morgan Family, Frances A. Mattei, William H. Davis, Dorena Ames, and W.R.A. Rogers.

Rag doll, ca. 1890

Rag doll, ca. 1890

Miniature porcelain tea set, ca. 1900. Includes: teapot, sugar bowl, cups, saucers, and cake plate

Miniature porcelain tea set, ca. 1900. Includes: teapot, sugar bowl, cups, saucers, and cake plate

Toys provide a sense of pleasure, fantasy, and imitation. They are a joy to play with as children and are fun to reminisce about as adults. Often, toys offer a glimpse into how life was different — and in many cases how it was the same — in the past.

Tops, marbles, and iron toys, early 20th century.

Tops, marbles, and iron toys, early 20th century

Children of ancient civilizations played with many of the same toys still found today: rattles, balls, tops, pull-along animals, and dolls. Examples of these types of objects have been uncovered during archaeological excavations all over the world.

Hand-painted wooden doll furniture, ca. 1890. Set includes wardrobe, dresser, settee, table, and chairs

Hand-painted wooden doll furniture, ca. 1890. Set includes wardrobe, dresser, settee, table, and chairs

Highlights from the Library’s toy exhibit included a ca. 1890 rag doll with a hand-painted face and hair, ca. 1900 toy soldiers on horseback, and a 1906 miniature iron stove. There are several examples of wooden doll furniture and tea sets as well as mechanical toys, musical instruments, and educational games.