by Ken Foust
Nineteenth century toy advertising shows up far too rarely for the taste of most collectors. A handful of original manufacturer’s catalogs still exist, as do some from wholesale houses and retail establishments. Ads for toys sometimes appear in old periodicals like “The Youth’s Companion.” Trade cards showing mechanical banks turn up now and then, and occasionally ones promoting a specific toy. A few old posters survive as well. At one time, a printer’s proof was likely created for each of these items; but since most were discarded shortly after they were made, the odds of finding one seem small indeed.