Mechanical Toys — November 30, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Early American Toy Figures

BY JACK HERBERT

When considering Early American toys, we naturally tend to think of horse-drawn vehicles, train sets, or a small riverboat or two. And, indeed, those categories do make up a vast majority of subjects, as well they should.

But play value was not entirely relegated to transportation, then as now. American toymakers may not have suggested robots, per se, but robotic movements
were incorporated into a great quantity of early figural toys. Almost everything produced then was subject to the age-old windup motor. Virtually all toy figures offered in America in the 1875-1895 period had movement, some of it quite ingenious, and all of it fun. For example…

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