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Toys from Pollock Toy Museum - Part 1

Posted on July 9, 2013 by Gladstone Gander There have been 0 comments

Toys from Pollocks Toy Museum

Ever thought how it would be to visit a toy museum? This post talks about some of the interesting toys from the Pollock Toy Museum. I will be putting up this post in 2 parts.

Pollocks Toy Museum is one, which has all the toys you can imagine. It is named after Benjamin Pollock, last of the Victorian toy theater printers. Toys present here are from all over the world. They belong to different historic periods.

Let us take a look on some very popular toys which originated long back.

(1) Games from Dexterity and skills
The ability to manipulate fiddly game pieces is a feature of Edwardian games. Initially, the
games were purely for amusement purposes, later they became a family entertainment.

Before the large‐scale commercial manufacture of boxed and board games, physical skills in games were reserved for outdoor sports , play‐ground or street.

Jacques ‘Gossima or Ping Pong’ introduced lawn tennis to the dining table in 1901, alongside Blow Football, Hop La and Table Quoits, Tidley Winks, and Table Croquet.

(2) Monopoly
Monopoly was invented in 1932 by Charles Darrow in Atlantic City. He based out his idea on similar property games popular in 1907. By 1936, Monopoly became a huge craze, and since then over 80 million sets have been sold worldwide.

(3) Pea Shooters, Pop Guns and Pistol Guns
Since ancient times children have imitated their elders, learning the skills of hunting and combat with slingshots, blowpipes (pea shooters), bows and arrows, swords and later, guns.

Until the 19th century, for most children these were home made. Since 1870, mass production started in order to provide toys at reduced prices.

When it comes to guns, the actual quantity of guns for sale to children has diminished. Since the 1960s, the range of diabolical weaponry and toys of mass destruction have exceeded the horrors of the real thing. A shift is seen from historical fold heroes and futuristic space adventure to more realistic terrorist hardware. Space fantasy has taken on a more abstract form with Space Invaders and other computer games.

(4) Model Railways
In 1840s simple tin or wooden engines pulling two or three carriages appeared. These were push‐along floor toys without rails or any attempt at scale.

The first powered trains were (like the real thing) steam driven, using methylated spirit burners, but this proved to be too dangerous for children to handle without adult supervision.

Famous names for manufacturing toy train sets include Marklin, Bing and Carette. At the same time in Britain WJ Bassett‐Lowke began his toy making firm at Northampton, and soon became the marketing agent for the best German railways.

This post was posted in Toys: History and Philosophy and was tagged with London, museum, toys