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Schools are opening and teachers and other experts are using technology and new toys and games to help educate children. Curiosity, creativity, individuality and fun are all part of the "new" ideas. But 19th-century ways were different.

There were almost no toy manufacturers before the 18th century. Most of the toys that were made were educational. The "Sunday toy" is an example. No play that day, just church, but a wooden Noah's Ark with animals was permitted as a way to learn Bible stories. Cards were made for educational games based on geography, spelling or history. Board games taught "Virtue rewarded and Vice punished." Mechanical banks were toys that taught thrift. Construction toys helped boys learn how to use tools and understand building. Girls learned to sew, cook, clean, and buy necessities with the help of toys that looked like mother's things. And it wasn't necessarily all supposed to be fun.

Here are some toys that a 6-year-old child in the 19th or early 20th century would have. Today's 6-year-old might have an iPad!

Eagle and eaglets mechanical bank
Eagle and eaglets mechanical bank, photo courtesy of Cowan Auctions, sold for $615.

Toy blocks
Children's toy blocks, alphabet, Little Bo Peep on reverse, nested set, c.1890, photo courtesy of Rich Penn Auctions, lot of 2 sets, $330.

Cress Board Oval Educational Board game,  double-sided letters and numbers, pat. 1916, photo courtesy of Conestoga Auction, $104.


"Consul, The Educated Monkey" board game, tin, photo courtesy of Morphy Auctions, $120.

Toy stove
Toy stove, steel, brass & enamel, photo courtesy of Grogan & Co., $677.








































































#1 Home page articleshalondaedwards 2013-11-27 16:14
very interesting and informative

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