Tuesday Newsday! So many toys, so little time!

Our upcoming exhibit, Toys through Time: The History of American Fun is set to open October 5, 2015! As promised, here’s some of our adventures on starting to put together the exhibit.  We are in the VERY early stages so don’t mind lack of direction…

Going through the toy collection, we counted that there are 670 toys that mainly date between 1850 and 1950.


This collection has been found in three separate attics of the house! Our collections manager has really enjoyed playing with the toys to see if they still work.  We are still trying to figure out the best way to display everything.  Do we separate by gender? era? genre? Any thoughts out there in the blogosphere?  Even though we show 14 rooms on tour, only 3 rooms plus 2 exhibit spaces will be dedicated to this exhibit so it’s been difficult to narrow down and pick which toys will highlight the collection.

The best part of this process has been actually going through the toys and seeing just how different they are compared to the toys today.  For example, we have a wonderful glass blowing kit made by the AC Gilbert Company (circa 1940s) – who in their right mind thought that would be a safe toy for children? or how about our stereotypical late 1950s toy is our Mag Power Dollhouse.  The dollhouse comes with a dream husband, the perfect housewife with an ironing board and plenty of kitchen gadgets, and of course a dog and cat.  It’s amazing how far we’ve come…


What’s going to be awesome about this exhibit is showing the kids of today what the kids of yesteryear played and seeing their faces when they realize that electronic toys weren’t invented yet.  Can you imagine your child coming to the dinner table with a glass blowing kit instead of an iPad playing candy crush? This is going to be a truly multi-generational exhibit where visitors of any age will be able say “hey, I had one of those!” and kids from today seeing what their parents and grandparents played with at their age.


Thanks for reading our blog, we will update you on our process as soon as we make some! See you next Tuesday for a “Meet the Keans” edition of the blog!


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