National Museum of American History Showcases “Toys from the Attic”
The case highlights more than 30 physically and mentally stimulating toys, including an 1890s’ swimming doll, an early 20th-century tricycle and a 1908 children’s carpet sweeper. It examines manufacturers’ methods of toy innovation, such as moveable parts, as well as the history of toy marketing, including its shift to targeting children directly and the selling of toys in “wish lists,” catalogs and department stores. “Toys from the Attic” demonstrates how greater public demand led to the more affordable mass-production of toys, such as alphabet blocks and children’s sewing machines, which would supplement education and prepare children for adult life.
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To mark the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro lunch counter sit-in, the museum explores stories of freedom and justice, both in Washington and online. To learn more about the museum, check http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).