Baseball Card, 1952
This card, featuring New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle, is from the first major set issued by the Topps Chewing Gum Company. Highly sought by collectors today, many of whom grew up watching Mantle play, it ranks as one of the most valuable cards from the post–World War II era.
First produced in the late 1800s as tobacco advertisements, baseball cards became popular collectibles for fans of all ages.
Barbie Doll, around 1960
In 1959, the Mattel toy company introduced Barbie. Unlike most dolls at the time, Barbie was a grown-up—a “teenage fashion model” who could date, drive, and wear fabulous clothes.
While often criticized for her unrealistic physical proportions and for promoting gender stereotypes, Barbie has also evolved with the times. Since the 1980s she has taken on many new careers, from police officer to paleontologist; she even ran for president.
Keds Sneakers, around 1957
These black canvas high-tops were worn by Jon Provost, the child actor who played Timmy on the television series Lassie (1957–64). Like many young sneaker owners, Provost customized his Keds by doodling on the rubber soles with a marker.
Since their invention in the early 1900s, sneakers have been a mainstay of childhood fashion, valued for their comfortable fit and sturdy construction as well as their style.