At the turn of the 20th century, new industrial methods and were used to make toys. Dolls were made with a higher quality and along with the new technology, there were many new toys that came out for kids to play with during this century. Here is a look at the first decade of the 1900s and toys.
The first train set was introduced in the 1900’s. The Lionel train set is one of the biggest toys of the 20th century, and it was first sold in 1901. The little model train ran on a battery, and would circle around a small 30” track. These trains were so popular, that by the middle of the 20th century, Lionel became the world’s largest toy manufacturer.
One thing that you may not think of as a toy, but was the most popular play item for children in the 1900’s, were Crayola crayons. It was the biggest toy of the decade, and still today these wax crayons are found scrawled onto construction paper or scribbled onto walls. School lists for elementary students still often require a set for school. The original box of Crayola crayons did not have as many colors as can be found today, and only originally contained 8 crayons.
Tin toys, or wind-up toys, were being manufactured in the 1900’s. Though they had been around for years before, they became more popular toys for kids in the 20th century when American companies began to mass produce and market them. Though the toys weren’t entire tin, they were made of metal and coated in tin before being painted. Tin windup toys have become an iconic symbol of the toys of yesteryear.
There are of course, many other decades to explore when it comes to 1900s toys, which we will do in other posts. Stay tuned for more of the Toys Timeline – the history of toys.