Posted on 29 May 2010.
In the 1940’s, the world was fighting its biggest war. In the U.S., people were forced to ration what they had to be able to supply the war effort with what it needed to be successful. The toys invented in the early part of the 1940’s reflect this sentiment, and in the late 1940’s, toys would reflect the excess of a prosperous war economy. The things invented for military needs would be repurposed as toys for kids.
Model Airplanes were first made out of balsa wood because of its strength to weight ratio. But, the invention of polystyrene meant that companies now had plastics to use to mass produce toys. Model airplanes shifted to being made out of plastic instead of wood, and kids and adults fell in love with them.
The wealth of wartime research and development meant that several products would eventually find themselves made into toys. A couple examples were Slinkies and Silly Putty. Both were invented by military men while trying to solve problems for their military equipment, but were eventually marketed as toys, where they were bought up in droves.
The wartime rationing seems most evident with toys like Bubbles, which were simple and inexpensive, but kids loved them. Blowing bubbles had been invented before the 1940’s, but it wasn’t until this decade that the first commercial marketing of the solution to blow the bubbles with was sold. Because of the simplicity and price of bubbles, Tootsietoy has turned Bubbles into the best selling toy in the entire world.
Early Modern Toys
The growing urbanization after the dark ages meant more free time for the masses. Adults and kids both now had time to think, play, drink, and have fun, like no other generation before them. The toys, however, stayed pretty similar to the kinds of toys that were found in prior eras. However, the quality and [...]
1930s Toys: Improving Economy = Better Toys
The U.S. economy in the 1930’s was a complete flip from what had been seen in earlier decades. Manufacturing techniques were getting better, materials were getting cheaper and more durable, but now people did not have the money to purchase these new toys. The Viewmaster did not come about until the end of the decade [...]
1920s Toys – Pogo Sticks and Yo-Yos
The 1920’s were a period of great growth and success in the U.S. Fueled by the post-war American spirit, toys started to shift from role-play and more simple toys, to manufactured games. With the invention of polystyrene in 1927, toys would begin to be made out of a durable plastic that could be easily molded [...]
In 8,000 years of civilization, playing has never been such an in-grained part of life for people, adults and children. Life was so focused upon domestic work, agricultural work, and military endeavors, that adults and kids never had the time or the energy for play. But, with the industrial revolution, people have more free time [...]
The 1910’s were a generation of building. The nation was building its infrastructure, building wealth, and kids were building with their toys. The most popular toys of the 1910’s were the kinds that little boys would build with, while little girls played with dolls.The Erector set was first invented in the 1910’s. When he first [...]