Historic Toy Collection

Included in the Toy Collection are games, books, dolls and doll accessories and furniture, stuffed animals, wooden blocks and cars, and metal toys and ride-ons. Of special interest are the toys made by Peter Mar, Billie Boy Toys, and Glad Tidings Church. The most recent toys are those made by Peter Mar in the years following World War II. The McColm Dry Goods Store sold toys, and the store’s toy catalog dating from the 1920s has been scanned as reference.

When Laura Musser was a child, toys were made of natural materials such as wood, cloth, metal, and porcelain. Laura Musser would have played with both handmade and store-bought toys.

Toys made from natural materials continue to be made today, but the introduction of plastic toys in the 1950s has transformed the playroom. Children have transformed ordinary objects into playthings since ancient times. Starting in the 1700s, it became more common for wealthy families to buy toys. In the 1900s, better wages and mass production made it possible for more families to afford them.

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