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YESTERDAY'S TOYS
For Today's Christmas
By WILMER H. CORDES ANTIQUES, December, 1948

Mr. Cordes, an industrial executive, is a firm believer in the value of a hobby. His chief interest is in old mechanical penny banks, but he has recently expanded his collection to include still banks and iron toys. All of these illustrations are from the Author's collection.

1948 Wilmer Cordes, 1947 Antiques photo

THE CHRISTMAS TOYS of a century ago delighted the children who received them quite as much as the toys of our modern age please our own children. Perhaps they were prized even more highly, or treated with greater respect, to judge from the number that have survived to become collector’s items.

Just as today’s toys are miniatures of airplanes, locomotives, and automobiles, the toys of an earlier day reflected aspects of the contemporary scene. Iron foundries and painters designed and manufactured circus caravans, wagons and carts, and effigies of animals or of popular personages. Some of these are "pull toys," many are mechanical penny banks. From my collection of these amusing playthings I have selected the examples illustrated on these pages to recall the pleasures of a bygone age and to stimulate the collector’s imagination. For these little objects of iron, cast into various shapes and painted in gay colors, tell a story of our own past. They may bring as much joy and entertainment to the collector as ever they did to boys and girls at Christmastime.

 

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