A full-color trip through the treasures of American Childhood from 1650 to today.
Remember the toys you played with when you were growing up? Each of those objects has a story to tell about the history of American childhood and play. Construction toys like Lincoln Logs and Erector Set offer insight into America's booming urban infrastructure in the early 1910s and 20s, and the important role toys played in preparing children for future careers in engineering and architecture. A stuffed toy monkey from Germany tells the story of young Jewish refugees to the United States during World War II. The board game Candyland has its origins in the dreaded polio epidemic of 1950s.
Exploring Childhood and Play Through 50 Historic Treasures brings together a collection of beloved toys and games from the last two centuries to guide readers on a journey through the history of American childhood and play, 1840-2000. Through color photographs and short essays on each object, this book examines childhood against the backdrop of culture, politics, religion, technology, gender, parenting philosophies, and more. The book features ten categories of objects including board and electronic games, dolls, action figures, art toys, optical toys, animal toys, construction sets, and sports. Each essay tells the story of the individual object its historic context, and each passage builds upon one another to create a fascinating survey of how childhood and play changed over the course of two centuries.