by Jill Holt, Curator of Textiles
Over the first half of this year, we had an exhibit of toys. I have a soft spot in my heart for toys and had a wonderful time putting the exhibit together. So many of today’s toys are made of plastic but there was a time when metal was the preferred material for toys.
One of the metal toys in the exhibit was the “Corner Grocer.” The center panel has lithograph print of the interior of a grocery store and it is flanked with shelves which swing out. The shelves contain miniature canned and boxed goods. There is also a sales counter complete with scales, telephone, and a roll of butcher paper. Wolverine Supply and Manufacturing of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, made this toy beginning in the 1920s.
Another metal toy in the exhibit was the Play Steel Colonial Dollhouse. The lithograph of the interior and exterior was done by the National Can Corporation of New York in the 1940s. The house features a living room and dining/kitchen on the first floor with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor.
I spent many hours playing with similar toys during my childhood and these two toys brought back many happy memories for me.