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Toys, Games, Dolls, and Holiday Antiques
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Other Holidays

One can never tire of Christmas and Valentine’s Day, but there are other holidays, each inspiring its own range of collectibles. Today collectors look for collectibles from Halloween (candy holders, costumes, masks, decorations, jack-o-lanterns) and Easter (eggs, papier-mâché bunnies, candy containers), as well as Thanksgiving decorations, Fourth of July postcards, and hundreds of other holiday-related […]

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day traces its roots to a Roman mating ritual and to a Christian saint, Valentinus, who was martyred in the third century. The Roman festival celebrating spring had spread to England by the fourteenth century. Young men and women exchanged handmade gifts and cards. By the mid-1700s, valentines were commercially produced in England. Early […]

Toy Timeline

    This is a timeline of when some famous toys were created and/or became available for sale. Date 1890 1890s European stamped-tin cars   1890s Electric trains 1900  Early 1900s Pedal cars 1903 Teddy bears 1907 Character dolls (The Yellow Kid) 1910 1911 Kewpie dolls Tootsietoy 1913 Erector sets 1914 Tinkertoys   1915 Raggedy […]


The first decorated Christmas trees displayed in America were in Bethlehem (1747), Easton (1816), Lancaster County (1821), York (1823), Harrisburg (1823), or Philadelphia (1825), all in Pennsylvania; Boston (1832) or perhaps in St. Clair County, Illinois (1833); Circleville (1838), Wooster (1847), or Cleveland (1815) or all in Ohio (1851); Williamsburg, Virginia (1842) or Farmington, Iowa […]


View-Master, the twentieth-century version of the Victorian stereoscope, was introduced in 1939 in Portland, Oregon, by William Gruber, whose hobby was stereo photography. Since then more than a billion of the handheld viewers have been sold. During World War II, the U. S. military used the viewers for training. After the war, adults bought them […]

List of Toy Makers

This is a list of toy manufacturers with location, dates of operations, and other useful information to help date and value your vintage toy. Manufacturer Location Dates of Operation Toys Made and Other Company Information American Flyer Chicago, Illinois 1910–1966 Trains, airplanes, accessories American National Company Toledo, Ohio 1894–1941 Pedal cars, pressed steel trucks, bicycles, […]

Early American Toy Manufacturers

Most of the toys made by these manufacturers are marked with a name or company logo. Manufacturer Dates Art Fabric Mills New Haven, Connecticut c.1899-1910 Automatic Toy Works New York, New York 1868-c.1880 R. Bliss Manufacturing Company Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island 1832-c.1914 Milton Bradley Company Springfield, Massachusetts 1860-present George W. Brown and Company Forestville, […]

Tickle Me Elmo

When the $30 Tickle Me Elmo toy appeared on a TV talk show in 1996, the publicity set off a rush to buy the toy. During the Christmas season that year, its price skyrocketed to as much as several thousand dollars, but the price soon fell back to normal. Elmo is a furry red Muppet […]

Teddy Bears

No discussion of toys can omit the teddy bear. Teddy was named for Teddy Roosevelt after a hunting trip he took in 1902. The president refused to shoot a defenseless bear, and newspaper cartoonist Clifford Berryman drew a picture of the incident. New Yorker Morris Michtom was inspired by the cartoon to name the stuffed […]

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals were first made by toy manufacturers in the late nineteenth century. The Steiff Company in Germany made stuffed elephants, pigs, monkeys, and other animals beginning in the 1880s. The favorite stuffed animal, of course, is the teddy bear. In America the cuddly “Teddy” was inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s 1902 hunting trip. The Teddy […]

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