Monday, January 21, 2008

Toyland from Yesterday

A feature I always enjoyed at Las Fuentes was a display case where residents could share collections gathered over a lifetime. Items dating from the one-room schoolhouse ... old Christmas tree ornaments ... needlework projects ... classic dinnerware. Wonderful stuff. At Mom's new digs, there is a similar showcase. Currently, the subject is toys, most of them from the world before modern plastics.

Brightly painted sheet metal objects...

... including one of those tops that you spun by pumping a spindle up and down.

Two kinds of jacks; the upper sort were a bit light weight and scattered too far apart; the heavier kind (lower) spread nicely when thrown.

A truck and horse-drawn fire engine of heavy cast metal -- older than I am, though not the tank! Note the little wind-up vehicle.

Military items from different ages...


...more sheet metal work, though that truck looks to be plastic, as are the Pluto dogs.

FYI: Since I am currently without PhotoShop, I am not able to cut the size of my pictures down to 60-70K to load into the blog, using iPhoto. I haven't been too satisfied with the low-res pictures produced by my Canon, so I decided to try low-res (480 x 640) on the old Sony, which is only a 2.1 megapixel camera. As I suspected, the Sony does a much better job than my fancy 6 megapixel camera.

16 comments:

meggie said...

I loved seeing these toys. Reminded me of some my brother had. He had one of those tops, & wore it out, using it on a concrete surface. How he loved it!
I am surprised at how the camera we got at a garage sale for $5 is better than my $249 one!! Mine has not even got a macro feature, but when we bought it, we had no idea about digital cameras.
The sad thing is, I gave the cheapie to my Granddaughter! I have to borrow it off her!

Anonymous said...

RE: the Jacks. Here, that which young girls bounced balls and picked up were/are pigs knuckles or the plastic imitations thereof. I've not seen a set of jacks atall atall. Hermano

RV-boondocker-explorer said...

It's not for nothing that Pixar used old toys in their "Toy Story" blockbusters. Looking at old toys brings on a nostalgia fit better than anything else.

I wonder if kids actually played with their toys back then for longer than 15 minutes.

Changes in the wind said...

Hi, I am new to your blog....love the pictures...such wonderful memories. Don't you wonder what they will have left of the plastic ones to show the future generations.

TomboCheck said...

great pictures granny j!

sheoflittlebrain said...

Fun post, GJ! I wonder if they even make those tops anymore. I got some jacks for my Granddaughters a couple of years ago and they kindly agreed to play with me, but their hearts weren't in it. Sad....then agan, I had fun:)

Granny J said...

meggie -- both cameras have macro settings, but because the old Sony has a longer lens, I can get closer to my subject with it than with the Canon, which has a wide angle lens. Ah, well...

Bro -- and you won't see any, either, what with all those boy grandchillen!

boonie -- I'll bet they did. Simple arithmetic -- fewer toys, more time per toy!

changes -- I worry just as much about all those memories stored on hard drives that crash. I've probably got some memories on 5" diskettes somewhere in the house; if I'm lucky, I might be able to find a player...

tombo -- thank you!

brain -- too bad about the jacks. BTW, were they plastic or metal? I can't imagine playing with lightweight plastic jacks -- ugh!

Avus said...

Ah, those old tinplate toys. We played with them to destruction, so they are so rare these days. (In fact they would not be allowed now, with their sharp edges - I wonder how we managed to survive without "elf and safety"?)

As to the jacks - the Romans used the bones from pigs' knuckles - hence "knuckle-bones".

The Tablet PC In Education Blog said...

Thanks for the pix; they bring up pleasant memories of ones I had, saw, and sometimes wanted, but never had. The latter I think sometimes were the best memories. :) Bob

Jan said...

granny j..I really enjoyed seeing these old toys!

I remember that my step-sister and I spent hours playing Jacks..and another one, Pick-up-sticks..remember those?

Lucy said...

The toys are fabulous. Some suppliers still import reproduction tinplate toys from central Europe and elsewhere, but you virtually have to sign a disclaimer that they aren't real toys etc.
Interested to see the knitting bu has bitten GrannyJ too, it seems to be everywhere!
Also liked your reflections on learning classic poetry and its power to bridge the generations. Happily it seems to me that, on-line at least, poetry is as popular as ever.

Granny J said...

avus -- indeed it is wondrous that we all survived in a world of sharp edged toys and see-saws! So now we have to have a book called "The Dangerous Book for Boys" to put a small amount of spice back in kids' lives! How did the Romans play with the knuckle bones???

Bob -- It looks like you were a survivor, also, despite a world that had sharp edges and disappointments...

jan -- weren't the pick-up sticks a branded version of the really old jack-straws? I wonder if either are on the market today. I recall that playing with the pick-up sticks on a carpet was far preferable to a shiny wooden floor.

lucy -- the knitting is proceeding very slowly. My problem is that if there's a printed word anywhere about, I'll pick it up and read it. Apropos poetry, a couple of days ago I came across The Bugaboo by Eugene Field -- Mom recited about half of it as I read; her granddaughters loved to have Grandma recite scary poetry and stories at bedtime (speaking of the great over-protected world we are raising our kids in...)

smilnsigh said...

Great entry!!!

Mari-Nanci

Granny J said...

Thank you, SnS...

Avus said...

Romans with knuckle bones - hold in the palm - throw them up and try to catch them all across the backs of spread fingers.
Just like we used to do at school with the plastic variety!

Granny J said...

Thanks, avus -- I had forgotten that part of playing Jacks! And, for that matter, where did the term "jacks" come from?

 
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