For decades, American children have played with toys that encouraged them to imitate adults. Today, for instance, children in the United States play with plastic tool sets and miniature kitchens. The same was true of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Prevalent as early as the mid-1800s, housekeeping toys served a dual purpose-providing young girls entertainment while simultaneously instilling in them an understanding of their future homemaking responsibilities. Girls therefore had many toys modeled after full-sized housekeeping equipment in their homes, such as irons, washing machines, and stoves. Another example of early housekeeping toys, this miniature parlor stove looks much like the ones found in homes at the time, placed in parlors as a secondary heat source during the winter. Like full-sized parlor stoves, it has aesthetic, as well as functional, qualities, such as elaborate embossing and a decorative finial.