Mechanical toy


The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Movement is an intrinsic part of a child's play, but the type of movement changes depending on the toy. While many toys require a child's active participation, some, such as this figure, use internal mechanisms to produce their own motion. From 1850 to 1914, French and German doll makers produced large quantities of these automata. They designed simple moving toys for children, many of which looked like children themselves. They pulled along baby carriages, stroked animals, held tea parties, or depicted characters from famous fairy tales. Others walked, talked, and blew kisses. More sophisticated toys appealed to adult consumers, some of which wore designer gowns made of the finest French silks and waved delicately painted fans. Mass production of these mechanical dolls halted at the beginning of World War I.

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  • Title: Mechanical toy
  • Creator: Gely
  • Date Created: ca.1900
  • Subject Keywords: alligator
  • Type: Mechanical Toys
  • Medium: lithographed tinplate
  • Object ID: 107.3577