Mechanical toys

From the exhibition:
Toys and Games: A New Mexico Childhood

New Mexico History Museum

Early plastic toys were frequently quite fragile. The comical round woman and tall thin man seen here both have bodies made of plastic and bases that contain clockwork-like mechanics enabling the figures to move forward in walking or waddling motion. The advent of tin ithography allowed manufacturers to create toys like the horse seen here from two sheets of metal, soldering together its sides. The horse pulls a small blue metal carriage. It is likely that that original carried a small driver.

In the foreground is a small multicolored music box. Boxes like these could be cranked with a lever on top to play particular tunes. This piece, with its worn colors and bent edges alludes to the frequency of use by the former owner.

New Mexico History Museum, gifts of David Canfield and the Delgado family.

Photo by Blair Clark, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Note: Representative image at left is often cropped for display purposes. Downloaded high-resolution images are not cropped.