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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

Little Country Doctor: 1951

Little Country Doctor: 1951

"Xmas 1951." A closer look at some of the toys seen here two weeks ago, and that some of us may have actually had. 35mm Kodachrome. View full size.

30 Seconds Over Tokyo

Waht do you think the chances are that that B-25 was made in Japan? Talk about irony.

A pretty good haul that year.

The road grader was made in Rockford IL by the Nylint Toy Company and wasn't cheap. It sold for $7.95 in 1954.
Nylint started production in 1947 and continued until succumbing to the changing economy in 2001. One of my childhood friends' uncle was the company president and he got all the new toys each Christmas. But sadly, he never thought to ask for an extra or two for the neighborhood kids. Damnit.

Smitty

That Smith-Miller truck on the far left is worth a pretty penny today. The company is still manufacturing toys, but for adults. Check out the company history here: http://smittytoytrucks.com/AboutUs.htm

Very interesting read for all of you treasure hunters out there.

My Marx Brother

The train set was definitely a Louis Marx Co. product, likely made in the USA at that time. For Christmas of 1953, when I was 7, my parents got me the Lionel "027" black & gold Erie diesel freight train set I'd admired so much in the catalogue that year. And either that Christmas or the next, in age-appropriate dialectical materialism, they got my brother (4 1/2 years my junior) a Marx wind-up metal train similar to the one in this photo. His had the same Union Pacific diesel (though only one unit in his set), the same UP caboose (behind the shooting-gallery birds in the picture) and two-rail track, but with different freight cars, though I can't recall their exact markings now.

Saving for a rainy day

I believe that's a Bank of America piggy bank truck on the left. I wonder if it came with instructions to save your pennies, because some executive was going to waste them, 50 years into the future, and earn himself a billion dollar bailout bonus.

Pinball

I think the toy behind the plane's wings is a marble pinball - maybe my brother had one something like this. You can see the metal pocket for the spring at right and there are rims to guide the marbles into the targets under the circus animals.

Road Grader

I have that exact toy siting in my floor bed outside.

Justifiably rebuked

Yes perpster, like the one you linked. But as you already know, it‘s an M-10003 and not an M-10000. I’ve already been rebuked by my grandson for the egregious error. I’ll submit to the lashes, but in the spirit of Christmas please keep them soft. Merry Christmas to everyone.

All Wound Up

The locomotive is definitely a clockwork or wind-up toy. If you look carefully you can see the stem of the key sticking out of the left (or outer) side of the engine once you see that you can see the handle of the key fairly easily.

Interesting that locomotive and cars all appear to be made from tinplate. By this time move American manufactures of toy trains - and most toys in fact - had gone over to plastics. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place but I can't see any evidence to suggest that this set was manufactured by Louis Marx and Co. I'm wondering if this might not have been a cheap import of the short you bought when you weren't sure your son was old enough for a Lionel train set.

Deja WooWoo

kreriver: Sort of likee here?

Merry Christmas!

Here's a picture of the jigsaw puzzle on the right:

UP M-10000?

Looks like the locomotive set was ‘inspired’ by the Union Pacific M-10000. I’m certain the boy receiving this train was very happy to have it. My guess is it was a wind-up.

Windup Train

Received a similar windup train the Christmas before my 4th birthday. Walked up to the train while it was running on Christmas morning and it ran over my foot. My sister in the picture is 8 months old.

B-25

That's a B-25 Mitchell bomber. My father was an Army Air Corps engine mechanic during WWII and worked on the bombers. During my childhood (I was born in '47), I had toys and models of all of them: B-17, -24, -25, -29.

Wired Birds

The "Birds on a Wire" used plastic pistols shooting corks. Pretty hard to do much damage. I'm not sure when I got mine, possibly around 1947. Plastics were being used more for toys after war production ended.

Wyandotte Toys

The "birds on a wire" and the toy behind the plane's wings are both shooting gallery-type toys. You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

Marx Trains!

Not Lionel? That kid was adopted!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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