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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Greatest Toy You've Ever Seen: 1965

Greatest Toy You've Ever Seen: 1965

February 1965. My little brother with me and Mr. Machine, in a Kodachrome taken by Dad a few days after my birthday in La Habra, California. Not only is this slide still in good shape, so is Mr. Machine, and my brother, too. View full size.

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Scared my little sister with that thing

My Mr. Machine scared the wits out of my littlest sister, but I don't know what became of it. However this same sister, in her 50's, gave me another recently. The tooling still exists and a company revived making them.

Nevermind Mr. Machine...

That appears to be the exact same picnic table my family had when I was a kid.

My dad bought it unassembled, and left the boxes on our back deck, probably until he got around to putting it together on the weekend. Well, I got home from school one afternoon, and took it upon myself to do the task. Dad was certainly shocked when he got home to see it fully assembled!

[I always wondered about those "So easy a child can assemble it!" markings on cartons; now I know. -tterrace]

Older brother / younger brother

This dynamic reminds me so much of my sons. The older one asserting his ownership complete with eye contact and the younger indicating nonchalant disinterest while laying his plans.

TV Earworm

I never had a Mr. Machine (nor did any friends), but I recall segments of the jingle --

He is real, he is real,
and for you he is Ideal
and his name is ... Mr. Machine

The enduring power of repeated advertising upon the adolescent brain!

1960's and 1970's Versions

My oldest and youngest brothers had a Mr. Machine. The 1960's version is long gone, but my youngest brother still has the one he received in 1977.

Awesome pic!

Everything about this shot is just so cool. I remember that toy but I never had one, and no one I knew ever had one either. What's that thing behind you? The loopy thing?

Mr. Machine!

I also had a Mr Machine in '60 or '61! I was a contestant on the Art Linkletter show, along with 3 other kids in my neighborhood, and that was one of the gifts we received. My dad disconnected the bell in mine as it drove him crazy going up and down our hall that had hardwood floors.

I haven't though of that in years. Thanks Shorpy.

Awesome robot!

I had a Mr. Machine in 1961 but not for long. One day I got up and he was gone. Years later I found out that the continuously ringing bell was so obnoxiously loud that my mom hid the thing from me. It was a great toy. You could take it apart and put it back together again. No doubt it inspired the budding engineer within me.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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