Made in the United States
Patented by John E. Wilson and Ned F. Wagner, Watsontown, PA
Wood, paint, metal
This simple wooden penguin has movable legs and feet that are weighted and curved so that it can "walk" independently when set in motion on an inclined surface. As described by the inventor, the penguin was chosen for his toy because of its "very comical, awkward, waddling gait." The goal of the inventor was to create a simple but uniquely animated toy. Earlier "walking" toys were fitted with a wooden rod or handle and "walked" on dangling legs when held by a child. They did not stand or walk alone, however.
Gift of Mrs. H. Louis Auten, Oak Park, IL, from the Elizabeth M. King collection (701260)
Pop-up clown, ca. 1930
Painted wood, metal
This simple little toy has a clown inside that is mounted on a spring so that he will bounce up when the lid is lifted. Dime stores were the best place to find toys like this, and they usually sold for a dime or less. Wind-up toys sold for a little more and were often made of metal.
Gift of Mrs. H. Louis Auten, Oak Park, IL, from the Elizabeth M. King collection (701277)
© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96