Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review

Collector's Guide to Housekeeping Toys, 1870-1970, by Margaret Wright. Published by Collector Books, January 2007. ISBN 978-1574325409. $16.95. 285 pages.

While not a comprehensive reference source, this charming paperback provides a fun introduction to its topic, presented in full-color with great, crisp photography. Toys covered include American-made stoves, miniature cupboards, grocery stores, cookware, tea sets, wash day and housecleaning items, and much more. The author admirably conveys her delight in these objects as both simple toys and important sociological artifacts, writing in the introduction: "toys...are historical documents...American history can be taught with 20 items on a table, beginning with an 1880 cast-iron stove and ending with a plastic tea set, components of the Industrial Revolution and modern technology." Her love for these toys is infectious: you'll find yourself wanting to "play house" after you finish reading this wonderful little book!

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