Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1871 Bliss Building Blocks

The name "Bliss," when speaking of antique toys, usually brings to mind their famed lithographed paper dollhouses. But the American company made other toys as well, including this set of small wooden blocks, still in their original 7 1/2 tall box with its paper label intact. I spotted these on a birthday antiquing trip last weekend, and was thrilled to find them.They were only $20, which seemed like a steal for such a lovely, and old, toy.

The label dates the set to 1871, and the text features one of the earliest toy safety endorsements I've ever read:

"No. 248.
Improved Architectural Building
Free from PAINT or other POISONOUS colorings.
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1871,
by R. Bliss Manf'G. Co., in the Office of the Commissioner 
of Patents at Washington."


  1. Yep, beautiful AND non-poisonous! :0)

  2. Aren't they, though? Just such a beautiful, simple toy. I love 'em.

  3. I have those same blocks! Used to play with them all the time as a child at my grandmother's camp.