Exhibit TypePermanent Exhibit
Exhibit LocationUpper Level: The Lighter Side
DisplaysMini Mansions, Fun Furnishings, Dolls
A Collection of Childhood Treasures
Comprised of toys and artifacts from a number of donors, “Toy Town” is the pathway to a trip down memory lane. In one diorama, dollhouse-size replicas of an early 20th century general store and country cottage are replete with period furnishings, accessories, and details while another home is outfitted and decorated with hand-made Craftsman style accoutrements. A procession of cast iron circus toys parade by the houses as motorcycle police and occupants of other iron vehicles watch.
The rural sector is also represented by a farmstead portrayed a1950s-era tin Ohio Art barn and Louis Marx tin house occupied by the original animals and people. The farm house is appropriately outfitted in mid-century decor by Renwal, Superior and Plasco.
A model of his Grandmother Cora Hayden’s general store from the now ghost town of Chickasaw by Waterloo crafter, the late Searles Hayden, rounds out “Toy Town’s” architecture.
“Toy Town” boasts other child-minded displays. Charlie Brown’s friend Schroeder would love the collection of toy pianos comprised of a variety of 20th century models by Schoenhut and R. Bliss Manufacturing. Four 1930s-era rooms are depicted by vintage wooden dollhouse furniture manufactured by Strom Becker Playthings while the 1920s are represented a kitchen scene designed by well-known illustrators, Berta and Elmer Hader, and published in an edition of McCall’s magazine.
Speaking of McCall’s, their well-known paper doll, Betsy, who has been around since 1951, is just one of the cuties included in the currently-under-development doll display. In addition to the paper versions, bisque penny dolls, china frozen charlottes, celluloid figures and kewpies give this display an extra scoop of “loveable.”