Newspapers and magazines, whose circulation grew rapidly during this period, brought the maritime world into the home. They described technological wonders, naval battles, maritime disasters and celebrated ship launchings, to which toy-makers reacted with a range of nautically inspired toys and games.
Made some 30 years before the widespread use of clockwork in toys, Dolphin is one of the earliest clockwork-powered toys in existence. It may have been made as a gift or instructional model, commissioned for the family of the Duke of Northumberland who once owned it.
Maker: Alan Hunt; British, 1822
National Maritime Museum,
SLR0149; Repro ID D6955
One or more talented craftsmen made this exceptional toy. Le Comte de Hainaut (Count of Hainault) was probably a private commission from an eminent family. It was sold by the Paris firm of Alphonse Giroux, which specialised in, amongst other things, the sale of luxury toys.
Photo Curtesy of National Maritime Museum
In May 2010 the National Maritime Museum (NMM) launched Toy Boats. The exhibition explores the range of toy boats made by European manufacturers from 1850 to 1950, a period marked by rapid advances in maritime technology.
I recently found this envelope with postcars from the USSR called "Skillful Hands. Young Technicians." published by the Planeta Publishing House. Moscow in 1973. The price was 51 kopeykas (the equivalent of bottle of Pepsi) and the amazing production run of 300,000 copies! I love the variety, here come the 15 postcards:
1. Scarlet Sails. Teamwork of Leningrad Technical Workshops for Young