(1890- Toy Train.  photo source)

We had so much fun compiling pictures for our blogpost “The Baby Stroller:  A Visual History” that we decided to create another Visual History post.  This time, we’re featuring children’s toys over the course of a century, from the 1890s to the 1990s.  Scroll below and watch the way children play evolve from decade to decade:

Kids with Toys

1890- Ball and Hoop

Family portrait, ritratto famiglia

1895- Toy Sheep and Hoop


1897- Toy Catalogue

Boy With Toy Horse

1900- Toy Horse

Small boy and girl at 'tea party' 1904

1904- Tea Party

1905 Girl With Doll

1905- Doll

Margaret J (Rita) Lynas born 1902

1906- Doll and Toy Donkey

Rocking Horse

1908- Rocking Horse

N.Y. Playground (LOC)

1910- NYC Playground

Carnegie playground 5th Ave. (LOC)

1910- Carnegie Playground on 5th Ave, NYC

Uncle Owen 1914

1914- Pedal Car


1917- Eaton's Catalogue

Henry Page Dyer with toy boat

early 1920s- Toy Boat

Girl in toy Spirit of St. Louis, 1927

1927- Toy "Spirit of St. Louis"

Boy on a tricycle

1928- Tricycle

Baltimore 1928

1928- Toy Car

Keystone Toys

1929- Keystone Toys Advertisement


1930- Doll

Baby and bunny, 1932

1932- Stuffed Bunny

Tea Party with Friends 1936

1936- Tea Party

Young Dad and Toy Car

1937- Toy Car


1937- Asleep with Dolls

Home made pull-along duck, 1946

1946- Homemade Pull-Along Duck

1948 WOOLWORTH'S Doll House 1940s Vintage Toy Department illustration F.W. Woolworth advertisement

1948- Woolworth's Doll House Ad

1949 -- Mike Jumping over Wagon

1949- Jumping Over Wagon

Lincoln Logs - 1950

1950- Lincoln Logs Advertisement

Billy and Ruth Toy Catalog

1952- Huffy Bike Advertisement

America's Top Ten Hasbro Toys, 1954

1954- America's Top Ten Hasbro Toys

Boy with his first toy train (Hamburg, 1954)

1954- Train Set

See a World of Wonders - View-Master

1950s- View-Master

Slinky Ad- 1957

Roxie with a hula-hoop

1958- Hula Hoop

1959- Barbie's First Commercial

Toy dog.

1960- Toy Dog

Anthony & Mattel Ken Doll 1963

1963- Ken Doll

car toys

1964- Hot Rod Jalopy

Thomas Kids with Wagon

1965- Toy Wagons

1967 SUPERFAST MATCHBOX CAR Toy Kids Vintage Advertisement 1960s

1967- Matchbox Cars Advertisement

Tommy with a horse marionette

1968- Horse Marionette

070369 06 01

1969- Rocket

Me & Aunt Kathy

1969- Girl Playing with Top

Bobby on Christmas morning

1970-Drums, Tinkertoys, Cars, Books, and More!


1971- Toy Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch

1973. child portrait - Toy phone.

1973- Toy Lion and Phone

Mattel Ad- 1975

Mattel Ad- 1975

Me, Circa 1977

1977- Legos

Fisher Price toys-1978

1978-Fisher-Price Toys Advertisement

My first Star Wars toys

1979- Star Wars Toys

1980 Kenner Strawberry Shortcakes Magazine Ad

1980- Strawberry Shortcake Advertisement

Ernie and I

1981- Ernie Doll and Music Toy

Mattel Early 1980s Toys (Source Unknown)

Early 1980s- Mattel Toys Advertisement

Fifth birthday, 1984

1984- G.I. Joe

1980s (mid) - Eve - holding Cabbage Patch Kids dolls - kneeling - 0025

Mid 1980s- Cabbage Patch Kids

Barbie World of Fashion Brochure

1988- Barbie Brochure

My Little Pony Crazed (1980s)


1989- Playing Nintendo

Goober face

1991- Sledding

Time for Breakfast

1992- Breakfast with Kid Sister

1992- Playskool Tape Recorder Advertisement (source)

1992- Playskool Advertisement

Alissa Driving

1994- Toy Car

Brothers and Trains

1994- Train Set

Tickle me Elmo

1997- Tickle Me Elmo

Ready to Swing at the Pinata! (1988)

Little Tikes Swing (1999)

Teddy Bear in Swing (1999)

2 comments on “Toys: A Visual History (1890s-1990s)

  1. Lynne from California on said:

    Just discovered this website. Very interesting and nostalgic — takes us from our great grandparents day, to grandparents, parents, our own childhood and to our children’s day. I found it as I actually have one of those Woolworth’s Dollhouses — yes the real thing!!

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