M918.104.22.168-2 | Building blocks
1900-1920, 20th century
4.5 x 13.5 x 18.5 cm
Gift of Mrs. Norton A. Fellowes
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Building blocks (2) , Toy (148)
Keys to History
Building blocks were popular toys in the second half of the 19th century, a time of great interest in educational toys for children.
Canadians imported toys from England, France, Germany and the United States before starting to manufacture them here; between 1860 and 1915 there were some 20 Canadian toy manufacturers.
Like today, children's play was seen as preparation for the adult world, and toys reflected that world on a smaller scale. The pieces of this building-block set take the form of various architectural elements and can be stacked to form walls, windows and doorways.
This box containing building blocks has a chromo-lithographic print on the lid suggesting what can be made with the blocks inside.
This box of "Anchor Blocks" was made in Germany.
In the late 19th century building blocks such as these were popular educational toys for children.
Building blocks such as these would have been considered useful in developing a child's dexterity and imagination.