As if Santa Claus has parachuted onto the roof and then crept in through the side door (we don't have a chimney), the Community Room of the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society has filled up with all sorts of children's toys. As well, toys are featured throughout the museum. The holiday exhibit focusing on "My Favorite Toy," opened Nov. 23 and will continue through Jan. 18, 2014.
A Flexy Flyer Model 100 was loaned by Chuck Luppert, LCHS board member. The wheeled sledlike toy was manufactured by the S.L. Allen & Co. of Philadelphia. The model debuted in 1932 and shortly thereafter was used on the sidewalks of South Williamsport.
Joan Knight has loaned her miniature cupboard, painted a vibrant Prussian blue. According to Knight, the child's cupboard was built for her by German prisoners of war who were being held at a southern facility during World War II. Her father was in command of that facility. Her father also had furniture produced by the prisoners in anticipation of his Pennsylvania family joining him in a rented house as the war continued.
Roger Shipley and his wife Nancy have loaned two marvelous tin toys. A vintage ski jumper track.
"Both of us grew up playing with this toy," Shipley said. "This jump belonged to me. I remember playing with it on the kitchen floor. We wanted a smooth floor so that the jumper would run along on his wheels after landing (landing correctly happened about half the time)." "The click of it popping open to flip the skier was mesmerizing. Each jump turned out differently," Nancy said.
The first toys to come in on loan were all boys' toys. And toys played with, but obviouslywell-taken care of and many with their original boxes.
Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana has loaned his G.I. Joe. With his land transport vehicle, G.I. Joe has successfully retrieved a mummy! David Bresticker has loaned his extensive collection of G.I. Joe, proving that in addition to unearthing mummies, Joe was perfectly capable of serving as a Marine, an Army private, a scuba diver, a sailor or an astronaut.
A nice cross-section of toys has been loaned including Hot Wheels, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, Star Wars and transformers, metal dollhouses, children's tea sets, pick-up sticks and tinkertoys, miniature stoves and game boards and Barbie and Ken.
The museum is open for touring 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Parking may be found in the parking lot immediately behind the museum or on the street. Admission is charged. Discounts are available for Triple A members and those who have served or are serving in the military. LCHS members are free.
For more information, contact the Taber Museum at 570-326-3326 or visit www.tabermuseum.org.