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Playskool Wooden Bench with Pegs and Hammer

play set

A former Milwaukee schoolteacher Lucille King began the Playskool toy company in the 1920s. While an employee of at the John Schroeder Lumber Company in Milwaukee, King developed the idea for simple wooden toys. She and another teacher had previously designed toys made of wood for use in the classroom. King took her plans to the lumber company's management and launched the Playskool Institute in 1928. King's line of toys consisted of basic, durable wooden items that aimed to develop coordination and to stimulate minds. By 1930 Playskool produced more than forty different toys, including a pounding bench, wooden beads and blocks, a table-mounted sandbox, a pegboard, and others. Playskool Institute's slogan proclaimed "Learning While Playing," and some items were billed as "Home Kindergarten." Another slogan the company used advanced the company's mission: "Playthings with a Purpose." In the 1930's, Playskool's toys received endorsements from child- guidance experts, and the aura of educational enrichment clung to the brand. Since the 1940s, the company expanded by purchasing other toy companies noted for their toys made of wood: the J. L. Wright Company, maker of Lincoln Logs; Holgate Toys; Halsam Company, an established manufacturer of wooden blocks and Halsam's the Embossing Company, manufacturer of embossed alphabet blocks. In 1968, the Milton Bradley company purchased Playskool and wisely retained the company's emphasis on toddler and preschool toys. When Hasbro, Inc. purchased Milton Bradley in 1984, the toy giant acquired Playskool as well; the company has continued to grow and produce toys of enduring play value ever since.

  • Manufacturer: Playskool Manufacturing Co
  • Material: plastic | fabric
  • Origin: USA
  • Object ID: 116.4514
  • Credit Line: Gift of Claire Marschak
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