Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s

Most of the exhibits we’ve enjoyed at the Missouri History Museum in recent years have been local displays. Things related specifically to St. Louis, or the greater area around the city, focusing on our local history, and displaying artifacts from the Museum’s private collection. There is an excellent traveling exhibit on display right now, that we have enjoyed equally as well: Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.

Let’s start with my very favorite part of the exhibit, which is only tangentially related to the topic. There is a living room set-up for each decade, including a couch, chair(s), coffee table, lamp, and television (which plays toy commercials appropriate to the decade). There were even selections of board games that families may have played in each decade. I love seeing how people might have lived in each time period!

You begin with the ’50s, and a cowboy-themed room:

We visited this exhibit several times, and on our last trip to the museum, we discovered that they had added a “Christmas corner” in the ’50s, including a great, big, shiny aluminum(ish) Christmas tree!

You then move on to the bright colors of the ’60s:

Finally, the ’70s, complete with yellow, orange, and shag carpeting!

There was even a garage/backyard represented!

The signs, as always, were informative. There was also some additional artwork that added a nice touch.

Finally, the toys themselves. There is a whole area of the exhibit dedicated to hands-on play with toys from different decades, including many that I played with myself as a child. The Slinky race was especially fun!

And then, throughout the decades, more toys than you can imagine. Dolls and action figures, educational toys, toys representing pop culture, games, building toys…they found it all!

And a final thought from Mr. Rogers himself:

This was a great exhibit. It was not only educational, but extremely nostalgic, which is exactly what you want when you visit a history museum. There is less than two weeks left to see it in St. Louis…if you have time, I highly recommend stopping by!

2 thoughts on “Toys of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s

  1. That sounds like a really cool exhibit. I see a few things in that post that I played with as a child too. I wish I lived in that area because I’d definitely take the kids. Maybe I’ll be lucky and they’ll bring the exhibit here someday.

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