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Kimball House Museum and Me

I've been meaning to visit the Kimball House Museum in Battle Creek for several years now. They have some Twinzy Toys and information about my great-aunts' toy company that I want to check out. It's one of many things I haven't gotten around to, mostly because my visits to Battle Creek tend to be infrequent, brief, and filled with other things while I'm there.

Tuesday's email brought an unexpected invitation my way. I'm sure to finally visit Kimball House Museum on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. At 6:00 pm that evening, I'm speaking there! I'm doing a program on Twinzy Toys and the Squier Family.

The invitation came out of email correspondence I've been having with Heritage Battle Creek President Charles Rose and other folks in Battle Creek who found the Twinzy Toy photos that batwrangler put on Flickr. They also want me and other members of the family to film a family story video for local community cable TV and online viewing via YouTube.

Very exciting, and amusing, too. It's certainly not how I expected to introduce myself to the folks at Kimball House Museum. I'm far from complaining -- I've already learned more about Twinzy Toys from them electronically than I ever expected to in person. Before the invitation came on Tuesday, they sent me info from two newspaper articles about Twinzy Toys published in 1945 and 1955. From the 1945 article, I learned the names of several toys: the Twinzy Toy horse in my user icon is "Merry Legs." That article also said that in 1941, Lord & Taylor in New York featured a window display of the "Man in the Moon" dolls, and that during WWII, Twinzy Toys made "General Maude," an Army mule that was sold only at West Point.

I'd already known the wire-haired terrier toy was named "Hy-Jack" after the twins own wire-haired terrier of the same name. The article only named the toy, not mentioning it was their dog's name, but it was still nice to see the confirmation -- the toy is pictured on the tradeshow banner I have, but I don't have a Hy-Jack itself. Nor an Jerry Giraffe or Emma Elephant. Hope springs eternal in the collector's heart.

Both articles include the information that over a million Twinzy Toys were made at the toy factory in Battle Creek. I've known they were sold nationwide, but was glad to have that info supplemented by this bit from the 1945 article:

"While some toy manufacturers work only for the Christmas market, Twinzy Toys have a year round demand and their output in January is almost as great as it is in December. For a number of years these toys have had a market in Honolulu and Panama but just recently orders for them have come in from both Brazil and Portuguese East Africa. However the owners of the business are not soliciting foreign trade because (and this has been especially true in the past few years) they cannot begin to supply the demand in this country."

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
mizzlaurajean
Mar. 16th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Neat!
cakmpls
Mar. 16th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! I loved seeing the Twinzy Toys you had collected at R's and my visit...omigosh, two years ago already.
batwrangler
Mar. 16th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
Yay!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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