Sunday, March 31, 2013

The World's Oldest Toys

World's Oldest Toys
As every teddy bear fan knows, this classic toy was first made in the early 20th century and named for U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt. Pinning down the oldest bear of all isn’t so easy, however. They seem to have been invented almost simultaneously by German toymaker Richard Steiff and a Brooklyn craftsman named Morris Michtom. Pictured is a replica of one of Steiff's originals. (Photo credit: Steiff Museum, Giengen, Germany) less
 
World's Oldest Toys 
Though pedal-less and made of padded wood, the "draisine," patented by German inventor Karl von Drais in 1817, is usually credited with being the world’s first bicycle. Versions of his design quickly rose to popularity among young, male, and idle members of the British upper classes, earning the vehicles the unkind nickname “dandy-horse.” (Photo credit: Gun Powder Ma)

World's Oldest Toys  

You might think of chess or backgammon as being old board games, but they've got nothing on this. It's Senet, a game popular in ancient Egypt more than five thousand years ago. Exactly how to play it is a matter of some debate, as the Egyptians apparently weren’t sufficiently forward-thinking to carve the rules into the board. This particular example was buried with King Tutankhamun and is now on display at a museum in Cairo. (Photo credit: Credit: D. Denisenkov) 

World's Oldest Toys

Believe it or not, the yo-yo is also one of the world’s oldest playthings. It’s at least two thousand years old, and examples survive from many ancient cultures, although they’re usually associated with the Greeks, who made them from wood, terracotta, and bronze. The pictured yo-yoer is from a Greek vase.

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