Small Talk

77 Years Young

77 Years Young

It is hard to visit The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures and not take a trip down memory lane. What is more nostalgic than toys? An old toy store on a Midwest Main Street! Veach’s Toy Station opened in 1938 in Richmond, Indiana as a general five-and-dime that sold toys during the holiday season. Although it is now strictly devoted to toys, locals insist that Veach’s hasn’t changed much in its 77 years.

The store is now being run by the third generation of the Veach family. The 16,000-square-foot store stocks American made toys from small companies. And if that wasn’t enough, the second floor is a “wonderland” of all things electric train. Road trip anyone?
Photo courtesy of Veach’s Toy Station.

To Protect and Serve

To Protect and Serve

With the Great Depression of the 1930s came a new era of children’s play. Children invented their own games and imaginative worlds, which were sometimes based on radio, film, cartoons or comic book characters. Young boys began to play cops and robbers using toys like these from T/m’s collection.

The owner of the policeman’s billy club recalled going to the movies and reasoned that receiving the gift may have been related to a popular movie at the time. Although a billy club may seem like an odd gift to give a small boy today, the owner reassured T/m staff that, “we were all good policemen.” He also noted that the shrill noise of the whistle would stop any bad guys in their tracks!

A Rare Gem: The Art Deco Jewelry Store Chandelier

A Rare Gem: The Art Deco Jewelry Store Chandelier

Like the star atop a Christmas tree, Caeser’s laurels, or the perfect bowtie, there’s something to be said about a great “finishing touch.” In T/m’s Art Deco Jewelry Store, you might say the grand chandelier is just that. Whether in full-scale or fine-scale miniature, a jewelry store needs the best light to reveal the luster of its wares.

The multi-tiered beaded chandelier by Robert Ward contains 15,800 glass seed beads. We had an intern count them once … just kidding, the artist did! A larger spherical glass bead hangs at the bottom center. The lavish light fixture was inspired by a full-scale Art Deco chandelier located in the grand salon of Hôtel du Collectionneur in “The City of Light”: Paris.

Steeped in History: A Tea Party Souvenir

Steeped in History: A Tea Party Souvenir

You may remember the Emery Bird Thayer Department Store (E.B.T.) from our posts about the Josephine Bird Dollhouse here on Small Talk. The store on Petticoat Lane in downtown Kansas City promised that, “this great store will be here every day, striving to please you with reliable merchandise combined with excellent service.” The store was stocked by buyers who traveled throughout Europe and Asia searching for goods to sell.

Just like many old department stores, E.B.T. had an elaborate tearoom housed in the large mezzanine. In the tearoom the store hosted tea parties for little girls and their dolls. At the end of the party, each girl took home a souvenir cup and saucer. The department store’s tearoom closed shortly after the end of World War II, but not before handing out this 1914 tea party souvenir set made by Royal Bayreuth in Bavaria.  Today, there are several places you can still take your doll for tea and Royal Bayreuth is still making china after more than 200 years. We’ll have more insight into another Royal Bayreuth tea set lined up for Small Talk in the coming months; stick around!

A Rare Gem: Jewels in Art Deco Jewelry Store

A Rare Gem: Jewels in Art Deco Jewelry Store

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but sapphires and emeralds are pretty high on the list too! In the 1920s, no self-respecting flapper would be caught dead doing the Charleston at the Cotton Club without some fabulous jewelry, whether real or fake. The selection of miniature rings, bracelets, and baubles were designed and created for the Art Deco Jewelry Store by artist Lori Ann Potts.

Much of Potts’s portfolio is inspired by vintage fashion and jewelry. In fact, she often uses antique fabrics, lace, and rhinestones in her work. Her contributions to the Art Deco Jewelry Store really hit all the right style notes! Check back here on Small Talk for more on the room’s finishing touches.

Page 1 of 4012345...102030...Last »