Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remembering The Lincoln Logs...!


Most of us can remember the time before electronic toys.

At one time or another in your childhood, I'll bet you were introduced to the Lincoln Logs! Even if you didn't have a set, probably some of your friends did. Of course, this was in the day that children were given toys that made them use their imagination a lot more than today.

With these wonderful toys, so many things were built and story lines often created to go along with what ever was built, that the log sets could spawn countless hours of productive play.

The history of the Lincoln Log is a great deal different than you might think! Take a look at this article about their origin and you'll see what I mean!


In the 1910s, American builders were busy on construction sites in the city and in the playroom. Introduced just after Tinkertoys and the Erector Set, Lincoln Logs were yet another construction toy to make it big during the decade.

John Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, brought out the line of sturdy, interlocking logs in 1916. Wright claimed that the foundation of Tokyo’s earthquake-proof Imperial Hotel, which he saw while it was under construction, inspired the shape of his logs.

Lincoln Logs turned out to be a toymaker’s dream. The original sets were an instant success, and after World War II, sales of Lincoln Logs got another boost from the baby boom. The sets were popular among postwar parents because they were more sophisticated than plain building blocks but still challenged children’s powers of concentration and eye-hand coordination.

Ironically, Lincoln Logs—long a favorite of proponents of educational toys—were among the first toys to be promoted on a television show, 1953’s Pioneer Playhouse. The ads targeted affluent parents, who were most likely to own a television set and to buy educational toys. Sometimes a toy that has had a previous life returns to catch the eyes of children at just the right moment in history.


I guess it's a good thing that kids were never told that the logs they enjoyed playing with so much were actually helping them learn. The only thing I can see that would have improved on the Lincoln Logs, and other construction toys over the years, was an instruction book on how to make children pick them up after they were through playing with them, right?

Some things just never change!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit. Nice and cool this morning for a change!

15 comments:

squire said...

Lincoln Logs!! wow that brings back memories. Thanks Hermit

Argentum Vulgaris said...

We never had them, but we had Meccano instead.

AV

Dizzy-Dick said...

Oh yeh, do I remember them! At Christmas time I always constructed a nativity scene out of them and it got put on the mantle with nativity figures for display. Also, had Tinker Toys and Erector sets.

Momlady said...

My grandson has a small set and I agree about an instruction book on picking them up.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Interesting history, HJ, and you are so right that toys like Lincoln Logs made children use their imagination without use of electronics or batteries or other gadgetry. How sad that things have changed and not so much for the better.

Anonymous said...

Good morning.
I loved playing with Lincoln Logs.
I will not be drinking my coffee outside today. It is 36 degrees out there.
andy

HermitJim said...

Hey Squire...
Does make the old memory cells come to life, doesn't it?

How many hours did I play with those things!

Thanks for the visit!


Hey AV...That is one I never heard of! Was it like the logs or more like the erector sets?

Either way, I'll bet you enjoyed using the imagine, huh?

Hey, thanks for coming by today!


Hey Dizzy...
Boy, you were a building little guy, weren't you?

Pretty cool about the nativity scene on the mantle!

Thanks for coming over this morning!


Hey Momlady...
That would be one of the most important parts, I'm thinking!

They sure were a lot of fun to build with!

I appreciate the visit this morning!


Hey Beatrice...
Wonder if a good dose of using the grey matter would help now days? Maybe they could carry it with them as they grew older!

Politicians could stand a bit of THAT exercise, for sure!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by!

HermitJim said...

Hey Andy...
At 36 degrees, I can certainly understand you staying inside! The kitchen is nice and cozy! That's always a good spot to sit!

I do thank you for coming by today!

Kelle said...

Do I remember Lincoln Logs, of course, they provided hours of fun play, use of one's imagination as well as learning/ building skills. Don't laugh now, but we used to build barns for my breyer horses and forts for our( my brother and myself) army men and tanks*wink*

It's only 34F here this morning, I feel the chilly breath of winter breathing down my neck. Let the foot race begin!
Blessing for your day Hermit Jim,
Kelle

HermitJim said...

Hey Kelle...
I'll bet the horses and the army guys all appreciated the warm log houses and forts!

Some times I think the side stories were the most fun part, don't you?

What fun we used to have with toys like these!

Hey, getting close to Winter there! I appreciate you taking time to come by today!

Catman said...

I still remember the smell...

HermitJim said...

Hey Catman...
Funny how some toys had their own particular smell, isn't it?

Some things can trigger the strangest of memories!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Marjie said...

At least one of my sons is sure I'm the meanest shrew on the planet, because I don't buy electronic toys. They all had Lincoln Logs, Legos, Erector Sets and K'nex. Building toys are the best!

Anonymous said...

Dang it...all I ever got to play with was an occasional empty cardboard box or a stick and an empty can! But those were still good times!

Adirondackcountrygal said...

We spent many happy hours playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos too!