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Toy Stories explores the history of children's toys from the 1940s to the present.

This online exhibit shows that toys not only reflect important trends in economic, social, and cultural history, but they also contribute to and reflect the personal histories of those who play with them.

"Toy Stories" was an exhibition presented at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison in 2006-2007. In preparation for the exhibition, more than fifty notable Wisconsinites contributed their recollections of favorite toys and the memories they evoke of family, friends, holidays, birthdays, and childhood recreation. These celebrity stories, along with user submissions, are available for you to browse.

Enlarge. Red toy tractor and wagon.

J.I Case Toy Tractorcycle, 1951-1954

Enlarge. Boy sitting on toy fire engine, another boy dressed as a cowboy, and a girl with toy cash register.

Children Playing in Bedroom, 1955

WHI 6835

Enlarge. Metal slinky toy with box.

Slinky Spring Toy, ca. 1975

Enlarge. Blue easy bake oven toy with plastic red bowl.

Easy-Bake Oven, 1964

Enlarge. Interior of dollhouse with toy plastic furniture.

Doll House and Furnishings, 1952

Enlarge. Toy airplane with toy pilot.

Little People Airport Playset, 1972-1976