In the middle of the nineteenth century, American Christmas celebrations began to center more on the family celebrating at home. The Christmas tree, first popular in Germany and imported to the United States, became an important center of family events. By the twentieth century the family Christmas tree became the spot where gifts were displayed and opened on Christmas morning (or Christmas Eve depending on the family tradition) – and because the holiday was increasingly focused on children, that meant TOYS.
The Arlington Historical Society celebrates the holidays with a new temporary exhibit every year, and for the 2014 holiday season we are featuring some of our collection of antique toys. “Floating, Flying and Racing: Toy Vehicles 1920–1970” focuses on toy cars, trucks, airplanes (and a Zeppelin!), and boats. The exhibit showcases more than two dozen toys and models – from the very small to the very large – in a display that many a child would have dreamed of seeing under their family tree one late December morning.
“Floating, Flying and Racing” is on display at the Arlington Historical Museum from December 13, 2014 through January 18, 2015. Visitors to the museum may also enjoy seeing two of our permanent exhibits, one of antique dollhouse furniture, and a 1930s model train set. The museum is at 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road, and is open from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.