1887 Reed Toy Co., The World's Educator in Original Wooden Box

1887 Reed Toy Co., The World's Educator in Original Wooden Box

Spectacular 120 year old toy manufactured by one of the most important early U.S. toy manufacturer's, W.S. Reed Toy Company. Gorgeous chromolithographed paper on wood toy is in phenomenal excellent+ condition and is complete right down to the instruction sheet! It has its original braided silken cord which allows the top of the box to remain upright when open plus both original brass cover hinges.  

The toy itself is very clever, but after 12 decades it's the condition of the toy and the original wooden box which is most important. The box is solid wood and covered on every side including the top cover and inside cover with beautifully rendered full color illustrations. 

The top cover features the name of the toy emblazoned across the center. An illustration of the Earth covered with the ribboned scrollwork with "50 dollars Worth of Information", and "Light To The World" is shown on the left side. While a steam locomotive passenger train is illustrated on the right side. Three dimensional pyramids adorn the perimeter. Diamond shapes, circles, scrollwork, and sprigs of leaves fill in the rest of this amazing drawing. 

The side aprons were decorated with a scalloped motif around the edges, scrollwork and fine line flower shapes on either end. The center of the apron shows a small vignette of the Tree of Life with a broad sunset sky in the background. Fields of daisies were drawn on either side of this illustration. The apron chromolithograph was then repeated on the back apron. The side aprons show a similar design with daisies in the center and scalloped edges. The underside of the box was left as a blank wood panel.

The inside cover, protected from the elements, is in magnificent condition. It shows the World's Educator in the center surrounded by rare birds and bright colorful flowers. Triangular, circular, scalloped and rectangular shapes of all different colors were illustrated around the edges. Two large yellow scrolls tout the benefits and interest gained in Arithmetic, Geography and important events of the 19th Century (when playing the game). "Wit, Wisdom, Art, Science, & Astronomy" are advertised as topics of interest. The lower right corner of the inside cover was printed "Forbes Co. Boston". I'm not familiar with that company.

The game itself features 27, 14½" x 6" heavy stock cards. Each is numbered and includes the topic of reference. For example card number 29 deals with "Temperance and Hygiene". The front of the card is divided in half. The left side asks questions. The right side provides the answers. However to get to the correct two cylindrical numbered barrels permanently fixed to the inside right edge of the box must be used. Two letters in the center of each question correlate with letters found on the ends of the barrels. Rotate the barrels until the two letters line up. Numbers in the center of the barrels corresponds with the numbered answers. Match the number with the letter and you have the answer!

It's also important to note that even the rotating cylinders are adorned with chromolithographed decorations. Wooden blocks on either side of the cylinder keep the barrels tightly in place. Even the blocks are decorated with yellow daisies and scalloped on one side. It's an amazing toy to look at! 

The inside of the box is covered with a fine rice paper to protect the cards. The set contains 31 cards with topics from "understanding your dreams", to questions about the brand new Statue of Liberty. The original cards are all bright white and in excellent condition. I added several more topic cards from a second, incomplete broken set which are darker and worn. I've laid out the card below so you can see the individual topics.

The four page instruction sheet includes directions, a listing of the cards, a list of who benefits from playing the game, and a beautifully detailed illustration. Additional cards were originally available for 4¢ extra per dozen. The set is complete with all 10 original cards.

Size: 15½" x 7" x 2". 

Sold: Feb. 2007

Price Sold: $ 154


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Subject: 1887 Reed Toy Co., The World's Educator in Original Wooden Box

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