1922 National Co., The Magnetic Dancers in Original Box

1922 National Co., The Magnetic Dancers in Original Box

There's all kinds of toys out "there" and here's one of the more unusual types. A slew of miniature toys were produced which were cleverly powered using the rotation of the "newer" platter type phonographs (versus cylinders). I've seen Uncle Sam, Rastus, Boxers, etc., but never "The Magnetic Dancers"; especially in such high grade with original box and with original instruction form.

It features the flowing movement of 4" tall couple whose attire has long since disappeared. Made from die cut chromolithographed cardboard and wearing posh evening clothes, the pair are embraced in a classic dance pose; heads in opposite directions and a single clasped out-stretched arm. And take notice......The woman still has her original robin's egg blue satin skirt with a large laced bow on the back.

The figures fit into a brass finished base of unusual shape. There are two of them and they're made of tinplate. One is paddle shaped, while the other is a pointed oval. A third shape is mentioned in the advertising on the back of the instructions, but I've never seen it. In fact every time I've found this as a set its always had two bases. 

The dance "floor" consists of a 3½" diameter solid brass plate. A 2¼" wide lead bar painted black lies 1¼" below the plate. Both are connected by a steel support. Fixed between the dance floor and lead bar is a free-spinning gyroscopic-like disc which is held perpendicular. The disc is a layered with a large circular magnet on top and blue felt cloth on the underside. The top of the gyro axle pokes through the center of the dance floor. It's slightly higher than the plate and spins simultaneously. Two more magnets are also embedded into the top of the lead bar. 

The entire dance floor assembly is placed adjacent to, or above, a phonograph platter to make contact with the gyro causing it to spin. As it rotates the polarity of the magnets change; attract or repel. The Dancers are placed on the dance floor, the wound up phonograph starts to turn. Their tinplate base is affected by the change in magnetic polarity. Its edge remains in contact with the spinning gyro axle. It'll make specific movements depending on the shape of the base. Most important of all...it works, and it looks very realistic. 

The original box has a terrific illustration of the Dancers placed adjacent to a phonograph record. I used the platter to avoid scratching my record. The toy name, company name and address, and their $1.00 price is printed as well. 

Size: Overall approx. 4" x 4" x 1¾".

Sold: May 2010

Price Sold: $ 307


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Subject: 1922 National Co., The Magnetic Dancers in Original Box

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