So Many Toys!

Marionettes are mysterious toys, made to awaken artistic expression in adults and children alike. This article featured in January 22, 1921 Perth Amboy Evening News discusses the appeal of marionette puppets. For example, when comparing a production of Alice in Wonderland with live actors versus one with puppets, immediately one is drawn to the puppets. The puppets are alluring, providing an added complexity to the character “Alice.”

Marionettes, like other puppetry, are one of the oldest performing arts in America. They are manipulated on stage by the use of strings tied to a horizontal bar.

Images of marionettes with the heading "Marionettes-Oldest Toys in World; Are Again Being Revised For Children.

Historically, Germany has been the primary manufacturer of toys for America. However, this changed as a result of World War I when America banned German imports. The article below, featured in December 3, 1915 Perth Amboy Evening News mentions how American workshops opened to help keep the Christmas spirit alive. Not only did this stimulate the economy, but the toys that were produced had many practical purposes, such as critical thinking games and mechanical construction toys.

Images of a toy workshop in New York.

(Contributed by Kristi Chanda)


“Puppets on Stage.” National Museum of American History, 8 June 2018,

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