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Toys of the '50s, '60s, and '70s

Toys of the '50s, '60s, and '70s

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Author Kate Roberts, Author Adam Scher

Minnesota Historical Society Press (May 15, 2014)

Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. WHAM-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. Atari.


Toys from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s capture the joy of play and the pure fun of being a kid. But beneath those iconic names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory, and history. These toys—and the stories of the kids, parents, child-rearing experts, inventors, manufacturers, and advertisers they affected—reflect the dynamism of American life.

Senior exhibit developer and best-selling author Kate Roberts, along with senior curator Adam Scher, spotlight forty-five memorable toys, placing them in historical context and examining their development and launch, their impact on kids and the larger community, and their reflection of the social and cultural shifts of each decade. The book, developed in conjunction with the national traveling exhibit of the same name, will include firsthand stories shared by adults who revered these toys as kids as well as research gleaned from primary sources and toy experts and collectors.

Author information

Kate Roberts is senior exhibit developer for the Minnesota Historical Society and author of the best-selling book Minnesota 150.

Adam Scher is a senior curator in the collections department at MNHS.

Reviews and news

In the Media:

Star Tribune feature
Kate on Pioneer 90.1
Adam on WTIP
MPR Feature
C-SPAN American History TV

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 224 pages
  • 80 color and b/w photos
  • 8 x 10 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873519274

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