Miniature clay stoneware boot created circa 1900 by the American Marble and Toy Company in Akron, Ohio. Little more than one inch tall, and produced by the thousands. My understanding has always been that the factory burned down at some time and boxes of the tiny toys of clay were dug from the ruins. Sure enough, according to the website American Toy Marble Museum "...on one unlucky day in 1904, thirteen years after it had been incorporated, The American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company burnt to the ground. This unfortunate event appeared, to some young pilferers, to be a great day for marble collectors: the next morning, every little boy in Akron came down to scavenge and fill his pockets with marbles. This was no play ground, far from being a safe place for such innocent children to be hanging (and looting) about. The police were called in to keep these treasure hunters from unlawfully appropriating the marbles, and soon after, the city ordered the charred remains of the factory to be buried."
|Image BLUE SANTA & FRIENDS|
Interestingly, the factory was also responsible for the very first SANTA CLAUS toy! The little fella, known as "Blue Santa" was dug up in 2009...you can hear the story on NPR HERE, and the picture is taken from the BLUE SANTA & FRIENDS SITE which provides the full story.
Tiny Stoneware Boot circa 1900 Collection Jim Linderman
Courtesy Natalie Curley Antiques.