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Day 12: 12 Objects of Christmas 2015

12 Objects of Christmas Day 12   Object: Tricycle Age: Unknown Donor: Unknown Te Awamutu Museum Collection   We don’t know very much about this tricycle in particular, but we have found some interesting information about tricycles themselves! The first tricycle was built in 1680 for a Stephan Farffler. He was a German watch-maker and was paraplegic. In 1789, two Frenchmen named Blanchard and Maguier invented a tricycle, and the words ‘bicycle’ and ‘tricycle’ were coined by the Journal de Paris, to differentiate between the two different machines. In England, a tricycle was patented by Denis Johnson in 1818. Using a cycle of any kind became very popular, although tricycles were considered to be more genteel. Tricycles were predominantly used by women as the fashionable long skirts were not made for bicycles. Tricycles were first built for children around the 1860s, and were made of wood. They began to be made of steel in the 1880s and the designs were all very similar to this one. The main variation was the type of wheels used. The first plastic tricycle was produced in the United States in the 1970s. The design the “Big Wheel” was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Play, New York, in 2009. Did you have a trike similar to this? Maybe you or someone you know will get one for Christmas tomorrow! Merry Christmas from the team at Te Awamutu Museum, we look forward to showcasing more of our objects with you in...

Day 11: 12 Objects of Christmas 2015

12 Objects of Christmas Day 11 Object: Teddy Bear Acc #: 14374/1 Age: c. 80 years Donor: Mrs Dorothy Marshall   Teddy bears were first produced in 1902. The then President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, was on a hunting trip and refused to shoot a bear as it was unsportsmanlike.  Two shopkeepers in New York created a plush bear which they put in the window of their shop, calling it ‘Teddy’s Bear’.  About the same time, Richard Steiff, in Germany, created a bear based on animals at his local zoo. He was working for his aunt, Margarete Steiff, who had founded Margarete Steiff GmbH in 1880, producing soft toy animals. Their bears were the first stuffed bears with moveable arms and legs. Teddy bears have been a comforting childhood toy for over 100 years, and now come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. Some of the most famous teddy bears have come from stories, such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Paddington Bear, Rupert the Bear, Br’er Bear (From Uncle Remus and Enid Blyton), Corduroy and Teddy Robinson. Our teddy bear is not one of the collectable ones, we don’t even know who made him! However, he is still loveable and has a charming smile that just makes you want to hug...