Many small games of skill came on the market in the second half of the 19th century. In some, small balls were thrown by means of a spring movement like this basketball game. The game consists of two wooden bases, one with a basketball player and the other with a basket. An iron rod runs through the basketball player, linking the left arm to a spring pedal attached under the base. When the pedal is pressed, the basketball player’s arm sends the ball into the basket.

As children become more adept, parents give them toys to develop their motor skills.
Many small games of skill came on the market in the second half of the 19th century. In some, small balls were thrown by means of a spring movement like this basketball game. The game consists of two wooden bases, one with a basketball player and the other with a basket. An iron rod runs through the basketball player, linking the left arm to a spring pedal attached under the base. When the pedal is pressed, the basketball player’s arm sends the ball into the basket.

As children become more adept, parents give them toys to develop their motor skills.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

toy

Game of skill

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
Canadian Heritage Information Network
c. 1930
Wood, wire mesh, ping-pong ball
207x100x77, 258x163x89, Basket Ø92, Ball Ø63
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


This nine-pin lay out consists of nine turned-wood bowling pins shaped like people that have been polished and painted. They are set up on a fire engine. As a rule, the bowling pins were arranged in squares of three rows, three to a row.

This game was created in France in the 18th century. A long stick was used to topple the pins and, depending on their size, the game could be played by children or adults. Here, the pins represent firemen. Other common figures included sailors, clowns, policemen and even rabbits.

Most of the figures are in wood but they may also be found in pasteboard. The bowling pins were first made by the turner. After being turned and polished, the pins were painted by hand. This was the work of "liners". They painted thin lines of different colours on the pins.

When plastic came on the scene, the shape of the bowling pins was simplified.

Today, with the revival of wooden toys, we see bowling pins once again in the shape of human figures. They are no longer made by hand but by automation. Colours are applied primarily by dipping but a few people in the Jura still practise "lining".
This nine-pin lay out consists of nine turned-wood bowling pins shaped like people that have been polished and painted. They are set up on a fire engine. As a rule, the bowling pins were arranged in squares of three rows, three to a row.

This game was created in France in the 18th century. A long stick was used to topple the pins and, depending on their size, the game could be played by children or adults. Here, the pins represent firemen. Other common figures included sailors, clowns, policemen and even rabbits.

Most of the figures are in wood but they may also be found in pasteboard. The bowling pins were first made by the turner. After being turned and polished, the pins were painted by hand. This was the work of "liners". They painted thin lines of different colours on the pins.

When plastic came on the scene, the shape of the bowling pins was simplified.

Today, with the revival of wooden toys, we see bowling pins once again in the shape of human figures. They are no longer made by hand but by automation. Colours are applied primarily by dipping but a few people in the Jura still practise "lining".

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

toys

Game of skill, Fire Engine

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
c. 1935
Painted wood
240x370x165
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Games of skill are often originally intended for adults. They are games of learning and concentration that train the body and mind and are intended to help people stay in shape or maintain their dexterity.

In bean-bag games, a bean bag or ball must be thrown through holes in a board. The bean bag could be thrown from various distances but it had to fall into a numbered compartment. The player with the highest number of points was the winner. It was a very popular outdoor game. A broad range of figures could be represented on the board - wild animals, clowns, legendary characters and so forth. This one represents a conscript called on to serve his nation.

The Jourdan Act of 1798 put an end to military careers; from then on conscripts were recruited by a system of lots to decide whether or not a person would be drafted. This system, recalled here by the "21" on the conscript’s hat, was in effect through successive reforms until 1930. For a long time, conscription signalled the period during which young men passed from adolescence to adulthood. Today, toy shops sell smaller versions of bean-bag games intended for indoor use.
Games of skill are often originally intended for adults. They are games of learning and concentration that train the body and mind and are intended to help people stay in shape or maintain their dexterity.

In bean-bag games, a bean bag or ball must be thrown through holes in a board. The bean bag could be thrown from various distances but it had to fall into a numbered compartment. The player with the highest number of points was the winner. It was a very popular outdoor game. A broad range of figures could be represented on the board - wild animals, clowns, legendary characters and so forth. This one represents a conscript called on to serve his nation.

The Jourdan Act of 1798 put an end to military careers; from then on conscripts were recruited by a system of lots to decide whether or not a person would be drafted. This system, recalled here by the "21" on the conscript’s hat, was in effect through successive reforms until 1930. For a long time, conscription signalled the period during which young men passed from adolescence to adulthood. Today, toy shops sell smaller versions of bean-bag games intended for indoor use.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

game

Jeu de passe boule "le conscrit"

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
Canadian Heritage Information Network
1900 - 1910
Painted wood
765x405x20
93.1.46
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


A king called "Gambrinus", a legendary ruler to whom the Germans and Flemish attribute the invention of beer, sits on a barrel with a beer stein in his hand. The game is played by trying to knock over the king and make him fall down by throwing a ball at him. Aunt Sally games can be played by adults as well as children.

These games showed up at popular festivals (carnivals, July 14,...). They enabled adults to work off their frustration on representations of the symbolic figures that annoyed them like policemen and politicians. This game is the equivalent of the one played at children’s parties today although it now does not usually amount to much more than trying to knock over a few piled-up tin cans.
A king called "Gambrinus", a legendary ruler to whom the Germans and Flemish attribute the invention of beer, sits on a barrel with a beer stein in his hand. The game is played by trying to knock over the king and make him fall down by throwing a ball at him. Aunt Sally games can be played by adults as well as children.

These games showed up at popular festivals (carnivals, July 14,...). They enabled adults to work off their frustration on representations of the symbolic figures that annoyed them like policemen and politicians. This game is the equivalent of the one played at children’s parties today although it now does not usually amount to much more than trying to knock over a few piled-up tin cans.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

game

Game of skill, Used at Saulieu (Burgundy) between 1925-1930

Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Wood
558x167x86
© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Materials:

3 mm-thick wood, cardboard or stiff paper 4 split shank fasteners string 1 bead gimlet pencils, paint, fabric, paper, wool ... for decoration
Assembly

1. Cut out the pieces of the jumping jack:
1 for the body 2 for each arm and leg 2. If you are using wood, cut it out with an electric saw made especially for children.
3. Decorate the jumping jack. First, draw the face.
4. You can give the jumping jack hair made of wool.
5. Then, dress the jumping jack. The simplest decoration is with felt-tip pens or paint. You can even glue fabric or paper on it.
6. Do not forget that this jumping jack has to move: the decoration should not interfere with the movement of the arms and legs.
7. Using a gimlet, make holes in the body, the arms and the legs for the split shank fasteners. Attach them.
8. Make smaller holes at the places indicated with an "X" on the pattern so that you ca Read More
Materials:

  • 3 mm-thick wood, cardboard or stiff paper
  • 4 split shank fasteners
  • string
  • 1 bead
  • gimlet
  • pencils, paint, fabric, paper, wool ... for decoration

Assembly

1. Cut out the pieces of the jumping jack:
  • 1 for the body
  • 2 for each arm and leg
2. If you are using wood, cut it out with an electric saw made especially for children.
3. Decorate the jumping jack. First, draw the face.
4. You can give the jumping jack hair made of wool.
5. Then, dress the jumping jack. The simplest decoration is with felt-tip pens or paint. You can even glue fabric or paper on it.
6. Do not forget that this jumping jack has to move: the decoration should not interfere with the movement of the arms and legs.
7. Using a gimlet, make holes in the body, the arms and the legs for the split shank fasteners. Attach them.
8. Make smaller holes at the places indicated with an "X" on the pattern so that you can thread string through them.
9. Now use the sketch below to assemble the strings so that you will be able to make the jumping jack move.
10. Lay out a piece of string to link the arms together and then another for the legs.
11. Knot the string.
12. Now, attach a longer string to tie the string for the arms to the one for the legs.. Knot the string.
13. The lengths of the strings are determined by letting the arms and legs of the jumping jack hang down beside its body.
14. Attach a bead to the end of the long string.
Pull on this bead to make the jumping jack move.

© 1997, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe elements of the way of life of children in France;
  • Describe the role of toys in French culture;
  • Describe the history of toys in French culture;
  • Describe the relationship between materials, artistry, and method of manufacture with form and function, using historic French toys as examples;
  • Practise manual dexterity and following instructions.

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