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A Toyland of amazing wonders

December 21, 2006

Dec. 21, 1902: Los Angeles' stores were chockfull of fantastic new toys for the holidays, The Times reported under the headline "Baby Autos and Flyers, More Freaky Wonders Than Ever in Toyland."

"Toyland is a wondrous realm to wade through this year. Never has the ingenious brain of the inventor put forth such a freaky lot of toys as may be found in the big department stores," The Times said.

"A few years ago, the woolly dog on wheels, the terrible tin horn, with its inevitable accompaniment, the drum, and the crying doll were samples of the toys that were unloaded on the childhood world," the newspaper said.

"Now there are automobiles, flying machines, animals of every description that don't stare stupidly like their predecessors, but dance and buck, kick and bray, and do all sorts of things, each according to its kind. The butterfly, the beetle, the elephant, the mule, the seal and almost the whole range of the animal kingdom from the insect to the mastodon is represented, usually in tin, and each is made instinct with life, for a time, with clockwork and key."

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