New Boston Historical Society
New Boston, New Hampshire
toy horse

Vintage Toys

In December of 2016, Betsy and Dick Moody prepared a special exhibit of Vintage Toys from their personal collection for the Historical Society's 5th Annual Open House. Betsy Whitman and Dianne Sawyer also brought in some of their favorite toys.

John Poltrack took wonderful photographs of these old toys. We hope they bring back memories for you!

doll doll
This Japanese doll has a wig for every occasion.

toy car toy car

Editor's note: I originally referred to these toys as "antique" which is incorrect. "Antique" implies "more than 100 years old".   eBay recommends that we use "vintage" to describe objects which are 50-100 years old, or which pertain to a specific era like the 1940s. Some of these toys may also be described as "collectibles".

toy train

This "Honeymoon Express" wind-up train is called a "tin litho" toy, made in the 1920s or 30s by the Louis Marx Company. The colorful patterns were printed on flat sheets of tin-plated steel which were then stamped into shape. "Litho" refers to the printing process - this is not a hand-painted toy.


These rubber hand puppets were made in Peterborough, NH after World War II by a toy company founded by Betsy Moody's parents. Mary Hotchkiss Williams and Sydney Williams Jr. were sculptors who made their first toys from rubber baked in the oven of their wood stove. As the business grew, production moved out of their house to a red shed next to their barn. Their "Red Shed Rubber Animals" - hand-painted toy animals and puppets - were sold around the world.

barn barn barn

Betsy's brother Willard Williams made a toy barn for Dick and Betsy's daughter Sarah. It's a miniature replica of the post-and-beam barn attached to the Moody house, with the names of the Moody horses printed over the stalls. The animals in the barn are Red Shed Rubber Animals, as you would expect.

We close this review of Vintage Toys with a cast-metal lion. His ferocity is somewhat diminished by a hint of lipstick about his gaping jaws.


Photos courtesy of John Poltrack