Each year, The Strong National Museum of Play inducts a new group of toys to the National Toy Hall of Fame. This year, the museum inducted three new toys: Dungeons & Dragons, Fisher-Price’s Little People figures, and the classic swing. The recognition for fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons is long overdue, as its innovative approach to playing complicated, creative games has had an outsized impact on the larger gaming world.
I love the inclusion of a non-commercial thing like the swing. It's also adorable that one of the previous inductees is the cardboard box.
But I confess this is the first I can recall hearing of the Strong. Or its benefactress, Margaret Woodbury Strong, who may well have married into some distant part of Dr. Pookie's family.
"Developing her youthful interests, Margaret became a skilled competitor in golf, archery, bowling, flower arranging, and collecting. She recalled later that her collecting began with miniatures, when she was allowed “to carry a small bag to put my dolls and toys in, and to add anything I acquired on the trips.” That small beginning led to an expansive task that dominated her later life. Margaret’s collecting included everything from fine art to the ordinary, all linked by the common themes of play, imagination, “let’s pretend,” and fun."
Another great detail is her father's perspicacity in selling high: "Margaret travelled the world with her parents beginning around 1907 after her father retired and sold the business started by Margaret's grandfather, The Strong and Woodbury Whip Company."
Buggy whips have become one of the go-to examples for product obsolescence. Getting out in 1907 was a pretty good move. (As was subsequently investing in Eastman Kodak.)
Anyway... field trip? Rochester, NY is a ways away, but maybe someday.