Archive for November 29th, 2009


Tinker Toys & Fly Tying (Creative Links)

Once upon a time, a long time ago…you may have developed an urge to assemble, construct, imagine, build something with sticks and wheels with numerous holes. Tinker Toys (originally: Thousand Wonder Builder) were a creation of Charles Pajeau and Robert Pettit around 1913. The two tried to develop interest in their creation at the American Toy Festival in 1914, but had no takers. A short time later they hired midgets to dress up as Elves and had them display and assemble the Tinker Toys in a store window.

The promotion was a huge success with one million sold the next year at .60 The Tinker Toy set evolved with different colored sticks and a motor. By the 1950’s the toy set was selling a consistent 2.5 million units a year. Eventually, the success story was sold several time and ultimately ended up with Playskool. Not a bad story for two guys traveling by train from Evanston to Chicago, Illinois. For those of you that took the Lego plunge, the petroleum based building blocks satisfied the same urge.

So, perhaps this necessity to assemble was part of your early mental preparation to tie flies. Part art, part architecture, part fantasy…Tinker Toys (ok, and Lego’s) led the way to your fly tying addiction.

Sears and Roebuck Catalog, 1928 (Notice ‘Tinker Toy is the Wonder Builder’)

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November 2009

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