Construction toys, such as this example from the late nineteenth century, were first introduced in the late 1700s and are still popular to this day.
Anchor Stone Bricks, c. late 1800s.
Although the lid is missing from the box, the contents are in fantastic condition and boasts inspirational illustrations for children to follow. The 100 or so bricks are made of stone and are in three colours. The three colours represent popular building materials: red brick, tan limestone and blue slate of European buildings.
Educational toys such as this have a rich and interesting history. Sometimes referred to 'Froebel Gifts' after the German educational theorist Friedrich Froebel, basic toys that deal with shapes and colours are aimed at heightening a child's understanding of the world by recognising their unique needs and capabilities through 'free play'. Froebel invented both the concept and coined the word "kindergarten" which is now used in both English and German.
Learn more about childhood in the Victorian era through our Online Exhibition.