Royal School of Needlework-- 2015 Courses

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Winchendon, "Toy Town"

I spent this last weekend in Winchendon, Massachusetts. As I drove through town, I saw a lot of references to "Toy Town". None of the local townspeople I met appeared to know why this town was called "Toy Town". As I investigated more thoroughly, I came across an industrious individual by the name of MORTON E. CONVERSE. Mr. Converse joined with Orlando Mason in 1878 to manufacture wooden toys and utensils under the company name of Mason & Converse. When Mason withdrew from the partnership in 1884, the prospering business was renamed Morton E. Converse Company, turning into a manufacturer of metal toys, automobiles, trains, planes and numerous other playthings. By 1903 their huge factories in Winchendon, Massachusetts, were producing an enormous number of toys, including rocking horses, doll trunks, and drums. By 1915 the firm was turning out more than 3,000 toys in various styles and sizes, and Winchendon became known as Toy Town, U.S.A. Special departments were devoted to popular toys in constant demand, such as drums and dolls' trunks. Constant attention to new notions in the toy business was essential to his success. Mr. Converse had a special aptitude for anticipating the wants of young Americans, devising himself and securing from others the toys that attract not only the children of the United States but of the whole world, and he built up the largest business of the kind in the United States and demonstrated the superiority of American toys in competition with the whole world. Many of the products were protected under the patent laws. At the World's Fair in Chicago the Converse Company received the highest awards for exhibiting the finest toys in the world. In other competitions of this kind, as well as in the direct competition for the trade of the world, the Converse toys won the prizes. The business employed nearly three- hundred hands, and produced annually a vast amount of goods. To the ability and resourcefulness of Morton E. Converse more than to any other single cause may be attributed the success of this business. He had been the manager and chief owner during the years of its greatest growth and development.



 
View across Whitney Pond towards Winchendon.

 
Tranquil walking and biking trail on the Route 12 side of Whitney Pond.

 
Many times I seek out a quiet place to do my applique. As I was driving into Riverside Cemetery in Winchendon, I spotted an area with many old markers such as this one.

 
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This is a more modern section of the Riverside Cemetery. What a quiet and pleasant place to do applique. The trees are just now beginning to turn to their autumn colors in northern Massachusetts. (Winchendon is located in north central Mass, just a short drive from the New Hampshire border.)

2 comments:

maritza said...

Margaret, muy interesante la historia de la "ciudad de los juguetes". Los paisajes están muy lindos. Me gustan mucho los árboles cuando empiezan a cambiar de color. Un beso

ParisMaddy said...

Quietly beautiful pictures. The class sample looked great.