There’s love behind them there 1940’s toys…

January 7, 2018

I say, dear, “Your mother’s collection of vintage toys is winsome.” Such eloquent words have never been spoken about my eclectic assortment of 1940’s toys, by anyone, at any time, at least that I can recollect.

Even if I can’t remember mom describing them using that term, she wanted me to have her toys to treasure.

I’m fond of the unique items, in a way.  I inherited them, so I keep them.  And dust them (sometimes).  Yet, there are days, I tell ya, I wonder why?  I also ponder, how in the heck to decorate with them.  I give it my best shot.

The smaller items fit well in the curio cabinet.  It’s old, it’s supposed to hold old stuff.  Those items fit well together.  And, they don’t collect much dust under the safety of closed glass doors.  If dust makes it in there, I say it deserves to be there!


I have a picture of Mom with a doll and buggy.  I still have the doll somewhere, in some box, but not this buggy.  It was special enough for her to pose ‘all happy-like’ with it for a framed photo.  I do love the framed photo.


The big-ticket-take-up-space item is her doll and buggy she received on her 5th birthday.  I’ve assumed everyone keeps their mother’s first doll and buggy and knows exactly what to do with it?  I can’t imagine it would work well as a coffee table?  I suppose it could hold magazines, but the doll is in the way, and the material isn’t strong enough to hold much more.


The goal is to not mess with it much, keep it out of harm’s (cat’s) way, and out of the direct sunlight.  It’s pretty fragile now that it is 72 years old.  The list of what not to do with it dictates the location.  I’ve resorted to letting it sit there, in the corner.  It matches my eclectic style and creates a decorated space with a splash of 1940’s character.  Not for everyone, that’s for sure!

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Is it weird that I have her favorite doll, but I don’t have my own childhood doll?  Nope.  I don’t have it, not unless I gave it to my kids already?  I’m pretty sure that’s not the case.  I’ve been to their places, and haven’t seen it placed strategically in a prominent corner of their formal living rooms.  Once they’re ready for it though, I’ll let them duke it out to see who gets ‘Nana’s doll and buggy.’

I’ll have to work on my sales pitch though.  They grew up hearing, “Don’t touch – it’s Nana’s.” “It’s not a toy, don’t push it around.” “It’s fragile.” “You can look, but you can’t touch.” “Isn’t it pretty?”  “Let’s just leave it here, let’s go find your dolly and buggy instead.”  Oh my, why in the world would they want such a thing?

As a parent, how sad it is to recognize the harm of our words as we reflect.  Figuring out how to recover words and revive my reasons for why I said what I did back when is something I find myself doing now that the girls have grown.

About those words of yesteryear…not only are toys I own relics, how about that word ‘winsome’?  I don’t know about you, but it isn’t rolled off the tongues or released from fingertips of the youth nowadays is it?  At least, I’ve not read it in a text, heard it on Skype, saw it on Snap Chat, Instagram, or Facebook?  I can’t speak for tweets on Twitter.  I had to draw a line somewhere on the number of social media eccentricities in my life.

Winsome was a commonly used word in the 1900’s.  That’s it, mom must have used it and believed it to be true.  She grew up at a time in history laden with winsome!  No wonder she adored her toys and kept them?  And now, it is up to me to get them resurged (resell them) by displaying, adoring, and dusting until their whimsical value is loved once again.

And…someday, someone else can decide their fate (unless they fall apart on their own by then).  Maybe by then, they’ll be treasured as a winsome collection to adore once more?

PS…why in the heck I call this is the quaint revival blog is starting to make more and more sense…

Daily Post Prompt:  Winsome

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge:  Toys for Children or Adults


By Shelley

Letting my quirk out one post at a time.


  1. Reply

    Dr B

    Lovely post Shelley, you are very lucky to have these physical reminders. Most of my similar objects were lost during Cumbria UK sea floods of 1967. The real disaster for me was the loss of a photo of my dad in his Coldstream Guards uniform from WWII, you know from Buckingham Palace, red tunic etc. My dad survived Dunkirk and you can read here
    But I strongly recommend you go and see the recent movie, Dunkirk, in IMAX cinema. You will learn a lot about our nation ….. and my dad!

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Dr. B. I’m sorry to read you lost the treasured photo. Your post about him and the Dunkirk is a treasure to read. I shall add the movie to my must-do list, thank you for the recommendation. Your dad would be proud of you and your sharing of history!

      1. Reply

        Dr B

        Thanks Shelley, you will enjoy the movie but you have to feel it the same way every Englishman does: The desperate soldiers being bombed on the beaches, the Spitfire pilots trying to protect them, the civilian little ships swarming across the Channel to rescue them. Imagine your own country on the verge of unstoppable invasion protected by only 22 miles of water and a Prime Minister with the voice of a lion!

        1. Reply

          I shall carry the image you described as I watch. It must have been horrible beyond words.

          1. Dr B

            Yes, it’s not a “glory of war’ movie, brilliantly moving across 4 parallel time lines and directed by Kenneth Branagh who also played the part of a Royal Navy Commander on the beaches.


            I appreciate your insights, it sounds interesting no doubt!

  2. Reply


    You’re so lucky. These are real treasures Shelley. I will also not let anybody touch them 😊

    1. Reply

      Thank you, Winnie! Us moms…we’re so protective aren’t we? 😉

      1. Reply


        Yup! Definitely! 😉

  3. Reply


    I am an inveterate tosser and very little of my childhood, much less my mom’s, has survived my many moves over the years, books and writings being the exceptions. So it’s lovely to see your treasures, and they look very worthy of being kept. they’re not just keepsakes, they’re wonderful ones. And if Antiques Roadshow ever comes your way…

    1. Reply

      Aw, thank you, Ellen. I’m sure mom would love the appreciation of her treasures. I suspect had we moved often, I too, would not be keeping as much stuff. If AR ever comes this way, I’ll stop ’em and say, “but Ellen said you’d be interested!”

  4. Reply


    How lucky you are to have your mother’s things. My mum very much wanted to save her last big doll for her own children when she had them but sadly they did not survive. Those porcelain heads are fragile.

    1. Reply

      Thank you, yes, I’m sure Mom would be happy I’ve kept them. The porcelain heads are very fragile, that’s for sure. Thank you for stopping by to read my post and for sharing your thoughts!

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