Schuylkill County Hercules : Toying with Pennsylvania’s mining history

Schuylkill County Hercules : Toying with Pennsylvania’s mining history

Handcrafted around 1950 by John Mayza of Schuylkill County for his nephew Dan Canavan, this toy dragline excavator is constructed from materials normally found at an anthracite coal colliery. Currently on exhibit at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum, the toy sports the name Hercules painted across the cab section. Interestingly, the name predates the artifact, …

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Could this be one of the most dangerous toys ever made?

Could this be one of the most dangerous toys ever made?

This Chemcraft Master Laboratory set afforded a good lesson in managing hazardous materials found in museum collections. When the toy was discovered to contain uranium samples, the set was isolated from other artifacts and workspaces until environmental authorities could be notified. The only way to prove whether radiation was present was through the use of …

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Who crafted Eastern State Penitentiary’s Noah’s Ark?

Who crafted Eastern State Penitentiary’s Noah’s Ark?

The journey of this hand-crafted Noah’s Ark toy began in the solitary confinement wing of Eastern State Penitentiary and ended under little Sadie Green’s Christmas Tree. By the end of the 19th century, Noah’s Arks were one of the most popular toys in America. A jump in immigration to the United States brought with it …

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