Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gone Fishing .... or Golfing, or ...

No, not me! I have just been very busy with the Dolls Houses Past and Present magazine, working on articles myself (especially one on Pit-a-Pat dolls house furniture, which probably outgrew the definition of 'article'!), as well as loading other people's articles.

The ones who went golfing were 1950s reps and agents for manufacturers of sports goods, toys and canvas goods. This is the cover of the April 1953 issue of The Australian, New Zealand & Southern Equatorial Sportsgoods & Toy & Canvasgoods Retailer, which I was lucky enough to buy on ebay recently:

There are 8 photos of golfing events, as well as 8 of manufacturers and their agents drinking:

and a couple of them fishing:

as well as lots of snippets of news about fishing trips.

Well, this was 1950s Australia!

There are some ads for toys, as well as many for sports goods and some for tents, etc. I guess the market was much smaller than in Germany, which had the trade magazine Das Spielzeug (The Toy), or the UK, where both Games and Toys and The Toy Trader covered toy manufacturing and sales. After seeing all the wonderful ads from those magazines, copied by collectors and researchers in those countries, I was a bit disappointed to see the Australian magazine.

I did manage to find one dolls house (or two?) - hurray! but no information on the maker. See the dolls house(s) right on the top shelf:

And a closer look:

The shop pictured, Elegant Novelties, was in Melbourne, so we can probably assume that these dolls houses were made in Melbourne.

Notice how the ad mentions a "wonderful range of books", including Jane Eyre, Little Women, Treasure Island, Hollywood Album, Black Beauty and Enid Blyton books for all ages? You can see the books in this photo, on a shelf on the lower right:

Another shop also mentioned books in their ad - they advertised The Coronation Book, English Children's Books, and, again, Enid Blyton's Range of Books. Well, as I've said, it was 1950s Australia. Everyone was too busy playing sport to read.

I don't expect I'll find many more issues offered for sale. The State Libraries of Victoria and New South Wales do have fairly good runs, so I hope I'll be able to visit one day and go through them. I thought buying one might give me an idea of how easy it would be to find information in them - and it does: not easy at all! I'll need quite a bit of time to read all the snippets of news, as well as to scan the ads closely for any dolls house related items.