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Richter's building blocks
Title : Richter's building blocks Richter's building blocks View More Images
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Place Of Creation : Rudolfstadt
Publisher : Richter Company
Format : Toy
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

Richter's designs for architectural models in a wooden tray containing 112 assorted bricks and arches, Books 1 and 5 of designs and a further set of Richter's Anchor Blocks in a wooden box, with sliding lid containing assorted building stones and packet of plans.

Anchor stones were a composite material and imitated real stone: they were made of quartz sand, chalk, linseed oil and colouring material. They were much heavier than wooden blocks and were issued in three colours: red, blue and white. They came in a variety of geometrical shapes which could be built up into realistic architectural forms.

Richter used the concepts developed by Friedrich Froebel, the founder of the kindergarten movement. Froebel believed that a variety of geometric shapes was important in children's play and the development of their minds. Richter capitalised on this and on the development of the anchor stone material by the Lilienthal brothers.

The realistic designs that could be created with this material included churches and cathedrals, castles and bridges. Although the Anchor stone concept was used by other manufacturers, none rivalled Richter's anchor stones in their versatility. The sets were marketed worldwide and continued in production until the early 1960s.

Period : 1884-1913
Further reading :

Burton, Anthony. Children's pleasures: books, toys and games from the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, London: V & A Publications, 1996

Jaffe, Deborah. The history of toys: from spinning tops to robots, Stroud [England]: Sutton, 2006

King, Constance Eileen. The encyclopedia of toys, Adelaide: Rigby, 1978

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