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Picture blocks
Title : Picture blocks Picture blocks
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Source : [Nursery blocks sets] [toy]
Format : Toy
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Donated by : Mr M. Moran
Copyright : Reproduction rights are owned by State Library of South Australia. This image may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires permission from the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

Set of 12 picture blocks of Old King Cole, trains, a bear, a cow and calf and rabbits with picture guide sheets for each. The box is not original.

Alphabet blocks date from the 18th century. Children used them for learning letters, making simple words and also for building. Simple stacks could be built and, perhaps more enjoyably, knocked down. A later enhancement of the block came with the development of cheap colour printing: picture blocks. The blocks were overlaid with six different pictures which could be put together jigsaw fashion, but with the additional advantage of another five pictures. Guide sheets assisted. Multiple themes could be used to broaden the appeal, or the six pictures might be 'chapters' in the same story. Picture blocks too could be assembled into towers or piles, and knocked down.

Further reading :

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

Hewitt, Karen. Educational toys in America, 1800 to the present, Burlington, Vt.: Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, c1979

Opie, Iona. The treasures of childhood: books, toys and games from the Opie collection, London: Pavilion, 1989

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