Arcade Toys for the Dollhouse - a 1920s Kitchen
by Susan Hale
Recently I have been collecting cast iron toys from the 1920s. This is the kitchen from the Arcade Manufacturing Company of Freeport, Illinois, USA.
There were two kitchen sets shown in the 1929 brochure. An electric kitchen and a gas kitchen. This one is the gas kitchen, but it has the electric sink.
This is the Roper gas range. The electric kitchen had a very similar stove, but it was a Hotpoint brand with electric burners where the gas ones are.
I believe that Arcade produced these toys under license and authorization from appliance and furniture companies. Each piece has a brand name on it.
The 'Kohler' electric sink has a built in dishwasher - very advanced for the 1920s. I have not seen the real life equivalent, but it seems to be just a deep covered sink with an electric agitater on the bottom.
'Curtis' table and benches.
Mother and Ethel, the maid, are busy preparing dinner. The dolls are German dollhouse dolls from the 1920s. The furniture is a large 1/12th scale, and I find it makes the dolls look small. But perhaps they are just petite ladies.
The butter churn on top of the 'Leonard' fridge is just like the one my mother had when I was a child. It took some muscle to crank it until the butter was made. A computer keyboard doesn't give one the same kind of muscles.
It looks like the chicken is almost ready. Time to make the gravy!
I also added some Arcade pieces to the kitchen in my large Mystery house. They are preparing dinner as well.
The Crane sink is in this kitchen and the ice box is an Alaska brand.
The Arcade company was founded by 2 brothers in 1896. Initially, they made spring hinges, coffee mills, and other household items.
1908 they began to make cast iron toy banks, and in 1921, Arcade brought out their first car - a Yellow Cab Taxi, under license and authorization from the cab company. The car was such a huge success that the company began to produce more toy vehicles, farm items and dollhouse furniture.
These toys were advertised as looking just like the real thing. This is the thing I really love about this furniture, Unfortunately most of the pieces suffer from paint loss - they are about 80 years old after all - so I love to find pieces that are in good shape.
I will try to collect other rooms of furniture as well. When I do I will share them.
See more of Susan Hale's collection at Susan's Mini Homes here: http://susanshouses.blogspot.ca