Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Artifact of the Week - Toy hobby horse

It’s December! For those that celebrate Christmas, this means stockings, baking, twinkling lights, a decorated tree, and presents! In honour of the Christmas season, the Museum has once again put together a Christmas display. This year, we’ve gone bigger and better. When you come and visit the display you will find a fireplace with stockings, wrapped packages, old time candy, toys, Christmas cards, a decorated tree with multi-coloured lights and a nativity scene.

One Christmassy aspect that we’ve examined in this display is gift giving and the types of gifts people gave and received across the 20th century. So, this week, our featured artifact is a toy hobby horse that was donated to the museum by Jocelyne Forget. This hobby horse is from the 1950s. Nowadays, children might have toy cars they can ride around in, just like their parents. In earlier days, before there were cars, children would have hobby horses to imitate their parent’s modes of transportation.

The term “hobby” goes back to the Middle Ages and refers to a small pony-like horse. Cart horses were primarily called hobby horses. As toys, hobby horses were also known as stick horses or cock horses. The term “cock horse” relates back to the nursery rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross.”

Come by and visit the Museum to see this hobby horse as well as the larger Christmas display. 

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