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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Closed top toy car
Catalog #: 295669.92, Accession #: 295669
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
As more and more cars became closed top in the 1920s, so too, did the toy automobiles that children played with.
Physical Description
Date Made:
Gift of Sears, Roebuck, and Company
Almost as soon as the first car took to the roads, American children began to play with car toys, read about cars in books, and even learn how the internal combustion engine worked. Making cars a part of kids' lives-even for kids whose families didn't own cars-naturalized the invention, and made it appealing and desirable to future generations of potential car owners. All this material helped create a market for cars in the next generation of car buyers, and-because it targeted young men over young women-it helped shape a society in which women were far less likely to own and drive a car than men.

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