Article ID: CBB183736778

Toys, Christmas Gifts and Consumption Culture in London's "Morning Chronicle", 1800—1827 (2013)


Toys were, and still are, pre-eminent Christmas gifts for the young. This paper focuses on the period where this connection was established. It is argued that, in the same period, a transformation occurred in the meaning of a 'toy', in Christmas rituals as well as in advertising and consumption patterns. This conclusion is based on a meticulous, qualitative study of the occurrence of 'toys' and 'presents' in the London newspaper, The Morning Chronicle, from 1800 through 1827. Juvenile libraries and publishers took rational toys, which referred to knowledge and/or scientific developments, on board, initially emphasising their moral virtues, but increasingly underlining their merits for instruction and amusement. Specific attention is drawn to (1) a change in the gender connotations of rational and technological toys, (2) the appeal to visual spectacle of many new toys, and (3) the impact of titles of specific toys for the establishment of a consumption and commodity culture.

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Authors & Contributors
Al-Gailani, Salim
Cook, Rosie
Ganaway, Bryan
Thorndahl, Jytte
Frank, Jerry J.
Riney-Kehrberg, Pamela
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Chemical Heritage
Journal of Social History
Environment and History
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Medizinhistorisches Journal
University Press of Kansas
University of Nebraska Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California Press
Recreation; play
Environmental history
Technology and culture
Nature and its relationship to culture; human-nature relationships
Darwin, Charles Robert
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
18th century
United States
Great Britain
Rocky Mountains (U.S.)
Colorado (U.S.)

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