The Coolest Toys from the 1911 FAO Schwarz Catalog

Smithsonian's Around the Mall blog recently dug up an awesome FAO Schwarz catalog from 1911, found over at the Internet Archive. It's filled with some pretty fantastic toys, including airship-themed board games, Kodak cameras, and carriages led by sheep. But these gifts didn't come cheap.

Even the board games were expensive. That airship-themed game (complete with metal airships) "A Voyage Through The Clouds" would set you back $2.50, or about $60 adjusted for inflation. The automobile-themed game was just a quarter less.


Below we've pulled a few highlights from the catalog. But if you ever find yourself time traveling to 1911 looking or some neat toys, don't forget to bring plenty of cash.


These toy automobiles cost the people of 1911 between $8 and $50, or about $194 to $1,213 adjusted for inflation.


Automobile Caps and Goggles


Depending on your size, an automobile cap would set you back anywhere from $0.65 to $1.25, or about $15 to $30 adjusted for inflation.

The automobile googles cost $0.20, or about $5 adjusted for inflation.

Submarines and Divers


The pneumatic diver was operated by a tube you could blow in and cost $1, about $24 adjusted for inflation. The tin submarine cost between $1 and $3, depending on which size you wanted — about $24 and $73 respectively, when adjusted for inflation.



This toy train would set you back $18 (about $436 adjusted for inflation).

Toy Carriage with Sheep


This cabriolet (or toy carriage) with a sheep doll attached cost between $8 and $13.50, or about $194 and $328 adjusted for inflation.



These toy aeroplanes cost between $1.25 all the way up to $12 for the deluxe monoplane — about $30 up to $290 adjusted for inflation.

Eastman Kodak Brownie Cameras


Kodak was instrumental in branding the camera as a tool that anyone could use. Their most basic camera retailed for just $1 — or about $24 adjusted for inflation — and helped usher in the age of the snapshot.

[Internet Archive via Smithsonian magazine]


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