A Toy Story Or Two

Many of the toys or games that Faire Tyme Toys sell come packaged with a short children's story and/or history of the toy or game. For example ...


Osric the Flapping
Winged Owl

George Jacob pulled his chair up to the blazing fire, slipped off his well-polished riding boots, and tentatively glanced across the room to his two oldest children - George Jr. and Ann. The glance was all the two teen aged Jacob children needed. They knew that their father was done his chores for the day and was now ready to read to them for the next hour or so. It had been a favourite time for them since they were young and they still looked forward to it although they would soon, in a few short years, be out on their own with their own children to read to on long winter nights when the Thames River was but a long frozen ribbon darkly wrapping the countryside along the River Road in Dover West.

George and Ann scurried over to the fire place and took their usual positions on either side of the fire with their father positioned in the middle. For the last week or so Mr. Jacob had been reading Shakespeare's play HAMLET to his children and they were getting close to the final act. George and Ann were anxious to find out what would happen to the young Prince Hamlet and Ophelia who, their father told them was not much older than they were.

Meanwhile across the room the youngest daughter of George and Mary Archange Jacob, Felicity, was being taught by her mother "to sew a fine seam'. Ever since her father had started reading HAMLET, Felicity had divided her attention between her mother's sewing instructions and her father's fine voice resonating across the room reading mouthfuls of words in a manner that, although she did not always understand, she nevertheless found fascinating.

This particular night Felicity Jacob was not only trying to sew and listen to her father but was also attempting to get enough nerve to ask her father to make her a toy Jumping Jack or Pantin like she had seen little Marie Cartier playing with when she had been visiting Cartier's Store at The Forks last week. Although she knew that her father would make her a wooden Jumping Jack like Marie Cartier's, she was trying to get enough courage to tell her father that she did not want a man jumping but rather her favourite creature of all an owl!

After her father finished reading HAMLET to George and Ann, he called Felicity over to him and sat her on his knee. 'Now, my young lass what is this your mother was telling me about you wanting me to make you another toy? Did I not make you a Whirligig just a month or two ago?", said Mr. Jacob with a wink and a smile. "Yes, I know Father but you said I could have another one when winter ended and ... well ... it is April, is it not? The Thames is flowing fast and high and Mother did see a Robin yesterday morn, Father."

"Ah .. I suppose you have me there my young miss. Well... what is it you want this time my love?" , Mr. Jacob said reaching for a quill pen and sheet of paper. "Well, Father 1 want a Jumping Jack like Marie Cartier has but .... I ... want it .... to be ... an owl .... Father.", Felicity said slowly and carefully, worried that her father would dismiss her idea as being impossible to do.

"Ummmh ..." pondered Mr.Jacobs, " that will not be an easy task. And 1 suppose you want it to have wings that can wildly flap like the one I see you peering at day after day in the barn?", questioned Mr. Jacob with mock despair. "Only if you can, Father. They don't have to flap that wildly, Father. Gentle flapping would be more than fine, Father'., bargained Felicity. "And what might you be calling this "Flapping Owl" if I am able to make it for you my little one? I suppose you do not even have a name for him yet." "Oh, yes Father I do and it was you who gave me the name. The name is "Osric" just like the messenger you were reading about in HAMLET a night or two ago to George and Ann", proudly stated Felicity hoping to impress her father with her developing listening skills. "Ah, very good, Felicity! 'Tis not only George and Ann then that listen to my storytelling but young Felicity has her ears pricked up as well, Mother", responded her father looking with shared pride at his wife. "Why 'Osric', Felicity? Why not 'Hamlet' or 'Horatio', questioned her mother. " Because ... I think "Osric" is a different name and a name that makes me laugh when 1 say it, Mother. Especially when 1 say... "Osric The Owl"! It sounds very funny!", laughed Felicity.

"Yes, you're right there, Felicity! It does NOT sound like your normal Jumping Jack and I am sure that is what you want ... a different and unique name for your new toy. Is that not true, Felicity?", asked her father.

"Yes, Father that is VERY true. I want my Jumping Jack to be VERY different from Marie Cartier's Jumping Jack. Can you make one for me, Father? Oh ...can you? Can you? I shall love you forever if you do, Father!", exclaimed Felicity.

"Well ... let's see what 1 might be able to do for you, my young Felicity. Come with me and draw for me what you want good old 'Osric" to look like.", directed her Father.



John McGregor's Bird in a
Cage Thaumatrope

Although he is the miller at The Forks, John McGregor, loves nothing better than to amaze his friends, while the mill's grist wheel is turning, with his amazing WONDER TURNER and tell them that it was his own invention. However, once again this is nothing more than another one of John McGregor's many "tall tales".

The WONDER TURNER, or THAUMATROPE as it is more formally called, was invented in 1826 by the English physician J.A. Paris. It basically consists of a wooden disk (approximately 3 inches in diameter) with a picture imprinted on each side and two pieces of string attached to the wooden disk with which to spin it. When the WONDER TURNER or THAUMATROPE is spun rapidly, the pictures on either side of it merge delightfully and magically into one!

The WONDER TURNER or THAUMATROPE is commonly credited with being the first cinematographic device invented. It provides the illusion of a simple picture from two pictures because of the phenomenon of persistent vision. When an image is projected on the retina of the human eye, it remains unchanged for a period of one-tenth to one-twentieth of a second. It is this phenomenon of persistent vision that makes possible motion pictures, which are in fact single pictures showing successive motion that are run by the eye very quickly.

Although there are many variations in the pictures one might have on a WONDER TURNER ( ie. a man riding a horse, or even a man on the gallows!), John McGregor's favourite one is the bird in the cage! Amaze and entertain your friends, as does John McGregor, with this amazing WONDER TURNER!

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