I was talking with some Edina folks today about what toys we should include in the upcoming "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit that we're planning.
The answer is obvious, one person joked. Cake-eater children certainly made their first cakes in Easy-Bake ovens.
Well, didn't we all? I didn't grow up in Edina, but I got one of these turquoise miniature ovens under my Christmas tree and churned out tiny little cakes and cookies in the light bulb heated oven.
I still have it among my box of treasures from my childhood. Your Easy-Bake Oven may look different that this one - apparently 11 models have been made since the first one debuted in 1963 for $15.95. Design followed national trends, with avocado and harvest gold taking over as the color of choice in 1969 and 1970 respectively.
Today's models look more like microwave ovens. Read Hasbro's fun history of the toy and, if you're a child of the seventies like I am, you must view the 1972 commercial below. The moment I heard that announcer's mellow voice, I was immediately transported back to my childhood.
Volunteers were reminiscing today about the model airplanes they bought at the store located next to the Edina Theater, and the bathtub boats (powered by the heat of a birthday candle) purchased from Carlson's Odd Shop in Morningside. Two people owned toy steam engines that were powered by burning pellets. (Apparently, the combination of boys and fire did not scare toy makers of the 1940s and 1950s.)
Some favorite toys were not bought from a store. A walnut, tooth pick and a paper sail made a great boat. Paper made many kinds of airplanes. Hollyhock blossoms became ballerinas with beautiful pink skirts.
What were your favorite playthings from your childhood? If you have treasures that you can loan or donate for our exhibit, please contact me. We'd also love photos of Edina children playing and having fun or send us a story about your childhood memories of growing up in Edina. For more information, contact me.
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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