Watrous Bell Toys

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July 4th patriotic bell toys
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Started this discussion. Last reply by BellToyBoy Jul 4.

The Mystery of the Missing N. N. Hill Brass Co. buildings.
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Started this discussion. Last reply by BellToyBoy Feb 25, 2015.

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BellToyBoy posted a blog post

Paul Cole

Fellow bell toy collector Paul Cole passed away recently. He was gracious, allowing me to stay at his home several times, and letting me photograph his toys. He will be missed, even though he cost me a pretty penny, bidding aggressively against me for a Watrous bird bell toy. I'll still smile when I see that bird thinking of you, and Max Berry. Paul, say hi to Carol for me.See More
Jul 6
BellToyBoy replied to BellToyBoy's discussion July 4th patriotic bell toys
"Here are a few more patriotic bell toy images. The Rocking Eagle is in my collection. The Starr Bros and Wm Barton toys are in the collection of Paul Cole."
Jul 4
BellToyBoy posted a discussion

July 4th patriotic bell toys

For the 4th of July, here's some patriotic bell toy history. Mass production of bell toys started just after the end of the Civil War and before the U. S. Centennial. The gruesome Civil War had drained the spirit of Americans. Centennial celebrations created a cause to rally the spirits of citizens around. During the Civil War great strides in mass production advanced the factories of the north. The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia was the place to have your products seen. Numerous toy and…See More
Jul 4
BellToyBoy posted a blog post

spam alert

A new member to Bell Toys spammed at least one member in our group. If you get anything from a Dr. Ronald Morris I suggest you delete it. May Mr. Morris get dumped on in the afterlife by Morris the cat.See More
Jul 9, 2019
BellToyBoy posted a status
"See the Forum section for the supplement to the ABA's The Bell Tower article I wrote on Hoop Bell Toys, Hoop Chime Toys & Hooples."
Jul 8, 2019
BellToyBoy posted a discussion

ABA article "Hoop Bell Toys, Hoop Chime Toys & Rolling Hooples," Part III Supplemental

The American Bell Association has published in their magazine, The Bell Tower, my article, “Hoop Bell Toys, Hoop Chime Toys & Rolling Hooples.” Part I was in the March-April 2019 issue pages 9-22, Part II was in the May-June issue, pages 9-20, and Part III will be in the July-August issue. When I began researching and writing the article I thought this would be a short piece, perhaps a few pages. It turned out to be a lot more than a few pages. Part III focuses primarily on patents. I was…See More
Jul 8, 2019

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Paul Cole

Fellow bell toy collector Paul Cole passed away recently. He was gracious, allowing me to stay at his home several times, and letting me photograph his toys. He will be missed, even though he cost me a pretty penny, bidding aggressively against me for a Watrous bird bell toy. I'll still smile when I see that bird thinking of you, and Max Berry. Paul, say hi to Carol for me.

Posted on July 6, 2020 at 11:59am

spam alert

A new member to Bell Toys spammed at least one member in our group. If you get anything from a Dr. Ronald Morris I suggest you delete it. May Mr. Morris get dumped on in the afterlife by Morris the cat.

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 10:57am

St. Paddy's Day bell toys

For this St. Paddy's day I'm posting several bell toys that are related to U.S. - Irish history. Not everything is politically correct by today's standards. These toys were made in the later half of the 1800s when two events were occurring simultaneously. One was the popularity of the traveling circuses. The second was a wave of immigrants from Europe prompted by desperate conditions there, and the availability of low priced steam boat transportation across the Atlantic to "the land of…

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Posted on March 16, 2018 at 5:00pm

American Bell Association New England Chapter meeting

The American Bell Association's New England Chapter will be having a meeting on April 28th in East Hampton Connecticut. Jay Hansen, East Hampton Town Historian, has invited me to give a presentation. I will present a history of East Hampton bell toys. Details to follow. 

Posted on March 14, 2018 at 2:02pm

Toys at Morris Museum Dec 14th 2017 to March 4th 2018

  I just dropped off some bell toys at the Morris Museum in Morristown, N.J. They are having an exhibition of Toys from Dec. 14th, 2017 through March 4th, 2018. http://morrismuseum.org/ There are some toys from my collection, and many from others that will be shown. 

Posted on December 7, 2017 at 5:16pm

Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 12:10pm on February 12, 2010, Kathy E. Esch said…
Here are my Gong Bell toys. I'm interested in just the ride on horses. I have several other toy makers horses too, Fisher Price, Wonder, NN Hill, and more. I'm new to this, still collecting info on the ponies. I like the 1930's and newer wood, plastic and metal horses. I appreciate this site and the info it offers. I'm not sure the plastic hobby horse is a true Gong Bell. Any comments?
At 12:28am on March 9, 2010, BellToyBoy said…
Hi Kathy,

Gong Bell did produce a plastic head hobby horse. There was one on ebay recently. Gong Bell did not produce many plastic toys, and many of the ones they did produce were somewhat amateurish in my opinion. By the time plastics were coming into use the two main creative forces at Gong Bell, namely Clifford M. Watrous and Harold D. Allen had been there for over forty years and were in their old age. Gong Bell seems to have been slow to embrace plastics and change with the times. Besides the ride on Horse, and there were several variations of that, there was also a ride on zebra, and as I recall, a tiger.

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