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Blue Santa
Sam Dyke

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Blue Santa  $16.90 + tax & shipping

The Blue Santa includes his Santa sack (a double drawstring cloth marbles bag), a card showing the original Blue Santa’s portrait, and his story inside the card. 

The Story of the Blue Santa & Friends

     The Blue Santa, pictured here, was discovered at Lock 3 Park in Akron, Ohio during an archeological dig in 2001 by The American Toy Marble Museum. It was made at the site in the mid-1890s by Samuel C. Dyke's American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Co. (1884-2004.) This company made the world's first to mass-produce a toys. They made a million clay marbles a day, five-railroad box car full, and dozens of other penny toys.

     The Blue Santa, standing at 2 1/4" tall, was among the largest penny toys they made and research identifies him as the oldest figurine of a Santa known to exist. lie is shown wearing a blue-hooded coat in the old German tradition, as at the time there was a large, German community in Akron. (The tradition of the modern Santa's red suit and white trim, dates to 1931 with an advertisement for the Coca-Cola Co.)

     Previous to the Sam Dyke's company there were only handmade toys; beautifully painted, clever in design and so expensive only the world's wealthiest families could afford to buy their children toys. With the introduction of mass-produced toys by Sam Dyke, for the first time in history all children could have a toy. For a penny a boy could buy a handful of marbles.

      Dyke's venture was so successful 32 other local entrepreneurs opened up their own marble factories. On the other side of Akron, men looking for new uses for rubber, witness what we know today as the birth of the 'children's product market' and they turned out the world's first mass-produced balloons, rubber balls, rubber dollies, rubber duckies and rubber baby buggy bumpers. To this day there've been over 170 toy companies in greater Akron.

      When archeologist digging at the site of the world's first mass-produced toys, now Lock 3 Park (a green city park in the heart of Downtown Akron,) discovered the Blue Santa, they realized this was the real Santa and Lock 3 Park was the original North Pole. It is of course a metaphor on the benefits of mass-production, how it came to be that all children of the world could have toys.

      The Blue Santa is still on site, hasn't left his birthplace, and is now proudly displayed at The American Toy Marble Museum at Lock 3 Park.

     Your Blue Santa was lovingly reproduced using for Christmas 2008. We've also reproduced; a cat, a woman's shoe and 'unpolished chinas' (unglazed porcelain marbles) the finest shooter marbles made in the 1800s, all originally from Sam Dyke's marbleworks.

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