19 November 2021

Published November 17, 2021 by rochellewisoff
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A couple of weeks ago I posted a story about the origins of Legos. Of course this took my mind to other toys, such as Tinker Toys. I never owned a set but enjoyed playing with them with friends who did. Interesting to note, the idea of the round can was meant to be a mailing tube for easy posting. πŸ˜€ The following scene takes place in Evanston Illinois in 1914.

Historical Fiction
Word Count: 100


After a long day of carving tombstones, Robert hurried down his basement stairs. He had to strike while the iron was hot.


            β€œRobert, you’ve been home an hour and haven’t greeted me or little Grace.”

            He flashed a sheepish grin at his wife. β€œCome see my invention.”

            β€œIt looks like a pile of wooden sticks and spools to me.”

            β€œSo it is! For children to build and create with. Whatcha think?”

            β€œI think your supper’s getting cold.”


            Robert Pajeau, Tinker Toy creator, left his estate to underprivileged children, stating that kids had built his empire and should share in it.


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74 comments on “19 November 2021

  • Brings back many fond memories. I DID have tinker toys. Even hand carved ones, too. Mom wanted a boy, and they were “boy” toys so those I had. Many of my foster homes had them, too. I had them in the house when the boys were young, as well. The best kind of toy, no batteries and a world (or more) of imagination! YEAH for the “old” toys… may they come back this year in droves!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Bear,

      How lovely that you had “boy toys.” I remember how much fun Tinker Toys were. Never had a set of my own but loved playing with them in school and at my friends’ houses. No batteries indeed. Here’s to imagination without them.



      Liked by 1 person

  • What a great story and history lesson (via the link) of Tinker Toys. Although many children today have never played, or even seen one, they have probably heard of them. Another lesson of how a simple idea and a little β€œtinkering” can lead to a great invention, fortune & fame.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I never heard of tinker toys, but, wow, would I have loved them as a kid! Of course as ‘boy toys’ I wouldn’t have got them… Such a beautiful, inspiring story, Rochelle. and he sure was a good person. With the need of reducing plastic, shouldn’t these toys be ‘the thing’ these days?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I love how this story inspired you to share the story of another smart mind who created a toy that allowed kids to be all the more creative. Can’t say I ever played with them, myself!

    Shalom and lotsa connecting love,


    Liked by 1 person

  • Very characteristic of the creative mind, to be very focussed on the task and less so on the people. You caught that well in your story. It was heart-warming to learn that Robert Pajeau left his fortune to underprivileged kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Querida Isadora,

      I always wanted a set of my own. They were so much fun to play with at school and my friends’ homes. I think my parents’ reasoning had more to do with too many pieces to get lost than my being a girl. I don’t remember ever doing anything remarkable with them. πŸ˜‰

      Gracias para sus palabras amables.

      Shalom y cariΓ±o,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Pajeau sounds like a good man, Rochelle. I hope we never run out of men like him. Your story made me think: the off-handed way his wife told him to eat his supper, reminds me that often times it’s the ones closest to the dreamers are the last to see what’s been done. They just want their “Pajeaus” to eat well and stay healthy!

    Shalom u’vracha,

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Tinker Belle Merlot W(T)F,

    I’m not sure how combine those sticks and sprockets to create a wine opener, but I’m sure you’ll find a way. What I wish you’d write about is the song, “Great Balls of Fire,” Did it have anything to do with habanero peppers and an angry housewife? Asking for a friend.

    Hiding in the woodpile,
    Marty Woodchuck

    Liked by 1 person

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