Now that our new temporary exhibit “The School That Started a Town” is open, we’d like to share a glimpse into a child’s life in the early 20th century. These toys and games were owned by children in Plainsboro in the early 1900’s and donated to the Wicoff House Museum. This was likely what they would have played with at recess, in school or at home with their friends.

In the early 1900’s, Plainsboro was a rural farming town with Walker-Gordon Dairy as their top business. Until TV was common in the 1950’s & 60’s, kids had to entertain themselves. Cycling around town, paddle-ball and baseball were popular outdoor activities, while marbles, jacks, card games and wooden blocks were fun for indoor play. Cast-iron toys of horse-drawn wagons, cars and trains were were widely popular for those whose families could afford them. A family in Plainsboro might have taken a trip into a nearby city such as Trenton and purchased a cast iron model toy as a treat for the child. 

Learn more about children’s entertainment during this time and the history of Plainsboro schools by visiting our exhibit – open until April 23rd! Visiting hours are 1pm-4pm on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.