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Paddle Wheel Steamboat "Twilight"

steamboat | pull toy

ca.1900

Prior to the 19th century and the technological advancements that accompanied it, toy and game manufacturers had to paint all of their products by hand. Chromolithography (or color printing on paper) replaced this time-consuming and costly procedure. Chromolithography first appeared in Germany in the 1820s, and by the time it gained widespread popularity in the 1880s, its advantages had become evident. Lithography, chromolithography's single-color predecessor, involved drawing an image with a grease crayon on a smooth piece of limestone. The grease attracted ink and, when pressed to a piece of paper, made a copy of the image. To create a multicolored picture, the printed created one plate for each color he wished to use and then aligned the plates perfectly on top of the lithographed print to ensure that the colors would not run into each other. Using the same plates, the printer could reproduce the image again and again. Toymakers used chromolithography to create images for everything from game boards and alphabet blocks to box covers and children's books.

ManufacturerMilton Bradley Company | W. S. Reed Toy Co.
Materialwood | paper | chromolithograph
OriginUSA
Stylepull toy
Object ID107.3524

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