The 20th annual National Trail Farm Toy Show was a busy place the morning of Dec. 9 – the lot at the Effingham, Ill., Knights of Columbus hall was full, Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand and buyers were walking around with full sacks.
Whether the sacks were filled with gifts for others or themselves, only the buyers could say!
The Kistles were vendors at the show; after seeing the White House tree destined for Washington, D.C., on television, they decided to make their own version with a tree in back of a flatbed. The decoration brought holiday cheer to their booth.
Richard Freeman of Sullivan, Ill., had beautifully crafted handmade wooden toys with intricate details. They included fire engines, tractors, backhoes, excavators, semi trucks and forklifts.
“I started about four or five years ago. The first thing I built,” he said, “was a fire truck.”
Leo Derocco from Homer, Ill., had some newer toys, including a few unusual Hallmark Kiddie Car Classic toys.
This is Hallmark’s Collectible line of reproduction vintage toy size pedal cars.
“This is a Murray Pedal Tractor with trailer toy that came out in 1996,” Leo explained, pointing out a yellow pedal tractor and trailer. The replica was only one of the Hallmark versions he had for sale.
Floyd Miller from Altamont, Ill., helped put on this toy show and he had some older selections. In his offerings were a couple of replicas of steam-powered farm items for sale.
“These are miniature steam engines that were probably built in the 1950s,” he explained. “There are some around, but they are a little rare.”
Besides the toys, literature and memorabilia was covered by Dallas Kingery from Effingham.
One unique item he had was a William Deering piece that appeared to be an ornament created for Chicago’s 1894 Columbian Exposition.
The Exposition celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in North America in 1492.
Chicago architecture was forever changed because of the exposition that was, in large part, designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Olmsted in the Beaux Arts principles of design. The Exposition was huge, covering more than 600 acres featuring nearly 200 new, but purposely temporary, buildings.
(Many of those buildings, like the Field Museum, are still standing and in use today. More than 27 million people attended the exposition during its six-month run.)
The Deering piece has an insert with a view of the Chicago Works of his company, which, at that time, covered 50 city blocks. Another inside flap shows a pair of horses pulling the Deering Improved Steel Binder.
Dallas also had a rare Belleville Implement Co. sewing kit that on the inside listed the line of McCormick Deering equipment. In the scene on the cover, a child is playing with toys that are examples of all the Arcade toys offered by the company at that time.
“I have al lot those,” Dallas, who has been doing this for the past 25-30 years, added.
The National Trail Toy Club also has a show July 14 and funds from both shows are donated to children’s charities.
For more information about the club or its shows, contact Lawrence L. Wendt at 217-844-2774 or Floyd Miller at 618-483-5028.
Readers with questions or comments for Cindy Ladage may write to her in care of this publication.