Toys for a safe and sane fourth of July (1912)

Categories: 1910s, Events, Fourth of July
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Miniature guns and cannons for a safe and sane fourth

Drums full of gifts for the Independence Day party

Now that firecrackers, caps and gunpowder are no longer in fashion for fourth of July celebrations it is rather difficult sometimes to think of ways in which we will be allowed to do honor to the greatest of our legal holidays.

Boys and girls must not despair, however, even if the safe and sane fourth advocated by our parents has made it necessary to give up many of the things which used to make the fourth of July enjoyable. After all, it is better to have all our fingers and toes and our eyes and a few other necessary things on the fifth of July than to have firecrackers and caps on the fourth. So the best thing we can do is accept the safe and sane fourth gracefully and look around for whatever noise making devices are left to use among the perfectly safe explosives.

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Practically all of these are the rubber ball guns and cannons which are now to be had in the shops in such a great variety of shapes and sizes. There are very attractive tiny cannons with correct sighting pieces, which protect the man behind the gun. The ammunition for these small cannons is tiny rubber balls, and of course as the cannons go up in size the rubber ball ammunition also increases until it is the size of a very respectable cork.

One of the most interesting of this season’s popular fourth of July toys is the aerial target. This consists of a man, the top of whose hat explodes with a loud report when the lower part of the wooden pistol is pulled out.

Fourth of July parties are always great fun, and this year there are a great many devices to help the guests of these occasions to have a good time.

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For the fourth of July Jack Horner, there is a huge drum made of paper in the national colors and trimmed with gold eagles and little flags. This drum looks warlike, but it isn’t. Instead it is stuffed with all sorts of small fourth of July favors. Each of these favors is attached to a ribbon, and this ribbon is threaded through the crepe paper which covers one end of the drum. When the guests are assembled each one is given one of these ribbons to pull. They all pull together, the end of the drunk is torn away and a shower of good things falls out.


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Source publication: The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, Calif.)

Publication date: June 29, 1912

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