Rolling hoops used to be the coolest toys around

Rolling hoops The coolest toys around in the Victorian era

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In addition to images from 1900-1920, below is an article published in 1961, reminiscing about the super-popular toys that were around for generations oh so long ago: rolling hoops and sticks.

rolling hoops boys playing

Do you remember?

by Helen T Bartschat – Huntingdon Daily News (Pennsylvania) May 23, 1961

Rolling hoops and more toys from the olden days

Do you remember the old metal hoop with a handle fastened to it? Almost every boy owned one of these, and in the wintertime, it hung in the old summer kitchen or in the woodshed. The small wooden hoops were usually rolled by the girls, using a small paddle to roll them along.

Rolling one’s hoop was a pleasure to boys and girls in this time of year when we were kids. In almost every generation hoop rolling has been a fad and one that will get rid of an excess of energy in both boys and girls.

Rolling hoops

Hoops on brick walks

Do you remember how the heavy metal hoops sounded as they were rolled over the old uneven brick walks? Some lighter ones were prized possessions of the girls.

The blacksmiths of town always got orders early in the springtime for these metal hoops. Do you remember the light, hollow sound of the little wooden hoops? They were usually stays off small kegs. As the season rolls on, there will be another fad or sport appear. The fall time is the time for rolling hoops also, and they will be hunted up again.

Rolling hoops has always been fun, good exercise, real pleasure. The fresh air, stimulating exercise of every muscle in the body combine in building good health.

Rolling hoop toys for children from 1901

Victorian rolling hoop toys 1920

The hula hoop

Do you remember how popular the hula hoop was about three years ago? The craze hit the adults as well as the youngsters and just everyone seemed to be gyrating, winding, bumping, and whooping it up with the varicolored hoops.

The joyful trek to the store to buy them never lagged for a moment after they were put on the market.

The '50s Hula Hoop fad gets millions twirling & whirling - plus tips on how to hoop
Came from California

It is said that the first of this novelty appeared in California, and the crazy just traveled at a terrific rate of speed all over the country. That summer we saw them by the thousands and thousands on every counter in the New England States from Maine to Cape Cod, while on a motor trip.

At first, they brought $2.00 each, but after some months they were a fourth of that price. However, some of them were better hoops and one gets just what he pays for.

Didn’t last long

But like rolling hoops, walking on home-made stilts and other crazes of yesteryear and which are coming back again, the pretty hula hoops didn’t remain popular for long. It was an enjoyable fad for a time, and now we don’t see it.

Rolling hoops - Antique toys

Hoop-rolling has never been a lost art, but professionals warned adults that hula hoops were for children alone. Unless they are Hawaiian dancers, they should leave the hoops to their children.

After many of them were sold to adults, a painful crawl to the doctor was reported. Grownups can’t seem to leave the children’s toys alone. The supple bodies of the youngsters can be twirled about and doubled up in the most grotesque gyrations but adults end up with backaches and the vertebrae of oldsters could be hula-hooped out of alignment.

So just let the youngsters do the gyrating with the hula hoops if they do get popular again, which we expect they will. Old styles and old customs that are worth anything do come back again in time.


1918 kids play rolling hoops


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