Phantascopes, periscopes, and pinwheels — all intriguing novelties that captured the imagination of children in America and Europe several generations ago. Now with this well-illustrated how-to book, young and old alike can easily make any one of these and 35 other popular playthings that date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries or earlier. In addition to fascinating background information on each toy, historians Eugene and Asterie Provenzo provide easy-to-follow directions and nearly 300 illustrations. Some objects are simple enough for a 6-year-old to make. Others will challenge older children and adults. You'll be able to turn ordinary soda straws into Pandea Pipes — an ancient musical toy. Perhaps you'll want to construct one of the earliest-known flying toys, the Helicopter-Parachute. With a flashlight, shoebox, and magnifying glass, you can build the fascinating Magic Lantern — used by showmen in an earlier era to conjure up ghosts. Or re-create any of these time-honored educational and entertaining playthings: Thaumatrope, Kite-Ferry, Tumbling Acrobat, Marble Maze, Boomerang, Buzz Saw, Floating Ball, Chromatrope Toys, Flip-Book, Balancing Man, Skyhook, Zoetrope, Moving Slides, Tumbler, Revolving Serpent, Microscope, Paper-Wrestlers, Bullroarer, and many more! Toys can be made with inexpensive materials found in most homes and schools: cardboard, string, tape, straws, scissors, hammer, pins, flashlight, etc. Handy and affordable, this volume is a marvelous book of fun projects — and a delight for anyone interested in toys from the past.