1995 32¢ Santa at Chimney
Issue Date: September 30, 1995
City: North Pole, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.2 vertically
Child Holding Jumping Jack
Until the 1850s, toy stores were virtually unheard of, and most toys children received for Christmas were homemade. But the appearance of mass-manufactured toys opened a new market for shopkeepers who piled their counters and shelves high with every imaginable toy – including drums, horns, toy kitchens with real woodburning stoves, china sets, armies of tin soldiers, rocking horses, hoops, jacks, trains, and steamboats.
Each year it seemed Santa produced toys more fabulous than the year before and it wasn’t long before motion and sound appeared in toys. The late 1800s saw an explosion of ingenious toys – guns that fired peas, dogs that jumped through hoops, and baby dolls that cried. These amazingly lifelike clockwork toys, many of which were imported from Europe, delighted young and old alike. But despite all the fantastic creations, brightly painted Noah’s arks remained a favorite throughout the years. Dolls were also popular, and soon they too became elaborate creations with lifelike expressions, real hair, and eyes that opened and closed.
Although toys and toy stores may have changed since those early years, today the anticipation of discovering what Santa has left under the tree still makes every child’s Christmas magical.