Fun with Scissors
Springfield, Massachusetts: Milton Bradley Company, circa 1910. Seven printed silhouette pattern sheets (one a duplicate), measuring 4 x 7.5 inches; twelve uncut sheets of glossy colored paper, measuring 5.5 x 8.25 inches; two cut scraps of glossy colored paper; thirteen shapes cut from cardboard; original pair of scissors. Housed in original color pictorial paper-covered box, measuring 13 x 10.5 x 1.75 inches. Light shelfwear to box, with one split corner.
Paper cutting kit for American children, issued at the turn of the twentieth century. In the 1830s, German educator Friedrich Froebel developed his original “system of kindergarten,” a revolutionary program for children that emphasized spatial literacy and graphic design. The “Froebel gifts” were a series of twenty interactive toys, including building blocks, modeling clay, sewing cards, and colored papers for folding, cutting, and weaving. Milton Bradley was the primary distributor for the Froebel gifts in the United States, eventually marketing them as popular arts and crafts activities for use beyond the kindergarten classroom. Fun with Scissors, patented in 1906, repurposes Froebel's thirteenth gift, paper cutting, for a general audience. The patterns feature the shapes of everyday plants and animals, toys, and holiday images. A delightful survival.