June 17, 2024

Horses and Stars


Although Christmas is actually a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, to a child Christmas is synonymous with toys.  And since toys are a reflection of society at any given time, they are an important part of history.   At the museum we have a nice collection of toys ranging from the mid-1800’s when Delphos was first settled through the mid-1900’s.  Many of these were probably Christmas gifts.


Among our collection are some that have special ties with Delphos because they were made by the Delphos Bending Company.  This company began as The Delphos Hoop Company in 1899 to make barrel hoops.   In 1912, they changed their name to the Delphos Bending Company and began manufacturing buggy and auto bows out of wood which was heated and bent.  Another big change occurred in 1934 when they began making juvenile furniture and toys and hired local amateur astronomer Leslie Peltier to design them. 


The toy furniture line included many items such as teeter tots, strollers, desk sets, and toy chests, all made with bent wood.  Rockers featuring various characters such as Granny Goose, Peter Rabbit, and Ducky Doo were also offered, but the most popular animal throughout the decades  the company was in business appears to be the horse.  They made horses on rockers, horses on springs, and horses with a swing mechanism so it would glide.  The horse pictured is from the 1941 catalog and labeled “Bentwood Pony Racer.”  Notice the stars on the saddle.  It is undoubtedly one of Leslie Peltier’s designs. 


Printed in the Delphos Herald December 8, 2012


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  1. Hello~ I have a beautiful ‘hi prancer’ black beauty horse with a wood platform & springs that allows the horse to rock horizontally & vertically. I’d like some more info on this horse. I can’t find the same one anywhere on the internet. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attach a pic here either.

    Any information is welcomed.

    Thank you,

    black beauty.jpeg

  2. lori fagan says

    I was just looking at your website when I saw the rocking horse picture and wondered if you could tell me more about this horse. I acquired one at an auction and I can’t find anything about it. It has a tag that said it was made by the happy land playthings that’s all I know. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. Lori Fagan

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