OAK RIDGE TOY 1

By Nolan Bailey

I know that I said I was going to "shut up," but I remembered some of the toys we used to make back in Oak Ridge and later on...

This is known as a "Bull Roarer."  Perhaps other Minden Memories viewers have made them as children.
The toy was usually whittled out of an old apple crate or some other such wood.  The string was around three feet long.
The wood roarer was around nine inches to a foot long, as I recall.   When finished, the wood "roarer" is spun around in a circle over one's head.
Some folks think that it sounds like a "boll roaring," but I always thought it sounded like a Night Hawk or a Bull Bat diving for insects at dusk.

Some of the boys that lived in Oak Ridge during the early 1940's built little "go carts" androde them down the hill on South Roosevelt Drive in Oak Ridge.
Sometimes the steering worked just great, and at other times
the rider cleaned out the ditch.

Attached drawing is courtesy of the fun toy site on Google.

The city cart

Children in the city lived in an environment obviously different from a technical point of view and, especially after the war, they could easily procure important scraps such as ball bearings. More advanced scrap material and the availability of asphalt roads uncrowed by cars changed the country cart into a faster vehicle present in every city's courtyards.

Do you remember


Another toy that was homemade on Roosevelt Drive in the early 1940's was a "spool racer" or "spool tractor." 
We used a large wooden spool, a rubber band, a piece of soap, wax, or button, and a couple of sticks to build our toy.



When the "racer" has been assembled, the long stick on the end is wound to twist the rubber band
inside of the spool.  Then the toy is placed on the floor or a table and released.  It was lots of fun to
have a toy that actually moved on its own.  I'm sure that many other kids from this era must have
built their own "Roosevelt Racer."

Here is another toy that I learned to make while living in Oak Ridge.  Of course, I
received help when using the straight edged razor blade to do the slicing.  At least,
when mom was looking.  I think that the dart was my mother's idea.

It's a "Matchstick Dart."

Nolan