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Revive your love for the sock monkey, and all the retro toys from your childhood...

The world of stuffed or plush toys most likely began in 1880s Germany. A well-known company, Steiff, invented the teddy bear in early 1900. The gray work sock with the red and white heel was housed in every male’s dresser drawer during the roaring ‘20s. Subsequently, your mother and grandmother introduced to the household, homespun toys fabricated from socks, and most notably from “the sock”. The mill that initially manufactured this tri-color invention, patented in 1915, rose to fame when they included instructions for the “Sock Monkey” with each pair sold. Thanks to Nelson Knitting Mills of Rockford, Illinois, we, now more than ever, feel nostalgic about toys! 

The 20s, 30s, and 40s were reminiscent of marbles, the pogo stick, jacks, Mickey Mouse, and die-cast toys. Here’s a snapshot of popular toys from recent decades:

The 1950s brought us Candyland, alongside army men, Colorforms, Mad Libs, western heroes, Wooly Willy, Slinky, and Mr. Potato Head.

The 60s decade, era of Howdy Doody and The Flintstones, bring to mind the Etch-a-Sketch and hula hoop, the games of Life and Monopoly, Silly Putty (remember Sunday comics?), and Gumby.

In the 1970s, Davy Jones and Maureen McCormick made us all wish they were our Mystery Date, playing Tiddlywinks, Uno, and if Mom and Dad were not around, Twister. 

Big hair, feathered bangs, cut-off jeans, and Hacky Sack ushered in the 80s. Jenga and Kerplunk tested our anxiety levels. Lite-Brite calmed us down after our little brother’s Ant Farm broke. We were Hungry Hungry Little Hippos playing Hot Potato and Strawberry Shortcake. 

Ah, the 1990s, the generation of most of our Store Associates… Beanie Babies multiplied throughout our homes, and are now tucked away as an “investment” (yeah, right?). Remember, the shortage of Tickle-me-Elmo? The ungodly amount of money you paid that Christmas Eve? Furbys may have creeped us out a bit. Cabbage Patch Kids smelled like baby powder. Polly Pocket clogged our vacuum cleaners, and American Girl dolls looked like every tween in the neighborhood.

Make your presence known to the Sock Monkey family that welcomes you to F.H. Gillingham & Sons. Take a stroll through our fun room, as we call it. You’ll find most of the treasures we reminisce about, plus new favorites waiting for a home and memory. Ask any enthusiastic associate about toys, and they will be at your mercy! We’re always striving to find the hard-to-find – just for you. Welcome and enjoy your trip down nostalgia lane.

F.H. Gillingham & Sons is located at 16 Elm Street in Woodstock, Vermont. This year, we are celebrating our 131st anniversary. Stop by for a truly unbelievable Vermont general store experience.




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