Toys from Lindsborg: maker unknown

I’ve had these toys for nearly as long as I can remember. I can recall one occasion when my family and I visited the maker’s shop. I was likely not more than four. All I can really remember is that it was dark, dusty, and wonderful. We had other outdoor objects — whirligigs and the like — now surely lost to weather and time. The materials are quite rough and frugal: mostly pallet wood and related cast offs.

These toys now reside my son and daughter’s rooms, high on shelves, as they once did in my bedroom.

It really bugs me that I don’t even know the name of the man who made them.

[UPDATE: Thanks to Mike Rodriquez of Lindsborg for identifying the maker as Rueben Strange.]

10 responses to “Toys from Lindsborg: maker unknown

  1. Still, when all is said and done, it is so nice to recall the origin of something we possess. We are so disconnected, for the most part, with where the things we buy come from and under what circumstances they were made. I wish we could be closer to the source. I think if we were, there are a lot of things we might just give up.

  2. We’re doing an exhibit this fall on folk art with Swedish American heritage. It would be great to put the horse and buggy on display at the library. You willing?

  3. Our daughter has a train set similar to what you’ve posted. Not easily accessible for photos, but it was made by Reuben Strange.

    • Wow thanks so much. How did you find this post anyway? I was just putting the question out to the universe and didn’t really expect an answer. After a quick google search I was delighted to see that Mr. Strange celebrated his 90th birthday in 2010 but didn’t find anything else. I’d love to see more images of his work if you ever come across that train.

      I was also delighted to see your image from 19th Avenue in McPherson County. Coincidentally, I grew up on 19th Ave less than two miles from where you took those photos. I just put up a post linking to your blog. Hope that’s okay.

      Thanks again.

      • Speaking of 19th Avenue. Depending on where you lived and who your parents are, we may be related. If your dad is Michael, we are related, a generation or two above my grandma Thora.

        Michael and I are like I said, distant cousins. I last remember being at the house probably some 40 years ago. Lately, as I’ve been riding by, it finally occurred to me, I think that’s their house!

        I would have asked my aunt Marian, who was closer to Joyce (your grandma if my theory is correct), but she sadly passed away in early July. (Michael left condolences on her tribute page at the Stockham funeral home page.).

        On the other hand, this being Lindsborg, there are a lot of Johnsons (and Petersons and Andersons and Rodriquezsons :-) so it may just be a coincidence.

      • Rodriquezons, that’s funny.

        Actually my Dad’s name is Jerry and his dad’s name was Eben who passed away in 1980.

        Depending on how long you’ve been living in Lindsborg, you may recall Eben’s fence on the east side of “Old 81” between State and Lincoln Streets on which he hung a few hundred wrenches.

        Thanks again!

  4. Pingback: Thanks to Mike | New Gottland

  5. I use Google reader to subscribe to the RSS feeds of large number of blogs. I created a filter that searches for Lindsborg in all of the feeds that google knows. I find quite a number of interesting references to Lindsborg as a result, including yours!

  6. Pingback: Grandpa Eben’s Fence | New Gottland

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