Horse and cowboy clockwork toy

A photograph showing a clockwork toy,with a horse and rider who is a cowboy.

V&A Museum, ©Victoria and Albert Museum,London

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  • Intro
    Museum's Description
    Teacher notes
    • This toy shows a cowboy riding a horse. If you wind up the clockwork mechanism, the horse starts to move. You can explore how the toy works and see how it moves with our friends at Culture Street.

      'Cowboys and Indians' was a popular theme for toys in the 1960s and 1970s as 'Westerns' - stories about the American Wild West with cowboys and Native Americans (as 'Indians' are now called) - were popular with film and television audiences.

      Cowboys were often paired with Native Americans, and you can see this toy's Native American partner on Show Me.

      Things to think about...
      Why do you think wind up mechanisms were used in toys? Can you think of other ways toys can be powered?

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