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The Toy Story: The Life and Times of Inventor Frank Hornby Hardcover – 1 Jun 2002
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A single man was responsible for the toys which shaped generations of children. Frank Hornby invented the train set, Meccano, the dinky toy and Scalextric. And yet, until now, there has been no biography of this extraordinary figure. Frank Hornby was born in 1866 to a working class family in Liverpool. Whilst working as a bookkeeper for a meat importer, and frustrated by the range of toys in turn of the century Britain he set up a toy manufacturing company. A passionate and inspired man, he developed his first toys for his own children and by his death in 1936 Meccano and Hornby trains were market leaders. In 2001 Hornby's chairman announced the company profits were booming as twenty-first century adults rediscovered the joys of their childhood. Encompassing social history, politics and changing attitudes towards children this is a beautifully written life story of an unsung hero.
From the Author
I am writing a book about the extraordinary Frank Hornby not just because he made wonderful toys, nor simply because he made millions from them, but because he created three icons of popular culture which promise to tell us a great deal about the world in which he lived.See all Product description
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But it's not all about business: the reader is also afforded privileged insights into Frank Hornby the loving family man, as well has his latter-day career as a politician - even if he was fairly ineffectual in the cut-and-thrust of parliamentary life.
Even if the sociology and politics leave you slightly glassy-eyed, you cannot but fail to admire the author for the way he has assembled all the bits and pieces of Frank Hornby's life to construct this fine 'model' of how a good biography should be written.
The book details the story of Hornby's life and times. He was essentially an inventor, and when his own children were born, he turned his attention to making toys for them in his garden shed. He punched holes in strips of tin for them to make things - out of this tiny beginning, Meccano became a household name.
Hornby's adventure into Meccano, trains and tinplate models flourished during the inter-war years, when German products were out of favour following the propaganda and slaughter of the first world war. He also realised that only the wealthy could ever afford the products of Exley, Marklin, Bing, etc. and wanted to make toys the middle classes could enjoy.
An extremely interesting book, telling the story behind the man and the eventual demise of the Binns Road factory following his death.
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