Until the late 18th century and early 19th century, the toy-making
business was primarily a cottage industry, consisting of local artisans
crafting items for agents who sold the toys to merchants. Toys for
children were primarily purchased from peddlers, stalls in a market, or
in shops mixed in with other goods. By the late 18th century
children's books, such as Cobwebs to Catch Flies (1783) and The
Toy-Shop (1787), begin to show illustrations of London toyshops.
The Wonderful Toy Shop (1852) is a mid-19th century children's book
illustrating what would be found in a 1850's toyshop. The book has
hand-colored wood engravings of a man showing a group of children the
toys in his shop. The toys include dolls, dollhouses, musical
instruments, guns, rocking-horses, soldiers, bow and arrows, blocks,
tools, kites, and wagons. It was published in the 1850s by Philip J.
Cozans in New York.
This book was first published by Dean and Co., London, England in 1852
under the title of Wonders of a Toy Shop. Cozans just added a new
illustrated cover page and title to the British book, plus changed the
name of the toyshop from "London Toy Warehouse" to just "Toy
Warehouse." The British title was also published by J.Q. Preble, New