A Directory of British Rocking Horse Makers (pre-1950).

The intention of this book has been to assist with the identification of different British makers of wooden rocking horses. It also seeks to include as much information about all British rocking horse makers established before 1950, who according to available evidence, have put one or more models into production in the form of a business. This approach covers both the large manufacturers, who have produced thousands of examples of their many different models and also, but by no means less important, the single owner operator who may have only produced a few models, but has also brought joy to many children. It is important that the reader should understand the limits of this book in its representation of ‘all’ British makers. Also that the content is by no means definitive and is subject to ongoing historical research.

As much information as possible has been recorded about each different company, its owners, employees, places of business, records of types, sizes and prices of different items produced. This data forms an insight into the social history of rocking horse makers over the years. Also included are some historical events, which while not being really pertinent are however of some quizzical interest. With a number of the longer running companies, it will be noted that some models were altered or modified over a period of time, most probably due to market or production forces. It will also be apparent that some companies amalgamated or were taken over by others or were carried on by successive generations.

The word ‘Rocking Horse’ can be used to describe many variations of a genre, from a very simple and cheaply made item, up to a large and fully sculptured animal, and because of this, this book will also incorporate many different types of ‘Rocking Horse’ that have been made over the years. This work is a comprehensive directory of rocking horse makers pre 1950. As a result makers are listed individually, accordingly some repetition will occur.

David Kiss.

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