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The History of Tinkertoy Construction Sets

Charles Pajeau invented tinkertoy construction sets, a toy set for children.


The History of Tinkertoy Construction Sets

The History of Tinkertoy Construction Sets

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Charles Pajeau was a stonemason from Evanston, Illinois who established The Toy Tinkers company and invented Tinkertoys. Tinkertoys are a toy set of wooden dowels, joints, wheels, etc., used by children to assemble structures.

In 1914, Charles Pajeau sold nearly one million Tinkertoy Construction Sets following the introduction of Tinkertoys at the American Toy Fair in New York City. However, it wasn't the world's fair that endeared Tinkertoys to the general public. During the Christmas shopping season, Pajeau had to hire midgets dressed as elves to play with Tinkertoys in the display window of a Chicago department store to help promote the new toy.

Charles Pajeau found the inspiration to invent Tinkertoys after watching children poke sticks and pencils into the holes of empty thread spools. You can clearly see the inspiration by studying the photo of a tinkertoy included with this article. Together with business partner Robert Pettit, Pajeau founded The Toy Tinkers company.

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