Connecticut Invention of the Day: Creepy Cool

My outreach school programs are done for the school year so now its time to review, add up the numbers and plan for changes for next year. This past year I decided to bring out a bunch more Connecticut inventions to share with the kids. One that I brought out was by far the most popular. One fourth grader even went so far to call it the “creepiest, coolest thing ever”. I think he has a point:


Patented by Hartford resident William Brodrib in 1953 this is the “Ambulatory Animal Toy”. I remember when I first saw this on one of our shelves in the museum storage area. The lighting was kind of dark, the toy was pushed back to the rear, yet all I saw was this goofy, kind of creepy, smiling dog face looking at me. Surrounded by other shelves full of tools, bottles, clocks swords etc. this thing really stood out. Upon further inspection and yes, trying it out,  it is a true charmer. The tail wags, a small bell jingles and on carpeting the legs move quite naturally……











How can you not smile when you look at this toy? The kids in the classrooms love it. The same kids who are used to X-Box, iphones and the like are completely blown away with this old school kind of toy when I walk the dog around their classroom. We end up having good discussions about toys, technology and inventors of the past present and future. And every time I take this little guy out of the box he’s still smiling…..

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