Each spool has eight holes drilled every 45 degrees around the perimeter with one hole in the middle. With differing lengths, the rods can be inserted into the spools to form degree triangles to fortify the structures the children build. The original wooden rods and spools have been replaced with brightly colored plastic pieces that snap together. Tinkertoy construction sets were the brainchild of Charles Pajeau. He did not enjoy his work and was often found tinkering with inventions that were unsuccessful. Inspired by observing children play with pencils and empty thread spools to build structures, Charles developed a construction set with similar wooden pieces.
Tinkertoy | National Toy Hall of Fame
Tinkertoys were invented in by Charles H. Pajeau and Robert Pettit. Pajeau had watched kids playing with empty spools of thread and pencils and decided that A. Gilbert, whose Erector Set had debuted the year before, was on to something: Kids would play with things they could build with. But back then the idea was a novelty. In Padeau worked out a deal with Marshall Field, the savvy retailer who filled the entire fourth floor of his State Street Chicago store yes, the one with the Clock with toys.
The Strong National Museum of Play
Jump to navigation. Toys reflect the times in which they are made, and it follows, that as time passes, these toys fade away and are often replaced by newer toys. A few toys—like many in the National Toy Hall of Fame —though, remain popular for decades.
A stonemason by trade, Pajeau built a playset that incorporated these shapes. Regardless of their size, each stick in the set was cut to a correct length to form degree triangles — a practical application of the Pythagorean theorem that served to fortify the structures that kids built. Like many toys that end up being hits, Tinkertoys got off to a slow start. Recognizing the need for more business acumen, Pajeau partnered with Robert Petit, a stockbroker, and formed The Toy Tinkers of Evanston. Undaunted, Pajeau struck deals with various shop owners to promote the construction sets through elaborate window displays.