Packaging, box for 'Baby Douglas No.75' [toy aircraft], trademark 'TT', cardboard, made by ET Co, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 1933-1940
This box labelled 'Baby Douglas' originally held a representation of a Douglas DC-1 toy aircraft which belonged to the donor who grew up in Hobart, Tasmania, in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The original toy plane does not survive but the donor stored his Britain's toy Indians in the box for decades.
The aircraft illustrated on the box represents the full-size Douglas DC-1 (Douglas Commercial) aircraft the design of which was a great advance in the commercial aviation industry. It was built for the American airline company TWA, had the registration NC223Y and first flew in 1933. The aircraft was very advanced for its time and comprised an all-metal, low wing, twin engine type with seating for 12 passengers and a crew of two plus a flight attendant. It was insulated against noise, heated and capable of landing with one engine if necessary. The DC-1 was a great improvement on the aircraft commonly used at the time, the Ford Trimotor and the Fokker Trimotor, which had timber struts. Only one DC-1 aircraft was built but it formed the basis for the DC-2 and the renowned DC-3 aircraft, said to be one of the most successful aircraft designs of all time.
Despite the fact that the toy aircraft is no longer extant, the box itself is a rare survivor of pre-War commercial Japanese toy packaging which by its nature is not predisposed to survival. It also illustrates how closely toy manufacturers were watching the latest transport developments and representing them in their toys.
The toy aircraft box is part of a small collection of toys used by members of the Wyatt family in Hobart, Tasmania, and Roseville, NSW, from 1935 until 1965. The toys were made in Britain, Germany and Australia, and are representative of the types available to Australian children at the time. They are significant in that they have remained in the one family and have been extremely well looked after, many in their original boxes with the instruction leaflets and information.
Curator, Science & Industry
The box was made by the Japanese toy-making company E. T. Co. of Asakusa, Tokyo, whose trademark was a pair of crossed 'T's'.
The toy aircraft box was owned by the donor in Hobart, Tasmania, and was used to store his collection of Britain's hollow-cast lead toy Indians from the late 1930s and early 1940s. After he finished playing with them the Indians were packed away in the box and brought to Sydney with all his possessions when he moved with his wife and young family in 1965. The box is part of a collection of toys owned by the Wyatt family and presented to the Museum in 2008.