Chapter

We're Playing Games

Woody Register

in The Kid of Coney Island

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780195167320
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849710 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167320.003.0006
We're Playing Games

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On 13 October 1913, Fred Thompson summoned a crowd of children to a construction site on San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to consecrate the beginning of Toyland Grown Up, a fourteen-acre amusement park of animated fairy tales and nursery rhymes and hundred-foot-tall toys that he planned for the Joy Zone, the fair's boulevard of commercial amusement. Toyland was the clearest expression of the dreams that inspired and troubled his personal investment in Peter Pan culture. His newest “playground for the human race” took the form of a well-appointed playroom of an indulged middle-class child, with giant-sized toy figures strategically littered about its grounds as though an enormous four-year-old had abruptly abandoned them for other notions of fun. By the summer of 1915, when the venture wobbled on the edge of bankruptcy and even its most ardent supporter had decided that it was a delusion, the entire project, in retrospect, seemed doomed from the start.

Keywords: Fred Thompson; Toyland Grown Up; amusement parks; San Francisco; bankruptcy

Chapter.  18966 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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