This set of ever changing characters was originally published in Germany circa 1890. This version was printed in England and published and distributed by TOBAR LIMITED, Harleston, Norfolk IP20 0PJ. The internal pages are cut into strips so that many combinations of characters can be made.

This once popular toy is a flexible metal spring that can be persuaded to walk down a flight of stairs, merely by starting it off on the top stair. This example is a Merit product by J & L Randall Ltd. Made in England. British Patent No. 630702. U.S. Patent No. 2415012.

This large safety pin opens and closes like any safety pin. No doubt it was purchased with some joke in mind, the details of which don’t survive.

The ball is made out of glass and has a ground and polished flat base. Once the possession of Cambridge magician Claude Perry.

The case opens up to a length of 1590mm revealing four layers for holding samples. Originally first half of the 20th century, it was fitted with internal partitions circa 1970. This sample case was found in a Davenport store. It was fitted with white cardboard partitions to hold part of John Davenport’s collection of wire disentanglement puzzles.

This is an excellent scientific novelty which causes amazement when people see it for the first time, irrespective of whether they are scientifically minded. (The version in the Davenport Collection was made for an American company, hence disk rather than disc.) The base is a slightly concave mirror on which you spin a heavy disk, much like you would spin a coin on its edge. However, unlike a coin, the heavy disk spins for a very long time and, as it slows, the sound it makes changes. There is a real surprise when it stops. There are a number of magnetic pieces with holographic surfaces which can be placed on the flat surface of the disk and which create intriguing light and colour patterns as the disk rotates. According to the box it was invented by Joseph Bendik in the 1980s. Made in Taiwan.