Toy & Joy Makers

A fire crew loading toys onto Engine 13, circa 1949. Toy & Joy Makers are an extension of Portland Fire and Rescue have been helping families during the holiday season for over 100 years. Visit the Toy & Joy Makers website to learn more about their work and their long history.


Fire crew loading toys onto Engine 13, A2001-083, circa 1949.


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8 thoughts on “Toy & Joy Makers

  1. I also wondered at first if it were an escape ladder, perhaps to give to a family for a child’s bedroom. But zooming in on it, I’m pretty sure it’s not. The two bars at the top appear to be connected by ropes, with a small ring for hanging, presumably. Some of the lower bars have what look like spacers between them, at most a few inches long. And there appears to be fabric of some kind attached to a couple of the bars. Looks like some sort of hanging seat or swing – maybe a toddler swing?

  2. that tricycle seems to be home-made… in addition to the odd construction and dodgy welds, the steering wheel looks like it came off a very old car.

  3. The year of the photo is 1949 but the carriage and riding toy are from an earlier era. The firemen of 1949 were refurbishing used toys solicited thru drives. This was long before today’s appeals for new and unwrapped toys. These fellows were using their skills to good effect, to pass the long hours at the firehouse to aid the less fortunate.

    That riding toy was actually a fairly sophisticated manufacture consisting of several stampings and a complicated steering mechanism that included a pitman arm and king pins actuated by tie rods. It seems to have featured a adjustable for height sprung seat and steering shaft. It has suffered from a lot of play but is in repairable condition.

    Along with the Sunshine Division the Toy and Joy Makers well deserve our continued support.

  4. I can imagine that a few years after the end of WW II and the Great Depression before that, children’s (and parents’) expectations about the acceptable condition of presents were a lot different than today.

    Also note that the Toy & Joy Makers site says that they do also accept used, “like new” toys:
    “When you are out shopping for your own children, pick out one extra present to leave with the Toy & Joy Makers, or won’t you please check the family toybox? If you have some toys for us that are in “like-new” condition, just drop them off at any Portland Fire & Rescue Station (the month of December). Or, if you’d like to send money, just send it to Toy & Joy Makers, 5916 NE Going St, Portland, Oregon 97218.”

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