His name was A.C. Gilbert. He was a visionary toy maker/manufacturer best known as the inventor of the Erector Set.
Way back in 1918 during the height of WWI the US government was “toying” with the idea of shutting down toy manufacturing so that factories like Gilbert’s could be used for the production of war materials. In response Gilbert addressed the Council of National Defense arguing that educational toys prepared American boys for adulthood. His voice was heard and the production of toys was not stopped and Christmas was saved.
There is much more to the story, of course. A movie starring Jason Alexander (George Castanza from Seinfeld fame) was made in 2002 about Gilbert and his efforts. I have seen and enjoyed it. It feeds into the nostalgic nature of the Christmas holiday.
Ah, nostalgia. Someone said nostalgia is longing for a yesterday that never was. I can see that. Usually our yesterdays are not as idyllic as we remember them.
Yet, I remain nostalgic at heart and Christmas brings that out in me.
Here is hoping that you have a wonderful and warm Christmas. One to remember!
And hoping that the Christ-child is ever living and guiding you to peace and goodwill here and hereafter. He grew up to be the man who really saves!