The Putnam Museum (1717 W. 12th St., Davenport) is playing around in its newest exhibit, as it explores the role of play and toys through

Rachael Mullins is president/CEO of the Putnam.

culture and time in society. From antiquity and from around the world, guests will see toys that reflect societal norms and other sociological trends.

“Play: The Story of Toys” is an original Putnam exhibit, set to open Saturday, Nov. 21, on the main west gallery upstairs. The exhibit will be included with general admission and remain open through August 2021 at the Putnam, a Smithsonian Affiliate museum.

“Our latest exhibit features items from the Putnam’s glorious collection and will explore different themes surrounding gender, work roles, pop culture, fads and advanced technology to name a few,” Putnam

“Play: The Story of Toys” opens Saturday, Nov. 21.

President/CEO Rachael Mullins said. “We are proud to also feature a display of toys manufactured right here in the Quad-Cities and we hope this exhibit brings about a sense of nostalgia for our guests.”

Visitors of all ages can view a variety of toys — including educational, creative, and those meant for the outdoors. The exhibit explores how gender roles in society were reinforced by children’s toys. Visitors will be

The toys exhibit is a Putnam original that will run through next August.

able to reminisce about favorite toy fads and dangerous toys they may have had growing up, as well as view new inclusive and technological toys.

There is even a hands-free stomp rocket to try! The exhibit also features a case all about toys manufactured right here in the Quad Cities, including Buddy-L toys which were produced by the Moline Pressed Steel Company and Strombeck-Becker Company’s doll furniture.

The new exhibit is sponsored by a grant from the Scott County Regional Authority.

Exhibit admission is included in the price of general admission — $9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-18), seniors, college students and military. Admission is free for members.

For more information, visit For groups, or to plan your visit, call 563-324-1933.

“Play: The Story of Toys” includes products made in the Quad-Cities.


Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.