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H22453 CH classification TOYS General toy bird

Department

  • Cultures and Histories

Brief description

  • Painted brown glass bird figure with arms that hook into yellow and red steel stand/ legs and feet. Yellow neck and body, with holes in the body. Painted red head, with glued on eyes and orange beak. Red tail feathers glued to round body. Brown glue marks on neck and body. General wear and tear on metal. Body rocks on stand.

Subject Notes

  • The drinking bird (sometimes known as a ‘bobbing bird’ or ‘dippy bird’) has been sold in various forms, from a science experiment to a children’s toy, since the late 1940s. The design incorporates two glass bulbs connected by a tube (the neck) which is mounted to allow the body to bob forwards and back. The bird is positioned next to a glass of water. After being given an initial ‘drink’, the bobbing bird will repeatedly dip its beak into the glass. Though sold as a novelty item, the bird’s movement is driven by a complex thermodynamic reaction and older models contained toxic chemicals within the tube.

Details

  • Registration number: H22453
  • Classification: CH classification TOYS General toy bird
  • Name or title: Novelty Bobbing Bird
  • Production date: Unknown
  • History and use: The drinking bird (sometimes known as a ‘bobbing bird’ or ‘dippy bird’) has been sold in various forms, from a science experiment to a children’s toy, since the late 1940s. The design incorporates two glass bulbs connected by a tube (the neck) which is mounted to allow the body to bob forwards and back. The bird is positioned next to a glass of water. After being given an initial ‘drink’, the bobbing bird will repeatedly dip its beak into the glass. Though sold as a novelty item, the bird’s movement is driven by a complex thermodynamic reaction and older models contained toxic chemicals within the tube.

Taxonomy

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