Alternative Name(s): Colour disc
Made: Whalley, Doug, 1997
Hand-made by Doug Whalley for the Springvale Historical Society's 'World of Games' exhibition, 1997. Donated by Doug Whalley, 1997.
The Australian Children's Folklore Collection is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.
Spinning toys have been played with by adults and children for thousands of years. Tops dated at 1200-1400BC were excavated in Egypt, and they are often mentioned in classical literature. Children experiment with all sorts of objects as spinners, including clockwork cogs, coins and drawing pins, and sometimes make their own, often colouring the tops to create patterns or different colours when spun. Spinning tops were often made by woodworking hobbyists for children in the family, on a lathe or by cutting discs of wood and shaping them. This spinner has been made by an adult for an exhibition about games. When spun, the colours merge, and a strobe-like effect is produced. This is one of the many optical toys, designed to relate to the visual sense.
Home-made spinner, made from wood. Disc is a circle of craftwood, spindle is a piece of dowel, with pointed end. Top of the disc has been hand-painted in 7 coloured segments - red, purple, dark blue, light blue, green, yellow & pink. Acknowledgement: Australian Children's Folklore Collection, Museum Victoria.
Cultural Gifts Donation from Dr June Factor, 18 May 1999
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Place & Date Used
Type of item
8.5 cm (Length), 8.5 cm (Width), 5.5 cm (Height)
Gould, D.W.: The Top - Universal Toy, Enduring Pastime, Bailey Bros. & Swinfen, Ltd., Folkestone, England. 1975