Harlem Singer



Harlem Singer, Japan, unknown manufacturer, 1940s, mechanical.

Inspired by the black Harlem subculture being mainstreamed at the time in American popular culture, this 1930s-era toy features both lithographed tin and fabric construction (the figure’s clothing, primarily). He moves and “dances” in response to the mechanical drive system inside. The street sign indicating 125th Street and Lenox Avenue leave no doubt to his location.

Image is 1536 pixels in height. Image copyright Jim Bunte.