Object Timeline

1953

  • Work on this object began.

1991

  • We acquired this object.

2005

2014

2016

2019

  • You found it!

Sidewall, Sparkie, 1953

This is a Sidewall. It was manufactured by Child-Life Wallpaper Co.. It is dated 1953 and we acquired it in 1991. Its medium is machine printed on paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Sparkie was a puppet who believed he was a real boy, and played the central figure in Big Jon and Sparkie, a children’s radio show that aired from 1950-58. Big Jon and Sparkie was a serial with adaptations of classic books or original adventures adapted from Arthur's neighborhood. Here, Sparkie is shown acting out a number of famous stories from American history including George Washington crossing the Delaware, Paul Revere making his historic ride, and Buffalo Bill Cody with Sitting Bull.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Sparkie, the little boy with big ambitions.

This object was donated by Suzanne Lipschutz and catalogued by Rose Gottschalk and Molly Holst. It is credited Gift of Suzanne Lipschutz.

Its dimensions are

W: 56 cm (22 1/16 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in left selvage: "Sparkie copyright symbol Jon Arthur", printed in right selvedge: "Child Life Wallpaper Inc."

Cite this object as

Sidewall, Sparkie, 1953; Manufactured by Child-Life Wallpaper Co. ; USA; machine printed on paper; W: 56 cm (22 1/16 in.); Gift of Suzanne Lipschutz; 1991-89-31

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18637995/ |title=Sidewall, Sparkie, 1953 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>