Thursday, November 13, 2014

Curious About Childhood Art

Antique stores are one of best places to stir up curiosity.

My friend Jill and I had an adventure day last week Friday. It had been quite a while since we had done one of these. It was my turn to plan the outing. I had one clear objective, I needed to find one particular vintage camera for a story I am going to write. I had heard of an antique mall nearby where one of the vendors had a great collection of vintage cameras. I knew Jill would be on board for a trip to an antique store, we find the best treasures when we are together. And this day was no exception.

As we were perusing the booths we saw things like; vintage thermoses with built in handles, I have a new obsession with vintage thermoses, Elton John style pearlescent glasses with built in dangling earrings, and vintage Barbie dolls. Then we came across this...


I was beside myself with joy as many wonderful memories can flooding back of lying on the living room on a wintery Sunday afternoon, in front of the warm fireplace, the black and white Zenith television casting sports images in the corner while I made beautiful, colorful creations with my Lite-Brite. I realized standing in that antique mall that this was one of my first connections with art and probably where my love of color first stemmed from. This memory had to come home with me.


Lite-Brite is a toy created by Hasbro in 1967 that allows the user to create glowing designs. It is a light box with small colored pegs that fit into a matrix of holes and illuminate to create a lit picture. Using the colored pegs the user can create designs from imagination or by following templates. There are eight peg colors: green, blue, red, orange, pink, violet and white.


I love this statement:

Lite-Brite allows the artist to create a glowing picture by placing multi-colored translucent plastic pegs through opaque black paper. The light from an illuminated light bulb is blocked by the black paper except where the pegs conduct light. When lit, the pegs have an appearance similar to that of LED. 

The idea of being called an artist already at the age of seven is magical to me.


Over the years Lite-Bright was offered in different forms including a flat-screen version, a 3D cube, and a FX edition that spins and plays music. The Lite-Bright LED Flat Screen currently sells for $10, comes in several colors, is LED lit, and is portable, running on 3 AA batteries. The Lite-Brite 3D cube is a LED-lit 4-sided cube that allows children to play with friends or save 3 of their designs. The 3D cube is called Lite-Brite Four-Share Cube, currently sells for $20, and is also portable, running on 3 AA batteries. The FX edition is no longer available.

I am little bothered that everything has to be portable now days. But of course in this day and age you can't have a five year old plugging something into an electrical socket. Danger! Somehow though we all survived just fine and I doubt there were too many emergency room visits because of an electrical shock by a Lite-Brite. I am super glad they don't make the FX edition anymore. I mean do we really need something that spins and plays music? I love simplicity and that is what the original Lite-Brite was all about, it was you, the artist, creating colorful works of art.

I wish I could go back and say to my seven-year-old self, keep on making colorful creations because one day you will be an artist who creates beautiful, colorful photographs with a camera and writes inspiring stories with a pen.

*Lite-Brite history sourced from Wiki-pedia

Joining Kim for Friday Finds

21 comments:

  1. Oh i love this find and don't blame you for getting it at all. So funny to hear you saying about laying in front of a fire with the black and white TV going. I have the very same memories and loved my Lite Brite. Spent many hours of fun with mine.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So happy you brought it home with you. Some toys are just the best...our kids had one of these, and I even enjoyed lighting it up with designs. I loved reading about your trip to the antique mall with your friend.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fun Find Memory Maker . . .
    And an old camera ???

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved my Lite Bright!! My favorite part was using a new piece of black paper and being the first person to poke the holes through. Wow, that just brought back so many memories. :) Antique malls are fun, I enjoyed reading about your trip. Did you find the camera?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think you just did go back and tell her that…. so awesome. You'll love the 'camera heads' on my blog today.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Okay, so I'm too old to have played with a Lite Bright as a child, but we did have one in our house when my daughter was young. I played with her! Great find!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great toy. I'm feeling like I missed out by not having one. It's funny how something like this can stop you in your tracks and take you right back to being seven again. It kind of feels like your seven year-old joy still exists somewhere in the universe, fizzing around on some other temporal plane - or maybe you just carry it around inside, waiting for it to make its connection and get released again. Have a great weekend, Bonny

    ReplyDelete
  8. I remember playing with that also... it is a shame that today kids are all about electronics. What happened to wooden blocks?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I remember playing with these when I was little! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Such fun! I never had one of these but I played for hours and hours on etch-a-sketch and spirograph.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to LOVE light brights! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I remember when my niece and nephews got these for Christmas. Our own kids never had them because they wouldn't fit into our budget, but they never seemed very interested in them anyway. You make it sound like a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  13. awww how sweet is this? i remember hearing about them but for some reason we never did have one. i remember the etch-a-sketch and a bunch of other toys, and i'm sure i would have loved this!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, yes! I remember Lite-Bright. What fun!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would love to visit the stores with you, but I never quite got into the Lite bright myself.

    ReplyDelete
  16. don't you just love it when you have a moment like that...remembering something from so long ago...really wakes up a part of your brain! So glad you decided to bring it home with you!
    and I'm curious - what old camera are you looking for?

    ReplyDelete
  17. oh wow,,,,this brings back memories,,,,,,, our boys had this toy,,,, lots of fun,,,,,I have several vintage cameras!! Did you find the one you were looking for? It sounds like you had a fun day!!! have a good weekend, Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  18. ohhh that is a good find! My mum has kept a lot of childhood toys. One is a plastic frame with pins similar to yours but without the lights. Now 30 years later it is one of my little girls favourite toys :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I never had a Lite Bright, but I love how you bring the memory alive! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  20. PS My favorite "toy" was the Easy Bake Oven!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lite-bright was a favorite...always wanted an easy bake oven...never got it...never asked my mom why. Spirograph was my ALL TIME favorite toy.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)