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George Pfister Shapes Wood into Special Experiences for Special Children

“I make my toys in the hope that a young person will embrace them and allow his imagination to transport him or her to another time or place.”  George Pfister

George Pfister in his wood toymaking shop.

Above: A few of George's toys from ToymakingPlans.com plans Super Crane (left) and Triceratops (right).

I was born in 1935 in Chicago in the midst of the depression. All I remember of my early years is hunger and little else. I was the last of seven children. My father had no job and we provided our own entertainment like so many others in that time. Toys and dental work were a low priority.

George was involved in making his own toys at an early age as were thousands of Chicago youth. Below: This 1939 photo from ToymakingPlans.com files shows a group of young Chicago area teenagers selling their handmade toys and crafts at a yard sale.

Group of young 1939 Chicago area teenagers selling their handmade toys and crafts at a yard sale.

While in high school I was scouted and signed to play baseball, property of the Baltimore Orioles. However, the curve ball proved my undoing so I volunteered for the draft.

As you know, in those days almost all of us served. I spent 38 months in the U.S. Army. When I returned I decided I would focus on obtaining a college degree. 

I entered school and earned my degrees at Elmhurst, Illinois College and Northern Illinois University in De Kalb, Illinois. I spent the next 30 years in De Kalb as a teacher, counselor and administrator. My teaching experience awakened me to the individual differences in the background of our students.

Below: Northern Illinois University in De Kalb, Illinois.

I spent the next 30 years in De Kalb as a teacher, counselor and administrator. My teaching experience awakened me to the individual differences in the background of our students.

My own childhood lacked closeness and I vowed that my children would not have like circumstances. So I started to take evening classes in woodworking at our high school. I found that I loved working with wood and concentrated on toys. But my time was limited until my retirement in 1990. Since that time I have acquired a prolific library of toy books and plans including books from ToymakingPlans.com. I started toymaking in Northern California while working as a manager of a campground. A neighbor was a secretary for the Sonoma Country Public Health Nurses and she graciously accepted my toys for free distribution through the nurses. Above: The campgrounds of Northern California are in pristine wilderness areas like this.

ReallyWood Toy Truck Fleet
The ReallyWood Toy Trucks use a new concept in toy truck building that make it very easy to build the truck chassis with wheels and axles. You'll love building the entire fleet of 4 trucks!

Scroll Saw Patterns for Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures
25 full-size, easy to make patterns for dinosaurs, prehistoric plants and caves, including prehistoric family and cave dwelling. Available as a printed book or PDF eBook download.

Build Big Wood Toy Trucks
Build log trucks, fire trucks, semi trucks, dump trucks, crane trucks and delivery trucks. Also includes accessory buildings, trees, loading docks and little people.

Noah's Animal Cracker Ark Wood Toy Plan Set
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