Hopalong Cassidy

Watch
ca. 1955 (manufactured)
Hopalong Cassidy thumbnail 1
Hopalong Cassidy thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This 'Hopalong' Cassidy character wrist watch, designed specifically to be worn by children, was manufactured by Timex, probably at their factory in Dundee, Scotland, in the mid-1950s. It retains its original instruction booklet and guarantee, and is still in its original cardboard box, printed to resemble a log cabin and with a saddle-shaped presentation support for the watch to match with the cowboy theme.

This watch is an excellent example, in good condition, of the post-war boom in children's consumer culture, particularly as it relates to the rise of 'tie-in' products associated with television programmes aimed specifically at children. The 'Hopalong' Cassidy character was a prominent part of this new consumer culture in the United States and elsewhere. The character originally appeared in novels, but, from 1935, was the star of 66 feature films and subsequently radio shows, comic strips and television, being one of the very first internationally-distributed U.S. television programmes. William Boyd, the actor who played Cassidy, bought the rights to the character and licensed a wide range of character tie-ins throughout the world, including this watch.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 5 parts.

  • Watch
  • Instruction Leaflet
  • Box Insert
  • Box Base
  • Box Lid
Materials and Techniques
Metal, plastic and cardboard, machined, folded and cut
Brief Description
Watch, child's, metal with leather strap, 'Hopalong' Cassidy, with original instructions booklet and cardboard packaging, manufactured by Timex, Great Britain, 1950s.
Physical Description
Child's wristwatch with white face, silver-coloured body and black strap in its original packaging, comprised of a cardboard saddle-shaped insert covered to resemble leather, support and base, and cardboard box base and lid decorated to resemble a wooden cabin with pictures of the actor William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy, and paper instruction leaflet.
Production typeMass produced
Object history
This watch was produced by Timex in Great Britain in the mid-1950s, and purchased from a shop by its first owner in 1955. It was designed specifically for a child to wear, and is accompanied by an instruction booklet which includes a 'letter' from Hopalong reminding the owner that every minute is precious and can be used to 'better' yourself. It was bought at auction by the V&A Museum of Childhood in 2010.



Historical significance: This watch is an excellent example, in good condition, of the post-war boom in children's consumer culture, particularly as it relates to the rise of 'tie-in' products associated with television programmes aimed at specifically children. The 'Hopalong' Cassidy character was a prominent part of consumer culture, particularly in the United States but also all over the world. The character originally appeared in novels, but from 1935 was the star of 66 feature films and subsequently radio, comic strips and television, being one of the very first internationally-distributed U.S. television programmes. The actor who played Cassidy, William Boyd, also bought the rights to the character, and went on to licence a wide range of tie-ins, including this watch.
Subject depicted
Summary
This 'Hopalong' Cassidy character wrist watch, designed specifically to be worn by children, was manufactured by Timex, probably at their factory in Dundee, Scotland, in the mid-1950s. It retains its original instruction booklet and guarantee, and is still in its original cardboard box, printed to resemble a log cabin and with a saddle-shaped presentation support for the watch to match with the cowboy theme.



This watch is an excellent example, in good condition, of the post-war boom in children's consumer culture, particularly as it relates to the rise of 'tie-in' products associated with television programmes aimed specifically at children. The 'Hopalong' Cassidy character was a prominent part of this new consumer culture in the United States and elsewhere. The character originally appeared in novels, but, from 1935, was the star of 66 feature films and subsequently radio shows, comic strips and television, being one of the very first internationally-distributed U.S. television programmes. William Boyd, the actor who played Cassidy, bought the rights to the character and licensed a wide range of character tie-ins throughout the world, including this watch.
Collection
Accession Number
B.156:1 to 5-2010

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJuly 7, 2010
Record URL