Yankee Boy Cannons and Kaiser Cutout
The artifacts of the month for May and June are the Yankee Boy Cannons and Kaiser Cutout currently on exhibit in World War I: The Great War at the Old Courthouse Museum. These toys have been favorites of Museum staff members over the years. On occasion one or another of the cannons has even appeared under the Christmas tree at the Pettigrew Home during the holiday season. But did you know that these toys originated locally?
The N. O. Fawick Manufacturing Company made the Yankee Boy Cannon in various sizes and colors in Sioux Falls during World War I. Sold with the miniature wooden artillery piece was a cutout “target” of German Kaiser Wilhelm II. During that period of time, Nevis and Eva Fawick were trying to earn a living by making the toys and selling them nationwide. Nevis remained in Sioux Falls to fulfill orders while Eva travelled across the country to pitch the cannons to toy and department stores. Their products were even exhibited at the Toy Fair in New York City in 1920.
While the Museum’s original cannons have been retired from service, visitors to the exhibit can try their hand at shooting off a replica of the larger Yankee Boy Cannon at a reproduced Kaiser target. The accuracy rating to date has been 100%. And before you leave, don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about the “War to End All Wars” in the Old Courthouse Museum’s newest exhibit!