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Log Cabin Sets

Not a widely seen form of architectural construction method you may think, but log cabin sets, primarily Lincoln Logs and American Logs, are really quite widespread. In addition to the two american types, I also have sets made in Belgium and France.

The sets comprise beams made of wood (although I believe plastic ones exist), either square or circular in cross-section, along with roof parts. The latter are usually triangular gable ends and long flat roof slats but a modern set has moulded plastic roofs and one older set has flat wooden pieces which slot together at right angles at the apex. Early Lincoln Log sets have one piece roofs comprising two wooden plates with a fabric hinge whilst an alternative to one piece gable ends is found in American Logs (3/4 inch size) where special purpose gable logs supplied.

The log parts come in various multiples of a standard unit length, with indents every unit to fit against logs crossing at right angles above and below. The sets include very short pieces just long enough to take one indent, thereby allowing spaces for windows and doors to be left in the walls. Some of my sets come with chimneys which sit on top of the roof, but only the modern Lincoln Logs set has windows or doors, although one european set has a window.

I am particularly interested in the cultural baggage which is often associated with toys, at least by adults. The following extract from the Lincoln Logs set leaflet (probably dated sometime in the 1960's) is a delight:

The log cabin is part of our heritage - part of our life and legend as Americans ... and re-creation of that legend through the building of log cabin replicas is an important part of our childhood memories.

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