Spinning tops are older than you think

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Children games have really changed from years ago. Common games at school and home were marbles, hop scotch, tops and yo-yos.

When you were young you probably got a large top to play with. It was made of metal and about the size of a cantaloupe. It had a handle on top, and you would push the handle up and down and this would make the top spin. Sometimes they made them with holes in them and this would make a noise as it turned.

Older boys had wooden tops that they could throw into a circle with other tops. You would wrap a string around the top and then throw it down.

How do you think tops got their start? Spinning tops were invented in many areas of the world. Clay tops have been discovered in archaeological digs that date as far back as 3500 B.C. in the city of Ur, southeast of Baghdad. Spinning tops made of terra cotta were discovered at Troy and dated back to 3000 B.C.

The largest top ever found weighed some fifteen pounds found in Malay.

The Louisiana Treasures Museum has several metal tops that date back to the early 1900s. For more information

or to schedule tours call Wayne Norwood at 225-294-8352.

Wayne Norwood is a lieutenant with the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Department and owner and operator of the Louisiana Treasures Museum.