On The Road

| September 1998

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    Working windmills

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Tired of acting your age? Then make a stop at the National Farm Toy Museum, where everybody's a kid again.

Located in Dyersville, Iowa (about 25 miles west of Dubuque), the museum is home to more than 30,000 to-scale toys produced by three Dyersville manufacturers: the Ertl Company, Scale Models, and Spec-Cast.

A multimedia show, film, exhibits and dioramas help today's kids (and the rest of us) travel back in time. The history of agriculture is illustrated through displays on both floors of the handsome 12-year-old museum.

The history of toy manufacture is also highlighted: The first assembly machine used by the Ertl Company is on display, as is an actual tooling mold used to produce toy tractors.

Like any good museum, this one's focus extends beyond the basics. Look for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans models, construction equipment, fire engines, pedal tractors, race cars, trucks and banks. There's even a lifesize John Deere tractor display.

The National Farm Toy Museum is located at the junction of US Highway 20 and State Highway 136. Mailing address: 1110 16th Avenue Court S.E., Dyersville, Iowa 52040. Open daily year 'round, Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Admission: $4 for ages 12 and up; children ages 6-11, $1; under 5, free. Group rates available; inquire in advance. For more information, call (319) 875-2727.