Article about the 10e Lépine competition.

Found in the newspaper: Le Grande Echo du Nord et du pas de Calais from August 23 1910

complete article
Detail of the article

You can clearly see in this image, picture with the number 2, the Martin aircraft number 215 and picture with the number 4 two S.I.J.I.M. toys, such as the boy on the chair (L’Apprenti Cavalier) and the S.I.J.I.M. version of the delivery boy (Le Livreur Rapide)

Below is a free translation of the text accompanying the article.

The toy exhibition – the 10th Lépine competition – has just opened at the Grand-Palais in Paris.
We mainly see scientific toys …
A very complicated flying machine with cardboard propellers and the pilots sitting on the wings and entitled: “Airship with ultra-fast beats and cyclone effect through the combined use of an automatic starter and a patented spiral turning system.
Rather, it is a toy for a pupil of the Poly-technic school, ( this is one of the most prestigious and selective grandes écoles in France) and there may be a little too many of these toys.
Do intricate mechanics really keep kids busy?
They might be happier if they could just pour water into their father’s hat and let the goldfish swim in it.
And watch those bowler hats, they already have one for 4 fr. 95 …
But fathers never give such gifts, why?
The first Lépine competition was fun, varied, ingenious, sparkling with verve and with the Parisian spirit.

Courtesy Bertoia auctions


Of course we fall back on age-old routines, on patience, on unbreakable babies. (Unbreakable Babies Another well-known psychological flaw, notes a “Democracy” columnist. I ask you honestly, what’s the funny thing about a doll, if we can’t break its head any longer? ..)
And then, the Lépine competions in the past; in buildings that were too small and too crowded.
This year the competition has moved with an expansion.
It is lost in the great “Grand Palais”, immense and desolate.
The “stands” do not fill the glass hall, it is the nation of the Lilliput on the way to the giants.
Take the small planes as an example.
There are two kinds, the scientific ones, which look a lot like the real ones, and then the other ones that look nothing like that, which are cheap and simple.
In that respect, the progress is remarkable.
Take a tour of the Grand Palais: you’ll see “gliding flights” that you’ll tell me about.
Worth mentioning are the already mentioned different airplanes and the new versions of rather funny mechanical toys (like the organ player and the hairdresser, they are really much better than in life: at least we don’t hear these), and then the portraits of M. Lépine, etc., etc….
Ah! and then the sign of the times: the “Barred Street Game”, it tests your patience of course. It consists of a map of Paris with pawns.

Courtesy Betroia auctions S.I.J.I.M. number 36 Le Livreur Rapide

“It is, says the message, for every player to get to a point in Paris and avoid the blocked streets. There are no ordinary children’s toys in the Grand Palais.
There are also inventors with a lot of new inventions.
Do not forget that the competition is organized by the “Association des Petits Manufacturers et Inventeurs Français”.
One can only admire the careful and ingenious goodwill of so many unknown inventors.
Whether all their inventions are practical, I cannot tell you.
Their barbaric names scared me a bit, from the apulso-aries to the “hygienic lazy mattress”.
In general, they apply to the small acts of everyday life, such as brushing clothes, buttoning your boots, or lighting a lamp.

S.I.J.I.M. number 35 L’Apprenti Cavalier

Philanthropic inventors do their best to spare you an infinite number of simple and familiar gestures, so you have no doubt that they were exhausting.
If we listen and believe them, we couldn’t wash our hands without a hydraulic machine, a spring-loaded pumice stone and an electric nail brush.
It’s a somewhat complicated way to simplify life.
Yet among these too subtle inventions we see many excellent and very useful ones.
This 10th Lépine competition, is more than just an exhibition of toys or practical inventions, you know what it is? …
This is the exhibition of good people.

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