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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Toys of yesteryear: How to make a propeller from rubber seed and an ice-cream stick


Toys of yesteryear: How to make a propeller from rubber seed and an ice-cream stick.
By C S Wan

In the mid 1950s we stayed in a small village in Batu Berendam, Melaka. Behind my grandpa's house there was a huge rubber tree where my cousins and I would often gather to share our food. We would sometimes gather the fallen rubber seeds and use them for our games or  toys. I remember one of the toys we used to make was a propeller. 

Here is a brief instructions on how to construct the propeller.

Materials required

1. Rubber seed
2. An ice-cream stick
3. A short satay stick or thin cylindrical stick.
4. A piece of string


1. Make holes at the top, bottom and one side of a rubber seed. (fig.1)
2. Dig out the kernel of the rubber seed.
3. Tie a string at the centre of a short satay stick. (fig.2)
4. Attached an ice-cream stick securely at the top end of the satay stick.
 5. Insert the stick from the top of the seed and let the free end of the string pass through the side hole. Make a loop at the end of the string.
6. Hold the rubber seed firmly in one hand. Hook a finger through the loop so that the string does not slip through the hole.
7. With the other hand, slowly rotate the propeller so that the string will wind round the satay stick.
8. Pull the string and the propeller will rotate in one direction. It is important to pull the string half way through only and then release it, so that the string will rewind round the stick. Pull the string again and the propeller will rotate in the opposite direction. Systematic pulling and releasing of the string will allow the propeller to rotate continuously.

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  1. I've made. To make re-learning is needed. Great game.

  2. I also made toys like this, very interesting.