Toy marble museum finds America's oldest Santa at toy factory site: Discovery identifies the original North Pole

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Santa's coming to town! You'll see him in parades, at the local malls, dressed in his fancy red and white suit, the traditional Santa suit we all know and love. But that's not Santa's original suit or colors. At one time, a long long time ago, Santa wore a different suit.

Archeologists working in the heart of downtown Akron, Ohio found the oldest known figurine of a Santa discovery and he's dressed in blue. They found him among thousands of old marbles and penny toys found at an old toy factory that burned to the ground in 1904.

With the help of Brian Graham, an archeologist formally employed with the federal government and with permission from the City of Akron, the site unearthed a secret that Akron had been hiding for more than 100 years. Graham found a small figurine of a bearded man with a blue hooded coat, no more than two and one half inches in height.

“Shhhh, the secret is,” Michael Cohill, director of the American Toy Marble Museum, touches his finger to his lips, “we found Santa.” Cohill’s blue eyes twinkle like the small Blue Santa he holds.

“It’s a wishing Santa” he explains. “You hold it in your hand and wish for the present you want for Christmas.”

Doing extensive historical research for eight years, Cohill and Graham discovered the significance of the Blue Santa and how it was made. Cohill is now using those same, somewhat crude, mass-production methods to make reproductions of the Blue Santa. Today the archeological site is Lock 3 Park, but in 1884 is was The American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company, site of the world’s first mass-produced toys -- clay marbles and penny toys...

... NOTE: The red and white suited Santa we know and love today was created in 1931 by an artist named Haddon Sundblom while working for the Coca Cola Company. Convinced that Santa needed a makeover in the appropriate red and white corporate colors, Santa’s blue hooded cloak look from the old German tradition of 'Father Christmas' was replaced.

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