Spinning Tops Games

11/10/18 - posted by Myron Tessler - myrontessler<at>gmail.com

Why no mention, especially by the boys of the 40's, of our Spinning Tops games.

To those youngsters of today that have no idea what a spinning top is, and I don't mean of the thumb and forefinger dreidel genre, it was wooden block in the shape of an upside-down water droplet, crowned by a ridge for a launching string to attach to, and stands, when not tipping over, on a rounded metal point. Clear??

The games we used to play, most often done outside on the sidewalk, were of the competitive variety. One game, called "Killer", was done in a circle drawn by the heel of your shoe, if not wearing Keds or heels with "taps" on them- used to preserve the shoe after drawing many circles (which is a circle argument unto itself).

Once the string is wound around the crown (once) and over side of the top to the bottom of the top and then wound in concentric circles back up to the top of the top, you were ready to let it go or spin. Gottit?

Both guys would simultaneously throw the top towards the circle while at the same time pull their hand upward, holding the top string - which is attached to a finger of choice- thereby imparting a spin on the top before it reaches the circle. If all goes right, both tops are spinning in the circle. Sooner or later, the spinning tops touch and react by bouncing away from each other. The first top that goes outside the circle is deemed to have been "Killed" and loses the game.
A variation of this game, is a more benign one often done by neophytes of this skilled game. The object, after throwing the tops at the circle, is to see how long your top spins. The top that spins the longest wins the game!

Hey you 40's guys out there - did you participate in this skilled fad? If so, what games did you play with your Top?

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