The Barker Character, Comic & Cartoon Museum in Cheshire, Connecticut is a unique institution, as it is one of the most complete expressions of an American childhood through the ages. The Museum houses the personal collection of Gloria and Herbert Barker, an assembling of almost 80,000 items that took over forty years to create. The Barkers were in a select group of people, back in the 1960s, who felt that the everyday items of childhood had a value for future generations, bringing back memories, or expressing a child’s life through the ordinary toys, lunchboxes, games and tools of common usage.
Since the museum opened to the public in September of 1997, the Barker family has reached out to the community in many ways. They have welcomed everyone who visited the museum, from local families to tourists from around the world, and almost everywhere in-between. The collection, which spans the years from 1873 to present day, stimulates discussions among the generations in a way that few museums can. Every generation will find favorite toys on display, and historians can enjoy an unusual glimpse into styles and trends of the past.