C. Carey Cloud

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Charles Kuralt Interviews C. Carey Cloud for CBS News
       June 8, 1979

W. Cronkite: Well, you can call it a Cracker Jack of a story working with paper, tin, or plastic, the man created joy. Charles Kuralt found him on the road in Nashville, Indiana.

C. Kuralt: C. Carey Cloud, 80 year old artist lives up here on a Brown County hilltop, safe in the knowledge that his works of art will always be remembered, even if his name is not. The art of C. Carey Cloud involved the ritual of childhood opening a Cracker Jack box and digging around to see what's in there, a prize. From 1937 to 1965 a period which encompasses the youth of most of us, every Cracker Jack prize was designed by C. Carey Cloud. It started in the depths of the depression when a friend said to Mr. Cloud, your an artist, you can probably make a living designing Cracker Jack prizes.

C.C. Cloud: I said, oh those cheap things, I really wouldn't be interested in those. And they said, well the fellow importing those is driving a Cadillac, and you're driving an old Ford. So I designed some little tin nodding head animals, and took them out and got prices from die stampers and such, put my write up on them went to Cracker Jack, and they bought six million. And I thought, Where have I been all this time? Incidentally, I never did get that Cadillac, but I got several Lincolns out of it.

C. Kuralt: How many toys do you supposed you designed?

C.C. Cloud: Well over a period of over 25 years I probably designed 700. Paper, tin, plastic, went through various stages through various years

C. Kuralt: How did you do it?

C.C. Cloud: Well you think toys, you eat toys, you dream toys, and every little movement suggest a toy to you. You see a toy in it, a shaking leaf, might give you an idea.

       Cloud playing with a paper squeeze toy

C. Kuralt: Now, how did you think of that?

       Showing the Plastic Standing Characters

C.C. Cloud: Just playing around with a piece of paper. One, after we got into production was turned down of all the years. We had one of these little figurines that was a sea captain, and they got one or two complaints that it looked like Stalin.

       Carey Cloud blowing on a paper whistle.

C. Kuralt: That probably irritated millions of parents during World War II.

C.C. Cloud: This I don't imagine mothers were too pleased with. Here's another one.

C. Kuralt: That one looks like it was built to last.

       Carey Cloud blowing on a tin whistle.

C.C. Cloud: It was, and I had a few thousand of these left after I quit designing toys and I gave them to the children here in the village. And the village was ready to chase me out, with kids running around the streets blowing these whistle.

C. Kuralt: One billion one hundred twenty five million toys, and when you consider that the only toys that some children had in the old days were ones that came in Cracker Jack boxes. And when you consider the joy they gave, these acrobats on toothpicks, these little rocking horses, these spinning tops. And when you consider they come out of one mans life and work, well that's not a bad life to look back on. Charles Kuralt, CBS News, on the road in Nashville Indiana.

W. Cronkite: This is Walter Cronkite, good night.

C. Carey Cloud