The 1880 US patent for Anchor Stones states "the object is to produce toy building blocks which will always retain their shape and color, will not be dangerous to children, and will, by reason of their weight, better retain their position than if made of wood as usual." The result became Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets (Richter's Anker-Steinbaukasten,) which by the mid 1890's were the most well know toys in the world. Rare for that era, Richter had international offices and distribution for the building blocks. By 1910, there were company offices in Rudolstadt Germany, Berlin, Konstein Germany, Nuremberg, Leipzig, New York, Olten Switzerland, Prague, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, and Vienna.
Amazingly you can still purchase and play with these same blocks today and they are just as stable, continue to retain their shape and color, and are completely natural and safe just like in 1880.
Building with Anchor Stones is considerably more stable than building with wooden blocks because the stones are manufactured using precise dies and molds keeping dimensions exact. The weight of the stones and their perfectly smooth surfaces cause the blocks to "stick", Of course when you combine all of these qualities you really do have a great product for building. It's easy to see how it became so popular and well known in the era when three dimensional free play was common!
Even if starting with a very stable base, you'll have trouble building with wooden blocks more than 12 or 18 inches high. And, if you bump the base it likely all comes tumbling down!
Retain Color and Shape
The color of Anchor Stone blocks comes from the color of the natural materials. There are no paints or dyes to fade, to rub off or chip. Age is kind to the color of the blocks so that very old blocks continue to exhibit factory colors.
The shape of Anchor Stones is not affected by sunlight and humidity like a typical wooden block. Wooden blocks tend to eventually crack and slightly change dimension as they are exposed to cycles of humidity and sunlight.
Natural and Safe
The "recipe" for Anchor Stones is very similar today to the formula used in 1880. Of course there have been improvements and tweaks over their 100+ years of history. What hasn't changed? Anchor Stones are still manufactured from all natural materials.
Stability, durability and natural all combine to make Anchor Stone building blocks the best blocks for children. But, you don't have to let the children have all the fun, because these blocks are also great for adults!
Anchor Stones meet all European Union and United States toy safety regulations. Please be aware that most sets include blocks of smaller dimension and therefore are not recommended for children under three years of age.