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David Ward, from the Greater Manchester Setpoint science education centre

(Photograph) - David Ward, from the Greater Manchester Setpoint science education centre, demonstrates the importance of toys in teaching science from Victorian times onward. "As the knowledge and understanding of chemistry increased, the world of explosives led to the Christmas cracker in 1847," Mr Ward said. "Today's toys usually require plastic and DC batteries, both inventions of the 1900s." Photograph: Christopher Thomond

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