This is just a few of the books/articles, that some persons might find useful or interesting. Where possible I have annotated the selection, others I have included because of some idiosyncratic feeling that it might be interesting or useful.


My own history of this bibliography is that I selected from Gould those that he said were good. Well it depends on what you may call "good"! I paid a lot of money for both Crabtree and Perry. Whilst they are interesting, the are very "mathematical or scientific" in their approach. Now I am pleased to own two antique books as I like antique books but I am not sure that for my interest that I would have bought them knowing what I know now.


My interest now is in pictures of tops, history and classification of tops.


I would dearly love to have recommendations and sources of books on tops from Japan China and Korea, as I believe that they would be a great source of pictures, even if I could not read the words.


I do have an ISBN number for one book that Don Olney recommended and I am trying to source that for purchase, but he did warn me that it was expensive.


OK. Here goes.




Curious Tops. Scientific American. Vol. 74 (1896) pp37-39.

This is a great article. It has pictures, descriptions and classifications. It is A3 size. Worth having in my book.


Jacobs J.A. Notes on the behavior of certain symmetrical tops. American J of Physics. Vol.20 (1952) pp. 517.518.


About the Tippy Top. I chose to look at it as it was one of the more modern of Goulds bibliography. There are a few on the "science of how the Tippy Top works" Its is a short and reasonably good article. I donít know myself that I am very interested in that subject now. The bit of history that I did glean is that it started in Denmark! (That was a surprise as I thought that Japan would have been the place.


J.J. Les Toupies. LA Nature (Dec. 14 1895) 24 eme. Annee No. 1176.

Looks to be the same as the "Curious Tops" article, but in French and A4 size.


Pliskin W.A. The Tippe Top" American J of Physics Vol. 22 (1954) pp28-32.

Very mathematical. Probably good for the physicists amongst us. It was over my head. A good diagram of the tops construction, but not enough to make them from.


This has given me an idea to work on. I make these tops, quite successfully. I will add to the bibliography articles that I have found on how to make various tops.




Crabtree. H. Spinning Tops and Gyroscopic Motion. Longmans, Green. London (1909)

Ok. I now that I have not said good things about it above, but I have to say that it is (along with Perry) the most complete discussion on the mechanics and physics of tops that I have seen (other than juvenile books that can be surprisingly good) Very technical but for the most part reasonably understandable.


Perry. J. Spinning Tops. Sheldon Press. London. (1929)

If I am pushed I think that this would be a little better than Crabtrees book, but they cover much the same ground.


Daken L. Children's Games Throughout the year. B T Batsford London (1949) A few nice old pictures and some interesting text. . Donít expect a treatise as it is only part of an overall survey as per the title. As a book I like it very much, as I have a general interest in children's games nursery rhymes. You wont miss any thing if you donít have it but if you come across it but it. Thatís just what I did.


Gould G W The Top. Clarkson N Potter. New York,. 1973.

Itís the "bible" You must get a copy. I will guarantee that it will delight you. Can you believe it I found it quite by accident! Until then I thought that there were no books that treated Tops as a serious Toy and Pastime. I was so lucky. It was this book that turned me from an interested person to a fanatic!.


Zubroweski B. Tops. Building and experimenting with spinning tops. Morrow Junior. New York 1989.

This is a brilliant juvenile book on the physics of the top. I have only got a copy from interlibrary loans this week and am delighted with it. If you want to sell your copy drop me a line.


Kettlekamp L Spinning Tops. Morrow. New York (1966)

I have never seen a copy, but the gut feeling is that it is worth following up. Please let me know what it is about if you have a copy.



Unseen books and articles that I am chasing up.


Chicago Tops Spinners Life. Vol. 19 (Sept 10 1945) p 97.


Fisher. Harriet F. The Worlds Top Top Maker. Yankee. Dec 1968. P 84 and in the same issue. Rhode Islands Top Top Spinner p 186.


Foley. Dan. Toys Through the Ages. Philadelphia. Clinton. 1962. (Gould recommends it for its bibliography)


Fraser, Antonia. History of Toys Frankfurt-am- Main. Delacorte 1966.


Hillier. Mary. Pageant of Toys. New York. Taplinger. 1966. (Gould recommends it for it illustration (just one????) of Victorian tops.)


Nishizawa, Tekiho. Japanese Toys. Tokyo. Yuzanaku. 1965. (In Japanese. I hope it is well illustrated!)


Articles on Making tops.


I do not have complete references for all of these as they are just photocopies for my own use.


Practical Woodworking. July 1996. Hummer.

Australian Woodworker. May June 1988. And July August 1988. The Remarkable Japanese Spinning top. This is what started me making the Tippy Tip.


Australian Woodworker. Nov. Dec. 1994. Mushroom Tops. And in the next issue, Sep Oct 1994. Finger spinning tops. Includes versions of the tippy top.


An English wood work book ( (I suspect it was Good Woodworking) June 1995 Issue 32. (weekend wood work project) p 69


Good wood working June 1996. P 46-49 Making a wooden Gyroscope.


Woodwork Oct. 1995. Turning a Spinning top. P 40-41


Fine wood working. July August 1985. The Mysterious Celt. ( This is a different king of "Top")


Good Woodworking. April 1996 How to turn tops. P 46-51. (This is about the most general that you will find)