A caveman once saw an acorn spinning, thus starting the evolution of tops.
Spinning Fool Top
Benjamin Franklin called this American top, which dates to the 1700s, the "spinning fool top" because it was so simple to spin that any fool could spin it. It's made up of three pieces: the top, the support, and a little handle with a string. It has been determined that the top spins at about 30,000 revolutions a minute.
This is a very exciting toy from the 1930s that boys and girls loved. It uses a serrated rod to start a gyroscope inside.
One of the hottest toys of the 1920s was this spinning top, called the "Dixie Dancer." It has holes on the side so it will whistle and a spring on the bottom so it bounces -- and, of course, it spins.
Butterfly Everlasting Top
This top is operated by a driver. When pressed down, it will continuously spin the top.
Flying Everlasting Top
This top has a driver that is pressed into the top; even when pressing down, the top goes up.
This fascinating top was invented in Great Britain. It spins like a normal top flips over by itself.
This is an origami "whirling lotus" top, which is spun by breath power.
Start out spinning the top just how you would spin a whisk, and then add the feature to the top and it will turn like a merry-go-round.
This mind-reading top can figure out which page of a magazine you're thinking of. Spin the top on a magazine and inside the top will be a torn page from a book that you were thinking of.
Special thanks to Benjamin Levy, a professional magician, for showing us his vintage top collection.