Toy helicopter from Manila, made from cooking oil can, 1982-1983.

1982-1983 in Manila

Toy helicopter from Manila, made from cooking oil can, 1982-1983.

This model is a child's toy helicopter made from cooking-oil cans. Jon Vogler, a consultant for OXFAM in the late 1970s and early 1980s, travelled widely during this time finding ingenious uses for so-called waste materials all over the world. Empty oil cans were particularly versatile - one ended up being converted into this exhibit. The maker of the toy punched the wheels out of tyre-tread rubber, which itself had been used as the sole of a shoe, and threaded them onto a piece of wire. Even with such basic tools and scrap source materials, the shape of the helicopter is completely convincing. This is perhaps unsurprising given the long association between the Philippines and the United States Air Force bases accommodated there.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.


Environmental Science & Technology
Object Number:
toy helicopter

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.