Archaeologists working in Akron, Ohio, claim to have found the world's oldest three-dimensional representation of Santa Claus.
Known as the "Blue Santa," the object was made circa 1884 by The American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company, which burned to the ground in 1904. The figurine is 2.5 inches tall.
Project leader Brian Graham said, "It's a wishing Santa. You hold it in your hand and wish for the present you want for Christmas."
Graham suspected such treasures existed at the company's location, now known as the "Lock 3 Park" archaeological site. The former federal government archaeologist gained permission from the City of Akron to dig at what he calls "the original North Pole," due to all of the toys that were once made there.
"This was the birthplace of the modern toy industry," said Michael Cohill, director of the American Toy Marble Museum.
Aside from the tiny Santa, The American Marble & Toy Manufacturing Company also made the world's first mass-produced toys: clay marbles and penny toys.