D: Dolls from the Past

A2Z-BADGE [2016]

In participation with the A to Z Blog Challenge for 2016, I’m posting about people, places, and things from the past, in an A to Z theme. We’ll post every day during April, except Sunday’s – when we all get time off for good behavior.

I hope you enjoy these posts about the past. Check out some of the awesome blogs that are participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. There’s over 1700 blogs participating in the challenge, so I’m sure you’ll find some treasures in there.

patsy doll

D: Dolls from the Past

What little girl throughout time has been without a favorite doll?

The daughters of settlers crossing the nation in covered wagons carrying handmade rag dolls. Easy to make from pieces of scraps, Mom could stitch on a face, make a little dress, and it was ready to go. And then…industrialization entered. And dolls, along with the rest of our history, would be forever changed.

Kewpie Dolls: In 1909, Rose O’Neill, a writer, artist and illustrator, dreamed of an idea for a new comic strip. She dreamed of cherub-faced characters. She described the characters as “a sort of little round fairy whose one idea is to teach people to be merry and kind at the same time.” Called Kewpies, derived from Cupid, the comic was first printed in Ladies’ Home Journal in the December 1909 issue.

As the characters became more popular, O’Neill began illustrating paper dolls, called Kewpie Kutouts. In 1912, a German company began producing bisque Kewpie dolls. A hundred years later, they are still in production by various companies and out of different materials. Kewpie’s were used in product advertising, including promotions for Jell-), Colgate, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and Sears. A multitude of other household items were created using the Kewpie image: dishware, rattles, soap, salt and pepper shakers, coloring books, and stationery.

Shirley Temple Dolls: With the popularity of Shirley Temple in the early to mid-1930’s, a doll in her image was inevitable. With her adoring fans multiplying rapidly, especially after Stand Up and Cheer, and Little Miss Marker, the Ideal Toy Corporation released news of their new Shirley Temple doll in October, 1934. The first prototypes were of composition and later versions in vinyl. In the 1990’s several porcelain collectible versions were produced. Shirley Temple has also been represented in paper dolls.

Patsy Dolls: Patsy dolls were first produced in 1928, by Effanbee. Production continued through the 1930’s. In 1947, Noma Electronics, the new owner of Effanbee produced several re-issued Patsy and Patsy family dolls. Production lapsed until the 1970’s when a few reproduction Patsy dolls were made.

The classic Patsy doll stands 14 inches tall. Others in the Patsy family vary in size. Her little sister, Patseytte is 9 inches tall, while Wee Patsyette is just over 5 inches tall. Patsy Baby is 10 inches, and Patsy Jr is 11 inches.

Then, the family starts increasing in size. Patsy Ann stands at 19 inches tall, while Patsy Lou and Patsy Ruth run from 22 to 26 inches tall. The tallest doll, Patsy Mae, stands around 29 to 30 inches tall. And then…just to keep things confusing, there’s Patsy Joan, Patsy Jr., Tiny Patsyette Baby and a brother named Skippy. Have I missed any? Possibly.

Lots of Patsy dolls in the world. All I know is that they’re my favorite. I have my mom’s Patsy doll she got when she was a little girl. The story of little Ona Mae getting her prized Patsy doll is in Wash on Monday. And, of course, when I was little I got a Patsy doll too, a Patsy Mae, which I still have.

I know there’s more. Whole books are written on the subject, so we’ll end here. Is there a favorite doll in your past? What was its name? Do you have any treasured memories of a doll who shared your world growing up?


10 thoughts on “D: Dolls from the Past

  1. Finding new blogs during the #Challenge makes all the hard work to participate worth while. Love finding a blog that is easy to read, to navigate, not too cluttered. Vintage Daze is a wonderful name indicating what it is all about. If you have time or interest in historic hotels and inns, join me when you can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was growing up American Girl dolls were popular. I think it’s crazy how they are not “collector’s items” and going for sale on ebay for far more than my parents paid! I imagine your Patsy doll is probably worth a lot too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I missed the American Girl doll craze. You’re right, some are sold for huge amounts. My friend has a Shirley Temple doll of her mom’s that’s been kept in a clear covered unit. I’m sure that’s worth quite a bit too, although she’d never part with it.


  3. I was never really a doll kid, since I’ve always been a so-called “tomboy” (a word which I now understand is quite problematic and judgmental). I’m told I carried my dolls under my arm, like a football, instead of being all sweet and cuddly with them. However, I wanted a talking Cricket doll so badly in 1986, and was so disappointed when I never got her. I also wanted an American Girl doll (preferably Samantha), and fell in love with a redheaded baby doll in a fancy cradle, whom I named Apricot. My parents didn’t have that kind of money, so I had mostly inexpensive toys and stuffed animals.

    The dolls I’ve always been most interested in are the collectible porcelain dolls on stands, not the kinds of dolls meant for actively playing with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you Carrie-Anne. My sister always had a doll in her arms, or a stuffed animal. I was too busy climbing trees LOL
      I love the name you gave your baby doll, Apricot!


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