14″ First Lady Dolls by Madame Alexander – First Series (1976-78)

 Alexander  Comments Off on 14″ First Lady Dolls by Madame Alexander – First Series (1976-78)
May 172016

Madame Alexander issued six series of 14″ First Lady dolls beginning in 1976 and ending in 1990. The first series, available from 1976 through 1978, included Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Martha Randolph, Dolley Madison, Elizabeth Monroe and Louisa Adams. The dolls are not portraits of the actual women, and Madame Alexander used creative license in selecting the hair and eye colors of the dolls. They are made of rigid vinyl, with rooted hair and sleep eyes with brush lashes. They are jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips, and wear beautifully made outfits. In addition to the outfit pieces described, each doll wears white stockings.

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was the wife of George Washington, our nation’s first President. She was a young widow with two toddlers when she married Washington in 1759. Although the doll has light blonde hair, the real Martha was a brunette. She is remembered today as a warm and gracious hostess who treasured her privacy.

Martha Washington wears a silver and taupe brocade gown trimmed with champagne lace and ivory braid, with an attached lace stole and a lace mob cap. Her white cotton and net petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with pink satin ribbon and white lace. She carries a brown velveteen bag adorned with an ivory lace motif. Pink satin shoes and a graduated “pearl” necklace complete her ensemble.

Abigail Smith Adams, wife of John Adams, got her feet wet by being the Vice President’s wife (now sometimes called Second Lady) before becoming First Lady when her husband was elected President. In 1825 she also became the mother of a President when her son John Quincy Adams was elected. Her admonition to her husband to “remember the ladies” as he worked with the Continental Congress to build a new nation is still quoted today.

Abigail Adams wears a long sleeved royal blue satin gown with a delicate leaf print, with white lace at the cuffs. Her white lace shawl is attached at the neckline and held in place with a rhinestone pin at her bodice. Her white cotton and net petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed in white lace and pale blue satin ribbon. She wears a blue velvet ribbon in her hair and black velveteen shoes. A graduated “pearl” necklace provides a finishing touch.

Martha Jefferson Randolph was the daughter of the third American President, Thomas Jefferson. She acted as his occasional hostess due to the death of her mother several years before. She and her husband had twelve children – her son, James, was the first child born in the White House, in 1806. Known as Patsy to her family, Martha took devoted care of her father in his declining years.

Martha Randolph wears a short sleeved pale pink taffeta gown with an ivory lace panel down the front. Her pink taffeta petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with pink satin ribbon and white lace. She wears a pink organdy wrap around her head and a long black cape trimmed in fancy brocade ribbon. A graduated “pearl” necklace and pink satin shoes complete her outfit.

Dolley Payne Todd Madison was the wife of America’s fourth President, James Madison. She was the first First Lady to embrace a public role, and helped to found a home for young orphaned girls. When the British burned Washington during the War of 1812, she refused to evacuate the White House until Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington was removed from the wall and secured.

Dolley Madison wears a sleeveless champagne satin dressed flocked with silver glitter in a floral pattern, and decorated with champagne and silver metallic braid. She wears a matching long coat and an ivory organdy head wrap. Her white cotton petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with white lace and pink satin ribbon. Champagne satin shoes provide the finishing touch.

Elizabeth Kortright Monroe was only seventeen years old when she married the future fifth President of the United States, James Monroe. Due to her frail health, her oldest daughter often assumed the duties of hostess at the White House.

Elizabeth Monroe wears a long sleeved gold and pink satin brocade gown, trimmed in satin ribbon and lace. Her white cotton and net petticoat and pantalettes are trimmed with white satin ribbon and lace. A lace shawl attached to a long brocade panel at her back is held in place with a goldtone bow pin at her waist. She wears a rhinestone tiara and a rhinestone pendant necklace on a goldtone chain. Champagne colored satin shoes complete her ensemble.

Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, was born in England, to a British mother and American father. She wrote music and poetry, and played the harp. She followed her husband in his diplomatic travels around the world, once crossing Europe by coach in the winter to join him.

Louisa Adams wears a short sleeved white satin gown decorated with white and silver metallic braid, and ruched bands of tulle. Her white taffeta and net petticoat and pantalettes are decorated with gathered white lace. She wears graduated “pearl” necklace and a cluster of rosebuds in her hair.

Copyright 2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Little Miss Ginger Doll by Cosmopolitan (1958-?)

 Cosmopolitan  Comments Off on Little Miss Ginger Doll by Cosmopolitan (1958-?)
Mar 062016

Little Miss Ginger doll by Cosmopolitan wearing red cotton dress with white teardrop print, white lace at hem, wide white organdy collar; also came with a red net hat with white flowers; white “Little Miss Ginger” purse; hose; white shoes.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

Beginning in 1958, Cosmopolitan advertised Little Miss Ginger as “the only all vinyl eight inch slim doll” and she was in fact the tiniest of the vinyl glamour dolls. Shortly afterward, Nancy Ann Storybook Dolls introduced their eight inch Little Miss Nancy Ann who appears to have been made from the same molds. Other copycats followed, including Woolworth’s Little Miss Marie.

Body Construction
Little Miss Ginger has a rigid vinyl body with softer vinyl head. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders and hips. Her blonde, red, or brunette hair is rooted and styled into a short fluffy bob. She has gray or brown sleep eyes with molded lashes and brown painted lashes at the outer corner of each eye. Her red lips match her red finger- and toenails. The vinyl on these dolls tends to pale or darken over time, with the result that different parts of her body may be different colors.

This doll is well marked and easy to identify. She is marked “Ginger” on the back of her neck and “Little Miss Ginger” on her back. Under each arm and inside each thigh she is marked “LMG”.

Little Miss Ginger was available as a basic doll in white, black or red bra, panties and shoes. She was also sold dressed in various outfits. One piece of clothing from each outfit is tagged “Fashions for Little/Miss Ginger/Cosmopolitan Doll & Toy Co./ Jamaica, NY U.S.A”.

Yellow cotton sleeveless top with lace trim; black cotton skirt with yellow and gray print and yellow elastic waistband; shoes, possibly yellow or black.

White fuzzy long sleeve sweater with rick rack accent on front; black velveteen skirt with rick rack accent and red taffeta lining; matching hat; red taffeta panties; ice skates.

Navy polished cotton dress with white polka dots, white organdy collar; navy shoes.

Pink cotton dress with large white polka dots; shoes, probably white. Also available as a pale pink dress with darker pink polka dots.

Peach majorette dress with long sleeves, trimmed in white/green/peach braid; matching hat with green feather; gold boots. Photo courtesy of eBay seller your-favorite-doll.

Pale yellow flocked nylon and tulle dress with black ribbon bow. Braid hat and purse trimmed with flowers. Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

#71 Special Bride outfit includes lace trimmed tulle gown with taffeta bodice, separate taffeta and tulle slip, wrist corsage, tulle veil, white panties, white heels.
Photo courtesy of eBay seller hug*a*pug.

Other outfits for Little Miss Ginger include:

  • #52 Bolero Plaid Dress is a white, blue and black large scale plaid taffeta dress and black bolero jacket lined in matching fabric.
  • White cotton dress with black and red print, red puffed sleeves.
  • Pink satin strapless evening gown; corsage of pink flowers; pink hose; pink heels.
  • Beige faux fur coat, hat and muff.
  • Red, white, green and black plaid taffeta dress with red ribbon sash; matching plaid hair bow with red ribbon and hairpin; white panties; red shoes.
  • White taffeta dress with turquoise and pink floral print; black hair (?) ribbon; white panties; hose; black shoes.
    Navy, blue and white plaid v-necked dress.
  • White vinyl raincoat with red trim, hood and belt; white shoes.
  • Red pants trimmed with white; white blouse with red ribbon; white shoes.
  • Navy blue jacket with white cuffs; navy circle skirt; white top.

Learn More:

Small Dolls
of the 40s & 50s
by Carol Stover
Find it on eBay.
Dolls & Accessories of the 1950s
by Dian Zillner
Find it on eBay.
Glamour Dolls
of the 1950s & 1960s
by Polly & Pam Judd
Find it on eBay.

Copyright 1999-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Polly Ponds Dolls by Citro Manufacturing Co. Inc. (1950s)

 Citro  Comments Off on Polly Ponds Dolls by Citro Manufacturing Co. Inc. (1950s)
Feb 222016

Citro Manufacturing was located in Brooklyn, New York. They made the 24″ stuffed vinyl Polly Pond’s Bride Doll and Polly Pond’s Beauty Doll, which were advertising tie-ins to Ponds Cold Cream.

Polly Ponds Bride Doll minus her veil.

Body Construction
Both dolls are 24″ tall, with a stuffed vinyl body and soft vinyl head. Their lovely creamy skin tone suits their role as an advertising doll for Pond’s Cold Cream. They are jointed only at the neck, with some type of rigid cylindrical (possibly metal) piece inside her neck which prevents her head from flopping over. They have blue sleep eyes with brush lashes. The Bride has three painted lashes above the outer corner of each eye. Her rooted blonde hair is style in a short curly bubble cut. Her fingernails are painted red, but her toenails are bare. This doll does not have earring holes. The Beauty Doll has painted lashes below her eyes, longer lemon-blonde hair pulled back from her face, unpainted fingernails and pierced ears.

These dolls are completely unmarked.

The Bride wears a long sleeved bridal gown of white taffeta and net with silver threads running through it, trimmed with silver lace; a petticoat of a sort of stiff cheesecloth type fabric which ties at the back; white knit panties; and white plastic heels. On her head she wears a veil made from a circle of white net trimmed with white lace. She carries a bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley. Her dress is untagged, and is fastened at the back with safety pins – no snaps, buttons or other fasteners appear to have been used.

Polly Pond’s Beauty Doll wears a white blouse with short puffed sleeves and a lace trimmed rounded collar with a red bow, and a black and multicolor striped jumper. Underneath she wears a white taffeta slip and panties, and nylon stockings. She has black plastic heels and pearl drop earrings.

The Polly Ponds Beauty Doll has lovely lemon blonde hair.

The Polly Pond’s Bride Doll comes packaged in a white corrugated cardboard box with red printing. She comes with a little booklet extolling her virtues. It has a price of $21.95, which seems like a high price for what is actually an inexpensively made doll. The box also advertises a Polly Pond’s Bridesmaid Doll, but whether this doll was actually made is unknown. See photo below.

Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Twixie, the Twisting Pixie doll by Belle

 Belle  Comments Off on Twixie, the Twisting Pixie doll by Belle
Feb 212016

Twixie, the Twisting Pixie by Belle Doll and Toy Corp. dates to the late 1950s.

While almost certainly patterned after Uneeda’s successful Dollikin, Twixie remains a favorite of collectors (when they can find her) in her own right. Her lovely girlish face, contrasted with her very sexy grown-up outfit, embodies the period in fashion doll history as few other dolls do. Her wonderful packaging makes her even more desirable as a collectible and as part of mid-twentieth century design history.

Body Construction
Twixie is 20″ tall, with a hard plastic torso and legs, and soft vinyl head and arms. She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees and ankles. Raised dots around the bottom half of her waist joint allow better control when posing her. She is a strung doll.
Her blue sleep eyes have brush lashes, and there are eight painted lashes below each eye. Her medium blonde hair is pulled into a bun, with a spit curl over her right eye. Twixie has red lips, finger- and toenails.

She is marked “P-8” on the back of her neck.

Twixie’s fabulous lounging outfit consists of black pants with two brass buttons at each ankle; a sheer leopard-print blouse that ties around the waist; black lace strapless bra; black elastic-strap heels; and pearl drop earrings. A black velvet bow accents her hairdo, and a black vinyl purse may have been included with her as well.

A Belle doll with the same face as Twixie was sold in a bridal gown, but she does not have the extra joints that Twixie has.

Twixie’s original box is pictured above. Pink, white and black graphics cover the outer box, the inner liner and the frame of the cover. She’s described as “The new flexible wonder doll…she’s almost human!…Thrilling! Educational! Exciting!” and the liner further describes the fun a child can have with Twixie: “I do acrobatic and dance poses…Artists use me for sketching…I’m a swell model for sewing…You’ll love me! I’m loads of fun to play with!” The box most likely had some type of box or seat for her to sit on, which is missing from the photo.

Copyright 1997-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard

Kim-‘Teen (1957)

 Beehler / Virga  Comments Off on Kim-‘Teen (1957)
Feb 172016

The outfit pictured is for the 8.5″ Kim or Kim-‘Teen doll. She is the same doll as the Virga Hi-Heel ‘Teen. The outfit is stock number HC-102, named “Bridesmaid” and is part of the 100 series. The box end reads “EXCITING ‘TEEN FASHIONS” and “Manufactured by KIM DOLLS 47 West St., New York City”. The outfit includes a simple pink taffeta gown with white overprint, trimmed at the neckline and armholes with pink braid; pink open weave hat with flowers and ribbon; white nylon panties; pink high heel shoes.

Copyright 2000-2016 by Zendelle Bouchard