Children and Their Dolls, 1850-1949
Traditionally, children have
used their dolls as playmates, pretend babies, and as a means
to explore their own world. They have endowed dolls with personalities;
they have named them, loved them, nursed them, disciplined them
and, upon occasion, buried them. The world of dolls is the world
of children. For collectors and historians, these dolls are a
window on that world.
children and their toys, ca. 1860.
The Reverend Thomas Aikens family,
Custer County, Nebraska, 1888. Photograph by Solomon D. Butcher.
Sarah Ladd, later Mrs. Thomas
C. Woods, at home with her dolls, 1645 G Street, Lincoln, Nebraska,
Margaret May McCoy, later
Mrs. Willis Dean of Saunders County, Nebraska, recalled the dolls
she and her sisters received for Christmas, 1871:
They were about eight inches long, with china heads,hands
and feet that were soon broken, but we kept them long enough
to name them. Ida named hers Shiney-winey, Harriet named hers
Inn-a-tiny, and I named mine Lin-na-doodle. We played with them
until their heads, hands, and feet were all gone, and then until
the bodies had been left out in the rain and become, all soaked.
They were stuffed with sawdust, so that a soaking would make
the muslin covering burst