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Nebraska State Historical Society

The Doll Show
Nebraska State Historical Society

19. Bisque head doll named Clara Belle, ca. 1890. Ht. 23 inches.

"I'm taking out my Clara Belle this morning for a walking. She has been sick so very long, she does not feel like talking. She's had the measles and the mumps," and that is all of the ditty I can remember. On Thursday, Clara Belle took her first and last bus ride. She went to Lincoln and she rode without a ticket, although she must be 70 if she is a day.

At Lincoln, she entered her future home, the Museum of the Nebraska Historical Society on 15th and R Streets. She now belongs to the ages. Clara Belle has a pink and white complexion with nary a wrinkle. A cute little dimple centers her chin, and she has beautiful big brown eyes which open and shut. True her blond hair is matted and thin, but a blue silk bonnet with an immense erect bow, covers that deficiency. The bonnet is lined with white flannel. A matching blue flannel coat with fitted waist and pleated skirt, fastened with five tiny black buttons kept her warm for her trip .

Clara Belle is about 24 inches tall. Her body is of kid. And this is what the well dressed doll of the 1890's wore. A knit vest was next to her skin then a linen panty waist, to which is buttoned lace-trimmed drawers and two wide petticoats. Both of which are lace trimmed and tucked. One measures 48 inches around and the other 32 inches. Long, black cotton stockings cover Her pudgy legs. The shoes were lost long ago.

-- Mrs. Margaret Fox, "Just This & That", The Gretna Breeze, October 25, 1962

20. Margaret Fox and her doll, 1890.

Carl smiled. "Yes, I remember that time. Your uncle bought you some kind of mechanical toy, a Turkish lady sitting on an ottoman and smoking a hookah, wasn't it? And she turned her head backwards and forwards."

"Oh yes! Wasn't she splendid! I knew well enough I ought not to tell Uncle Joe I wanted it, for he had just come back from the saloon and was feeling good. You remember how he laughed? She tickled him, too. But when we got home, my aunt scolded him for buying toys when she needed so many things. We wound our lady up every night, and when she began to move her head my aunt used to laugh as hard as any of us. It was a music-box, you know, and the Turkish lady played a tune while she smoked. That was how she made you feel so jolly. As I remember her, she was lovely, and had a gold crescent on her turban."

-- 0 Pioneers!, 1913
Willa Cather.

21. Music box with bisque head doll,
1890-1910. Ht. 12 inches.

22. Bisque head doll with original clothing belonged to Gertrude Eaton, North Bend, Nebraska, ca. 1890. Ht. 22 inches.

23. Cloth character dolls called "Brownies," ca. 1892. Ht. 7 1/2 inches.


Virtual Exhibits

Doll Show


Dolls #1

Dolls #2

Dolls #3

Dolls #4

Dolls #5

Dolls #6

Dolls #7

Dolls #8

Dolls #9

Dolls #10

Dolls #11



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Last updated 26 May 2005

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