The Kewpie doll dates back to 1909, when it first appeared in cartoons in Ladies Home Journal. The doll's original design is still around today, produced by Jesco, which is based in California.
I think the Kewpie bears an eery resemblance to the famed Dancing Baby.
How Kewpies ended the depression
A tortured tale
This is a great riff:
"In 1918 Kallus received the first of many copyrights on his own doll designs. His first character doll was Baby Bundie. ...Instead, Kallus trained for fire observation during World War I.
From 1919 to 1921 Kallus was President of the Mutual Doll Co., a firm that made composition Kewpies; Baby Bundie dolls; and Bo- Fair, Dollie and Vanitie, who had specially designed socket joints. Kallus resigned from Mutual in 1921.
In 1922 Kallus established the Cameo Doll Co., which lasted in one form or another until 1982 when Kallus assigned all his properties to Jesco, Inc...
The Cameo Doll Products Company was located in Port Allegheny, Pennsylvania, from 1933 until 1968, when the molds for dolls were taken over by the Strombecker Corporation of Chicago.
THIS IS THE BEST PART: In 1933 Kallus was summoned to Washington by President Franklin Roosevelt as a representative of small industrial firms in Pennsylvania. He consulted with the President to suggest the most feasible methods of bringing the depression economy back to normal production.
My new book!
Yes, it's vaguely Kewpie related
Here's the cover. By the way, that's not a Jesco Kewpie on the cover. Only Jesco makes the official Kewpie, so look for that if you're a collector.
Books about Kewpies
A few Kewpie links
- The Kewpee restuarant
Get a hamburger in Wisconsin. The best part is the floating cursor.
- Kewpie Dolls History Summary
A quick academic-lite history of the Kewpie, with references.
- International Rose O'Neill Club Foundation - Home Page
The International Rose O'Neill Club Foundation. What more could you ask for!?
- More kewpies for sale
In the $20 range.
The first non-scientific poll ever of Kewpie popularity