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The Vintage Dolls I Loved and Lost Long Ago

Updated on June 2, 2014

The Love for Dolls Is Hard To Explain

The vintage dolls I loved and lost . My love for vintage dolls began as a child of the fifties, I had an older sister who had out-grown her collection and passed them on to me. I loved dolls of all sorts, baby dolls, bride dolls, storybook dolls, and of course Barbie dolls. My collection was vast and when my children were born (3 daughters), I brought the out from the attic along with a custom-made cradle my aunt Mary had specially built for me. My children enjoy my dolls as much as I did.

As the children grew I put the toys aside and dealt with the new loves my girls found. High school, college, and of course boy friend and marriage. During this time I rediscovered my love. I would travel to flea markets, shows, garage sales, and any place that might potentially have something to do with toys.

My collection of grew, I started with some of my favorites, Shirley Temple, Judy Garland-the Wizard of Oz, and Baby Dolls. Theses toys were mostly made during the 1930's and composition was used to make their body. Similar to the ones I grew up with and loved. The romance of searching and finding these babies occupied my weekend, while during the week I read every book I could. There were books that explained how they were manufactured, one about manufacturers and how much the were valued yan intergal part of modern history.

My LIFE suddenly change on August 29, 2005. I lived on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and in one day my life was turned around from a predictable existence to one of a refugee. I live on Pass Christian Isle, Mississippi which was ground zero for Hurricane Katrina. The morning of the 29th was life changing, my father-in law had died, our cat was missing, our home existed somewhere at the bottom of the Gulf, and the our business a private school for children was gone. We have since returned to the coast and live a little further away from the Gulf.

The doll that I loved were never to be seen again.

Photo: Stock.XCHNG

Didn't Everyone Have a Barbie?

Barbie

Photo: Stock.XCHNG

Well Played with Vintage Barbie and Ken

Well Played with Vintage Barbie and Ken
Well Played with Vintage Barbie and Ken

Barbie collection in played with condition

Barbie collection in played with condition
Barbie collection in played with condition

Vintage Barbie Carry Case

Vintage Barbie Carry Case
Vintage Barbie Carry Case

The Kinds of Dolls You Can Love

Molded Hair Dolls

Dolls with molded hair were popular during the 1950-60's. They we inexpensive to produce as they did not require mohair wig or stitched in hair. Moms like them because they could let their children play with them anywhere including in water, not having to worry about drying and combing its hair afterward. These doll can be found today in vintage condition in second-hand stores and other resale venues. Most of the doll will have wear to their painted hair as children played and carried these dolls everywhere.

I had a Tiny Tears doll during my childhood, she went everywhere and had clothing made by my Aunt Dorothy for every occasion. She was a well-love little doll, so much that the hair had worn spot to prove it. I remember to this day the Christmas I received her, she came with a plastic baby bottle that I filled with water and fed to her. After her feeding her tummy needed to be squeezed and "real" tear poured from the holes in the corners of her eyes. I felt like a real mother that Christmas. Sad to say she was lost during Hurricane Katrina after having survive all those years.

Photo: Stock.XCHNG

Tiny Tear mine was had her hair rubbed off too. She would cry "real" tears (note hole next to eyes)

Tiny Tear mine was had her hair rubbed off too.  She would cry "real" tears (note hole next to eyes)
Tiny Tear mine was had her hair rubbed off too. She would cry "real" tears (note hole next to eyes)

Machine Stitched Hair

Prior to 1950 my sister had a collection of dolls she passed down to me. These dolls were mostly made of rubber or composition. Rubber dolls were very flexible, but the rubber easily deteriorated and since it was stuffed with tiny bits of cotton when they were injured. There was little to do once this happened aside for disposing of the doll or rushing her to a "Doll Hospital" Hospitals for dolls were very popular at the time and if a doll could not be parted with they family would drop her off at the hospital. Weeks later she was picked up and had been reconditioned to almost new status.

The 5 and dime store also carried a variety of doll repair supplies. I remember piles of bagged hair that was used to re-stitch balding areas on a dolls head. There were compartment in the counter where a women could help you determine the part you needed to make home repair. She had pull button eyes, sleepy eyes, hair, socket joint for arms and legs and paint designed to touch-up faces and hair. We would visit this Kresges 5 and dime most every Saturday. I could hardly wait to see everything in the toy department. Shopping was a formal event in those day, everyone dressed in their best outfits, I remember my mother in her grey wool suit, with matching heels, gloves and a matching hat.

My sister had given me a "Bonnie Braids" doll, she was the baby from "Dick Tracy" She was a rubber doll with stuffing. The best part about her was she had a painted rubber head that had braids made of nylon fiber sticking our of her head. These braids could be twisted to shorten them and pulled out to grow the long. I was fascinated by the process. When my sister had children I gave Bonnie to them.

Photo: Stock.XCHNG

Some people just collect cloth dolls like Raggety Ann and Andy Photo: Stock.XCHNG

Some people just collect cloth dolls like Raggety Ann and Andy               Photo: Stock.XCHNG
Some people just collect cloth dolls like Raggety Ann and Andy Photo: Stock.XCHNG

Commemorative Dolls

Gone with the WInd Commemorative Doll

Commemorative Barbie can be found for many movies and events. Barbie collection can be a good way to start your doll collection.

A 1950-60 era tin stroller

A 1950-60 era tin stroller
A 1950-60 era tin stroller

Vinyl and metal Strollers were popular from 1960-1970

Vinyl and metal Strollers were popular from 1960-1970
Vinyl and metal Strollers were popular from 1960-1970

Do you collect dolls or have you kept your childhood dolls?

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    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      Im so sorry that you lost your dolls that way - it's the sentimental value that you miss the most :( absolutely brilliant lens, dolls are very collectible so I'm sure this lens has interested loads of different people. I love the photos you have featured

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      I am so sorry to hear of your devastating losses in Hurricane Katrina. I can't imagine what that must have been like. This is a great lens. I still have my dolls from my childhood. I am featuring your lens on my lens about my vintage doll collection.

    • profile image

      GabrielaFargasch 4 years ago

      I LOVE dolls too!

      I wish I had kept a few of mine... :(

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. What a touching story about losing the dolls you loved, plus I learned a lot about the history of dolls.

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 4 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I am so sorry to hear about losing your dolls. I'll bet you are tempted to start all over again!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      My sister had a Toni doll by Ideal, but I liked it better than she did. Last year, I bought one on eBay and finally have my own Toni doll. I've made a few pages about it.

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 4 years ago

      I still have mine