Made to Play House
Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood, 1830-1930
Other Editions of This Title:
Formanek-Brunell describes how dolls and doll play changed over time: antebellum rag dolls taught sewing skills; Gilded Age fashion dolls inculcated formal social rituals; Progressive Era dolls promoted health and active play; and the realistic baby dolls of the 1920s fostered girls' maternal impulses. She discusses how the aesthetic values and business methods of women doll-makers differed from those of their male counterparts, and she describes, for example, Martha Chase, who made America's first soft, sanitary cloth dolls, and Rose O'Neill, inventor of the Kewpie doll. According to Formanek-Brunell, although American businessmen ultimately dominated the industry with dolls they marketed as symbols of an idealized feminine domesticity, businesswomen presented an alternative vision of gender for both girls and boys through a variety of dolls they manufactured themselves.
Yale University Press, 9780300207583, 248pp.
Publication Date: January 21, 2014