Do 14 Year Old Girls Wear Kids Or Womens Clothes The History of Schoenhut Dolls

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The History of Schoenhut Dolls

With the popularity of wooden dolls in Europe, especially Germany, wooden toy manufacturers expanded worldwide. One of the famous doll makers in the 1900s was Albert Schoenhut. He was a German immigrant who settled in Philadelphia, and his ancestors had already been making wooden dolls since the 1700s. Initially, Schoenhut’s handmade wooden toys included animals and musical toys, but soon after he turned to creating dolls. In 1911, he opened his own company in the production of dolls. The dolls, made primarily of bass wood, were carved and then placed in molds that were subjected to pressure and high heat to create a smooth texture and eliminate rough edges.

The process Schonhut used gave his dolls an almost pants-like appearance. He still used the traditional jointed arms and legs, but did not use a rubber band to hold them together. Instead, he patented his invention of a method of tensioning a steel spring hinge to hold puppet joints. The method provided flexibility and strength where the dolls are poseable and at the same time have movable joints. Some of the first dolls made were 16 inches tall and the head was designed by the Italian sculptor and artist Graziano. An artist named Leslie was then hired in 1912 to design the dolls, but he did not work with the company until 1916.

Also in 1912, Albert’s brother Harry Schoenhut was hired as the main artist, who then designed the new series of dolls. In 1915, the company expanded and introduced a series of baby dolls that were 14 and 17 inches tall. The dolls now have curved wooden arms and already had either mohair or styled hair. They were distributed throughout the United States and were cataloged. The famous two 15-inch baby dolls with styled hair were named Tootsie Wootsie and the other was Schcickel-Fritz.

Later in the same year, the company also produced mannequins for clothing sales and clothing studios. They only made 1,000 of these 19-inch mannequins, which cost $42 a dozen for the plain ones and $66 a dozen for the clothed ones. Then came the popularity of bisque dolls in 1919, when Schoenhut followed his own lines, while retaining some of its original features, such as painted wooden eyes that resembled glass eyes. In 1921, Harry patented movable wooden eyes.

However, around the time of the Great Depression, the company’s sales began to decline, partly due to the introduction of newer dolls that were made of lighter and better materials. In 1924, Schoenhut produced his last batch of stuffed dolls made from hollow wooden heads, but consumers did not like it. By 1935, the company was out of business because it couldn’t keep up with its competitors, who mainly made bisque and vinyl dolls.

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