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Paper Doll and Costumes 'Elizabeth' 'English'
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Title: Paper Doll and Costumes 'Elizabeth' 'English'
Identifier: X964.18.3 a-f
Donor: Unknown
Item Date: 1920-1925
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A paper doll with several costumes. There is an 'Elizabeth' 'English' doll with blond hair (a); three outfits that are two dresses and a coat (b, c, d); and two hats, one summer and one winter (e, f). The paper doll and costumes were cut from magazines, c 1920.

Paper dolls often reflect the history and culture of the given society from which they are produced. Although paper dolls existed in differing forms for hundreds of years across various cultures, the first manufactured doll was "Little Fanny" made in London in 1810. These manufactured dolls were rare and often expensive and therefore highly valued, especially for American children who received imported dolls after the 1820s. 'Celebrity' dolls, like those imitating European royalty and later movie stars, were also popular at the time. After 1859, paper dolls were also printed in magazines, which grew increasingly popular after 1900. The 'Golden Age' of paper dolls was from 1930 - 1950, as their relatively inexpensive cost meant that they were affordable, even to those families affected by economic hardship. For more information, see:
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