Ernst Reinhardt dolls 1890s-1922
Ernst Reinhardt was born in 1875 near Hildburghausen,
Thüringia Germany. It is unknown if there is any connection to the
Waltershausen, German Reinhardt's. Ernst began assembling dolls in his
early 20s in Germany along with employees, neighbors and wife Laura
Reinhardt who designed the dolls clothing, these first dolls were tiny
miniature four inches tall, jointed at the shoulders and hips only and were
dressed in German provincial costumes.
By 1909 the Ernst Reinhardt family immigrated to Philadelphia
in the USA and established a doll factory making bisque heads with
paper-mache and wood bodies. Ernst was granted a USA patent in 1914
for the easy changing of the dolls stamped celluloid eyes. In 1916
Ernst moved his porcelain factory now named Bisc Novelty Manufacturing
Company and family to East Liverpool, Ohio, due to the war, doll
production was a non-essential so around 1918 the family moved to Irvington,
New Jersey. Doll heads marked Mesa and Perth Amboy are
from 1918-1922 this later period.
With the end of war in 1922, inexpensive German bisque dolls
again became available in the USA, thus ending Ernst doll making business.
Ernst Reinhardt is believed to be the first to manufacture bisque
head dolls in the USA commercially with domestic USA clay. Reinhardt
designed his own unique doll molds to make both bisque socket and shoulder head dolls, sleep eyes or painted
eyes, molded hair or wigged on composition jointed bodies.
Ernst Reinhardt bisque doll head identifying mark; Made in USA E.
R. Pat. Sep. 1914
Other Ernst Reinhardt
antique doll markings are;
intertwined ER initials
H3 Reinhardt East Liverpool Ohio
USA Augusta Perth Amboy, N.J. 15 E. R.