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Mama Dolls 1918-1940s+

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1918 Madame Hendren Life-Like Mama Doll, 24"

1918+ Madame Hendren Life-Like Mama Doll, 24"

On June 11, 1918 Georgene Averill - Madame Hendren patented and created an improved baby doll.  Averill's doll has a composition flange head, molded painted hair, painted eyes, closed mouth, cloth upper arms with partial composition lower arms and hands, a cloth stuffed wide torso body and straight swinging cloth legs with stitched heeled feet (exclusive to Averill's doll) to simulate walking, when led by the hand.


What is a Mama doll? Not long after production had begun on the Averill doll, a voice box was added to the tummy that cried Ma-Ma when the doll was tilted, which is how these dolls got their name.  By 1921 Mama dolls were also patented in England.  Of note; during 1923, 80% of all dolls requested in the United States, were Mama dolls and with their popularity and preference, by 1926 costly production and high import tariff's, the German bisque doll market dominance, ended.


In 1927 Mama dolls with slimmer bodies and partial composition lower legs were introduced, about 1928 composition swivel shoulder heads with full composition limbs came into use and the dolls could stand unaided.  Around 1935 Mama dolls with stitched hips and composition lower legs with right and left feet appeared.

By the mid-1940s Mama dolls popularity had declined.

In 1946 hard plastic began to replace the composition material, as with other dolls know by "type", many Mama dolls are unmarked.


Alphabetical list of known makers or distributors of Mama Dolls

(1920s+ most makers of composition doll products made Mama dolls)


ABC Toy Company

Acme Toy Company

Alexander Doll Company

Louis Amberg

American Character Doll Company

Arcy Toy Manufacturing Company

Arranbee (R & B)

Atlantic Toy & Manufacturing Company

Atlas Doll & Toy Company, New York

Averill - Hendren Doll Co

Baby Phyllis Doll Company

Albert Bruckner & Sons

Bing Brothers

Butler Brothers

Century Doll Company

Chessler Doll Company

L. Cohen & Sons Company

Davis & Voetsch

Domec Company

Eegee (Goldberger)

Effanbee (F & B) Company

European Doll Manufacturing Company

Gem Toy Company

Arthur Gerling Toy Company

Goodyear Toy Company

L. Herman

Bernhard Hermann

Hitz, Jacobs & Kassler

Hoest & Henderson


Ideal Doll & Toy Company

Jeannette Doll Co. (Freundich)

K & K Toy Company

Kämmer & Reinhardt

Katagini Brothers

JD Kestner

J. H. Kletzin Company

Loeffler & Diller

Louisville Doll & Novelty Company

Metropolitan Doll Company

M & S Shillman Doll Company

Modern Doll Company

Montgomery Wards

Mutual Novelty Company

National Doll Company

Natural Doll Company

Nibur Novelty Company

Original Doll Company

Paramount Doll Company

Penn Stuffed Toy Company

Perfect Toy Manufacturing Company

Pollyanna Doll Company

M. Pressner & Corporation

Primrose Doll Company

R. B & L. Manufacturing Company

Regal Doll Manufacturing Company

Reisman, Barron Company

Reliable Manufacturing (Canada)

Royal Doll Manufacturing Company

Russell (England)

S & S Doll Company

Schoen & Yondorf (SAYCO)

Albert Schoenhut Doll Company


Self Sell Doll Company

Seymour (England)

Shaw Doll Company

Star Doll & Toy Company

F.A.O. Swartz

Uneeda Doll Company

Well Made Doll Company

Louis Wolf & Company

Woodtex Company


- Makers of bisque head German Mama dolls; Century Doll Company,

K & K Toy Company, Kämmer & Reinhardt, JD Kestner,

   Leo Grubman, B. E. Lloyd and Louis V. Aronson Voices, Inc. made voice box's for Mama dolls.


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