M. EMMA MUSSELMAN paper doll in 1920

“Here are the twins, Margery May’s little sisters”

These little dolls are from the November 1920 Women’s Home Companion magazine. The illustrator was M. Emma Musselman. The first one is named Gladys, the second Madeline. Click here to see the complete page from the magazine.

Click on either image to see it larger.

I can find little biographical information about Musselman other than she was born in 1880 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and she lived in Philadelphia. She was considered one of the top fashion illustrators in the first few decades of the 20th century.

The image below is from book two of Mary Young's Paper Dolls and Their Artists, copyright 1977.

Look around enough online and you’ll find many stunning dolls and fashion illustrations done by Musselman. Now, it’s only my opinion, but I think she illustrated some of the most beautiful paper dolls ever created. I do wonder whatever became of her original art. I imagine it’s long gone. Heartbreaking.

Click here to see another illustration done my Musselman for the May 1913 Women’s Home Companion. Click the links below to see more paper dolls:

To see some vintage snapshots of little girls with their dolls visit my other site Tattered and Lost Photographs.

UPDATE: Reader Jan Hall has provided the following about M. Emma Musselman. Thanks Jan!
Mary Emma Musselman was the daughter of Benjamin Musselman and Anna Jane Herr. I have not found a death date for her. She was born 26th Jan 1880 in Lancaster PA. Her father was a clerk in an insurance office, and her only surviving brother was Benjamin Ovid Musselman, a reporter who was paralyzed early in life but continued his work from his home until his death in 1938. In the 1910 census, Mary Emma is living in Philadelphia on 10th st. with her widowed mother, and it's the first time she has "artist" noted as her occupation.There is no close connection to the Musselman apple family over in Adams county.The Musselman apple company was not in Lancaster co, was in Adams county.


Dennison INDIAN PAPER DOLL from 1905

This vintage paper doll was produced by the Dennison Manufacturing Company around 1905 and would have cost 15 cents when new.
The Dennison Manufacturing Company, which was located in Framingham, Massachusetts, was founded in 1844 as a jewelry and watch box-manufacturing company by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, who later became the pioneer of the American System of Watch Manufacturing. Five years later Aaron turned the Dennison Manufacturing Company over to his younger brother, Eliphalet Whorf Dennison, who took over and developed the company into a sizable industrial enterprise. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
In the 1870s Dennison produced colored tissue paper. Around 1890 they introduced crepe paper. In the late 1800s they introduced their jointed paper dolls. This Indian doll is badly damaged (missing rattle, portion of pipe, and obviously his legs) but still worth the few dollars I paid for him.

The crepe paper outfit was handmade and came with the doll when I purchased it.

Look through the posts from this previous week to see more antique paper dolls. And to see some real dolls with their dolls visit Tattered and Lost Photographs.


CARNIVAL paper dolls by Saalfield in 1944

If you have been following my other blog, Tattered and Lost Photographs, this week you'll know I've been featuring photos of little girls with dolls. Meanwhile, at this site I've been featuring paper dolls.

Today I'm featuring a doll created by Jean Morse for Saalfield, Carnival, published in 1944.

The cover features die-cut windows showing two of the dolls heads riding in the carriage.

Inside, first page, the two complete dolls.

There are many more costumes than what I feature here.

If you take a look at Tattered and Lost Photographs you'll see paper dolls being held by two little girls. I know one of them is Patty and Sue also published by Saalfield in 1944. Do you think it was also illustrated by Jean Morse? Any information would be helpful.

And I've mentioned this before, but I think with this doll set it could be mentioned again. Why were male dolls always so effeminate? Was it because parents or the manufacturers simply didn't want little girls dressing and undressing "masculine" looking dolls? Was it that the artists couldn't draw masculine images? Somehow I doubt it. And considering how homophobic this country is, were these dolls ever a problem for the manufacturers? Just something I've wondered about since I started collecting paper dolls. As a child I never noticed it.



A vintage Hilda Miloche and Wilma Kane paper doll, Mother Goose Land With Judy and Jim, published by Simon and Schuster in 1949. Miloche and Kane worked together on many beautiful paper dolls, unfortunately I can find very little about either illustrator. If anyone has some definitive biographical information or where I can find it let me know.

These came in the huge box of paper dolls I bought on eBay several years ago. I featured another doll yesterday from the same box.

Click on either image to see it large.

To see a little girl with a doll in a carriage visit my other site Tattered and Lost Photographs.



Years ago I bought a huge box of paper dolls on eBay; a purchase made around 2 in the morning for $300. I can’t blame the Ambien for that one. I walked around for a few hours thinking of buying it; back and forth between my computer and a walk around the house. Then I just thought, “What the hell….”

When I got up the next morning I was glad I remembered making the purchase. I did have some misgiving when it arrived; I looked through it and thought, “This is all crap!”

Within a few days I’d calmed down and realized what I’d actually bought. It was worth far far more than what I’d paid. Hundreds of paper dolls, most cut, but some still uncut in their folders. I put all the cut dolls into special archival albums. This is one of the ones from that box.

This is the Mother Goose CutOut Picture Book published by the National Art Company in 1915.

Click on any image to see it larger.

Below is what the actual cover would look like uncut.

One of these books is currently for sale here. I should be so lucky.

If you like dolls you might enjoy clicking over to my other site Tattered and Lost Photographs.



This antique paper doll is from The Boston Herald Sunday supplement in 1911. Looks pretty good for being over 100 years old.

There were 12 dolls in this series as shown below or here. Alas, I only have two from the series.

Click on image to see it larger.

And click on over to Tattered and Lost Photographs to see a young girl with a Madame Alexander doll.



These two dolls advertised the Estey Organ Company. I imagine they were printed around 1900, give or take 5 years either direction.

These same dolls were also used by the McLaughlin Coffee Company and others. That would be an interesting item to collect; all of the dolls from the different manufacturers.

Sadly there's never any artist information given about these old advertising paper dolls.

Click here to see other dolls in the series that Estey sold. Click here to see more at the Estey Organ site and hear an actual organ being played.
The Estey Organ Company was founded by Jacob Estey when he bought out a Brattleboro, Vermont manufacturing business in 1852. The company went on to become the largest manufacturer of organs in the United States. The original company had been founded in 1846. It employed more than 500 people and its high-quality items were sold as far away as Africa, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Around 500,000 to 520,000 reed organs, or 'pump organs' as some term them, were built between 1846 and 1955. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Click here to read about the Estey Organ Company Museum.

To see a couple of real dolls with their dolls visit Tattered and Lost Photographs.

UPDATE: From reader WJY:
Your dolls were probably made between August 1898, the end of fighting of the Spanish American War, and December 1898, when the Treaty of Paris was signed, which resulted in the annexation of Guam, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines, ended the occupation of Cuba, and recognized Cuban independence.



I collect paper dolls and am fondest of the ones made pre-1950s. I especially love old advertising dolls. The lithography gave them a richness you would never see in later day dolls.

I purchased this doll several years ago on eBay. The seller was elderly and selling off some dolls his late wife had owned. I told him they'd be taken care of.

When looking at old dolls like this I wonder more about the hands they've passed through than who manufactured them. This particular doll dates to 1895.

To receive this doll back in 1895 the buyer had to first buy five packages of None Such New England Mince Meat and cut the heads off the woman holding a pie on the package. Sounds a little brutal. They were then supposed to send 10 cents in silver along with the heads. Starts to sound a bit like a ransom. If they didn't have the 10 cents, which was apparently the shipping charge, they could cut off 20 heads and get it for free. Now it's just starting to sound like an episode of CSI.

To read about the company that sold the dolls, Merrill-Soule headquarter in Syracuse, click here. The printer was Forbes Lithography located in Boston, Massachusetts.

This post ties in with this weeks posts on my photography blog, Tattered and Lost Photographs, where the category is dolls.


Samuel E. Lowe and VIOLET IDELLE HIGGINS in 1916

This vintage children’s book was bought a couple years ago at an estate sale. What remains memorable is that there was a beautiful bookcase in the living room with many children’s books inside; such a rare thing to find at an estate sale. If there are children’s books they’re usually reprints or books from the last 20 years and pretty low end.

Click on any image to see it larger.

This book, The Camp Fire Girls Duty Call (1916), is from The Camp Fire Girls series written between 1912 and the 1930s. Though the author says Helen Hart a little net digging shows that this was just a pseudonym for Samuel E. Lowe (1890-1952). According to Wikipedia he wrote a total of 5 books in the series as Hart. You can find this information here. I'm not finding biographical information about Lowe, but he did write several other books including The Court of King Arthur.

If you look around online you'll find Samuel E. Lowe & Co. listed for a lot of comic books. I also found a reference for Lowe working for Western Printing and Lithographing Company. Whitman, publisher of this book, was a subsidiary of Western.

There is a college scholarship, Samuel E. Lowe Scholarship, established by Western. Same Lowe? I'm guessing so. I just can't find any definitive biography of this man. Perhaps someone will find this post and fill in some details.

As to information about the series, it’s spotty at best. I did find the following information at the University of Minnesota Libraries “Girls Series Books: A Checklist of Titles Published 1840-1991” list:
Note: Publication information on this series is still a puzzle. Many of the 
volumes have no copyright or publication date listed. Girls Series Companion 
1990 notes that chapters from volumes 2, 4, and 5 also appear in three of the 
MARY LEE books. (Mary Lee is also a character in the Camp Fire Girls 
series.) The NUC attributes volumes 5 and 7 to Samuel Edward Lowe under 
the pseudonym Helen Hart, and it is possible that others in the series are his 
work. The NUC attributes another book published by Whitman, Marigold's 
Pony (not part of the series), to Lowe under the pseudonym Howard B. 
Famous, but copies of Marigold's Pony have been seen with Rietz listed as 
author on the cover and Hart as author on the title page.
If you read enough of the notes at this site you’ll see why trying to pin down this series is so confusing. That said, let’s enjoy it for what it is. A book of a time period long gone.

The illustrator was Violet Idelle (Moore) Higgins (1886-1967) who attended the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1900s. She illustrated children’s books, magazines, and even a weekly comic, Drowsy Dick. Click here to read a biography of Violet and her husband, Edward Roberts Higgins, also an artist.

You can click here to see more information about her methods and media.

Here and here are a few more of Higgins illustrations.

And let’s hear it for series books for girls. I remember when the San Francisco library was refusing to carry Nancy Drew books because they felt they weren’t literary enough. Balderdash! They were missing out on what girls series books have done for girls over the years. They were never meant to be literary. They were meant to give girls a different perspective as to what was possible. Yes, the stories were formula writing, but there was a comfort in seeing a girl triumph each time she set out to do something. Girls were able to see themselves in the world beyond the narrow path set for them by others. Not all series were created the same and I can’t say if the Camp Fire series challenged girls to think outside the box (an expression that should be boxed and put on the shelf), but if it helped girls feel good about themselves then it succeeded.


The MAKING OF A SOLDIER in 1918: Part 4

The final scans from The Making of A Soldier. Click on the links to the previous posts:

Click on any image to see it larger.


The MAKING OF A SOLDIER in 1918: Part 3

Taking the chance that the post card folder would not fall apart, I scanned the remaining pages of The Making of A Soldier.

You can see part 1 here and part 2 here.

Click on any image to see it larger.

My next post will contain the final pages of this 1918 vintage ephemera.


The MAKING OF A SOLDIER in 1918: Part 2

More images from this World War I post card booklet dated 1918 published by the Seattle Engraving Company.

In order are the last page, the inside back cover, and the back cover.

Click on any image to see it larger.

To see the first post click here.



This was a Christmas gift which belonged to my best friend's grandfather who served in World War I. I have been unable to find one online so I have no information to enlighten us and as you can see part of the front cover is missing, thus I'm not positive of the title.

Is part of it offensive? Yes. It's a product of its time.

I probably won't be able to scan all of it because it is so fragile. The cover has already completely come off and it wasn't like that when I got it. So I may or may not be able to post more of this vintage post card ephemera in days to come.

For now, this is the front cover, interior front cover, and first page.

Click on any image to see it larger.