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History of Paper Dolls

paper dollsPaper dolls have come a long way from the conceptualization of the toy up to today where the access to premium quality materials and paper doll ideas are open to the public. Every parent can readily buy a paper doll for their kids. They are relatively cheap. You can buy paper dolls nowadays and get discounts through voucher codes or promo codes. But before, it is quite difficult to purchase antique paper dolls. Let us look back to the history of paper dolls.

What is a paper doll?

It is a kind of doll that is two-dimensional. This means that it has a length and a width but it does not have thickness. It is pretty much like a paper or a thin card with a picture or an image printed on it. Some paper dolls have separate clothes, also made of paper, which the child can put on the paper doll. These clothes have tabs that can be placed on the body of the paper doll in order to fix it and have the doll wear the clothes.

The first paper doll

Ever since the invention of paper, there had been lots of paper doll creation as early as 900 A.D. Different cultures and nations has their own version of a paper doll. From the Chinese to the Balinese shadow puppets, there has been a lot of documentation regarding the first paper dolls created in history.

In the US, the McLoughlin Brothers are the largest manufacturer of paper dolls. The company started in 1828 and you can still continue to find their paper dolls up until today. Their version of paper dolls is printed on wood blocks which use the same way as imprinting on metal plates. The company was sold to Milton Bradley in 1920.

paper doll

Paper dolls in Europe

Europe has its own version of paper dolls. They have crafted beautifully colored paper dolls. These paper dolls are usually a representation of the royal family in their time. At around 1860s, it was the name Raphael Tuck that resonated when paper dolls are being talked about. He had offices in London, New York, and Paris.

3 thoughts on “History of Paper Dolls”

  1. Corrie says:

    Paper dolls of prominent people are still being made today. The idea of having famous people as dolls were used as early as the 1800s. Maybe we just adore these celebrities and iconic figures so much that we just had to recreate their personas in paper dolls.

  2. Nancy says:

    Most of the inventions of different things and items we have today can be formulated by people from different countries and nations. As long as there is a creative mind working, you cannot really say that you are the originator of an object. You might be creating a product that is simultaneously being made from the other side of the world.

  3. Kaye says:

    Awesome article. I just imagined how long it was when the first paper doll was created. Given how creative men was and still is today, it would be quite easy to think that they already thought about making a doll from paper. And their invention is still being used today by kids.

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