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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Nov 8 10:26 PM

November 9th, 2015: Paper Dolls

Since most fairy tales were mini-morality plays, children were encouraged to read them, contemplate, and by extension emulate, the lesson. However like the mule driver with the 2x4 said, first you gotta get their attention. That’s why children’s books are usually bright primary colors with happy illustrations.

These articulated paper dolls were created by Bess Bruce Cleaveland (1876-1966), a children’s illustrator whose books, postcards, teaching materials, and educational toys were popular in the 1910s-1930s. The Ideal School Supply Company, an educational materials house who distributed their goods through trade magazines for teachers, printed and sold the Jointed Storybook Animals kit starting in 1929.

I think the two missing critters are a puppy and a frog/toad.
Cleaveland’s distinctive black-and-white, line-drawn animal puppets influenced the style of other children’s illustrators, and she produced several kits for children to color in and assemble. Other popular do-it-yourself puppet kits drawn by Cleaveland included Birds to Color, Children of Other Nations, Jointed Toys, and Jointed Animals, a set of zoo animals which the company advertised as “not a set of grotesque outlines, but true to nature” when colored in with realistic shades.
Aside from educating children about classic fairy tales, at 35 cents (roughly $4.88 in today’s money) for a set of ten characters, these were a cheap and easily accessible toy which also introduced children to the basic principles of design, construction, and following detailed instructions.
These and other sets, Birds to Color, Children of Other Nations, Jointed Toys, and Jointed Zoo Animals, are still kicking around at ebay and antique dealers.

bbro  Monday Nov 9 09:46 AM

I had paper dolls when I was young. They were bears. I set them up on the fireplace and told my brother not to touch. He touched, I pushed. He hit is head on the corner of an open drawer on a wooden filing cabinet that we used as a tv stand/VHS holder. Almost took his eye out. Instead, he just broke a piece off the drawer with his head starting at about an inch/inch and a half to a sliver. I got in lots of trouble while he was laughing behind my mother.

Don't think I got any more paper dolls after that! And mine weren't even as cool as these!

DanaC  Monday Nov 9 01:02 PM

I have a vague recollection of a paper puppet type doll - similar kind of jointing to those. I think it came from a breakfast cereal promotion

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