The Kind of Dolls Wanted

The Committee on World Friendship Among Children published an attractive leaflet about the program on American dolls to be sent to Japan.  The leaflet contained the following section on "The Kind of Dolls Wanted":

The dolls should be 13-16 inches tall, and should look like attractive, typical American girls.

The dolls should be new and should not cost more than $3.00.

The face, arms and legs should be of unbreakable material; joints and wigs should be hand sewn.

If possible, the eyes should open and close; they should have "ma-ma" voices.

They should be simply and carefully dressed. Extra dresses are desirable.

Each doll should be sent with a letter from the givers of the doll. It should be signed and have a return address for the thank you letter.

Each doll must have a railway and steamer ticket for travel, and also a passport with proper visa. The passports cost 1 cent and the railway and steamer tickets cost 99 cents each.

Some of the dolls sent to Japan did not follow these guidelines exactly. Some dolls were dressed in distinctive costumes of Red Cross nurses, Quaker ladies, Indian papooses, Girl Scouts, and brides. Even a few boy dolls were sent to Japan. A most entrancing bridal couple and best man were sent from Milwaukee, the men dressed in black satin dress suits with very high collars.

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NOTE: For more information about mama dolls produced in the 1920s, see "Mama Dolls: America's First Doll Craze." 

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