Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Hearted Paper Dolls

When I was in grade school in Rome, Illinois, in the 1930's and early 1940's, my siblings and I certainly did not have a lot of toys, books and games that the kids of today have.  Our parents were recovering from the big depression.  However, that does not mean that we were unhappy or bored or felt cheated.  We each had a bicycle (I was 10 when I got mine) a big yard and the riverbank where we could play and lots of kids in the little town of Rome in the same boat as we were that we could play with.  One of my loves in life was paper dolls - if I ever got a dime (sometimes my grandfather gave me one) I would go to the dimestore and buy a book of paper dolls.  I remember having Gone With the Wind and King George and his family which included Queen Elizabeth of today as a little girl along with her sister Margaret.  They were in my age bracket and Margaret Rose and I had the same birthdate.  Then there were the free paper dolls that were in the Sunday "funny papers".   My dad usually bought the Sunday Chicago paper which I think was the  Herald American.  There was the Tribune, also, and he may have bought both, but I am not certain about that.

Jane Arden - the doll above - was in the paper a lot.  Jane was sweet and fun to have, but she wasn't my favorite.
Here is my favorite - Brenda Staar with the redhair and sparkle in her eye.  I loved it when there was a new Brenda paper doll!  I had a friend who was a year younger than I who also was paper doll crazy and we would play with them for hours.  Her name was Fern Davis and Fern and I would  design dresses for them, color them and cut them out.  We were also into movie star pictures.  I was kind of envious of Fern because she had scrapbooks for individual stars and couples while my pictures were in a big box.  I spent many fun hours with Fern! 
Gorgeous!!  Brenda and wedding dresses.
And then there was Mopsy - or Flapper Fanny in the earlier days.  So darling.  I wonder if little girls still play with paper dolls--I think I was still playing with them in late elementary school.  At that time it was more the designing and coloring of the clothes but it was still fun.  I will always have a softspot for those little paper people!!
This picture is in an earlier post, but here we are - me and Fern Davis!  Fern lived across the street from our grade school which you can see in the background.  It had gone from a one-room school to a four-room school.  Happy Days!


  1. I love how you shared a bit of the past with these wonderful paper dolls and photo! I can remember getting a coloring book of ballerinas and pestering my mom into giving me some tracing paper. I traced every one of those ballerinas and cut them apart to make paper dolls. The tracing paper didn't do so well; too thin. But I had a lot of fun!

  2. LOVE that pic and the story Carol - do you actually have the paper doll patterns still? You will have to share next time I come for a visit...hugs, J