Saturday, May 31, 2008

Workshop Spotlight: Sunbonnet Sue

Margaret Brown sent me these wonderful pictures a while ago, and I'm happy to share them with you today. This is a sample of the kind of ornament you'll create in Margaret's workshop.
Creating Sunbonnet Sue Ornaments with Margaret is limited to 20 people, and there are still a few slots left. 9-9:45 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 8 in Embassy Ballroom B.

Ornaments based on the classic applique quilt pattern using color, designs and accessories. Some materials will be provided, but bring small sharp scissors and a see-through ruler (patterned paper if you like). Fee: $3.00.

P.S.: Our best wishes for Howe's speedy recovery.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dolly Dingle 1923

No paper doll collection is complete without a Dolly Dingle page from Pictorial Review. Dolly was created by Grace Drayton, and survives today as an icon of Campbell Soup. This page is from July 1923.

Convention Update: Gene Marshall

Movie star Gene Marshall will be the subject of a special presentation by Mel Odom, "Gene Marshall 101" which will be offered as the convention finale on Sunday, August 10.

Ms. Marshall began her career as a model in New York City, and was discovered in 1941 when she was an usher at the Regent Movie Palace during a showing of "Manhattan Nights."

We understand she will also make a special appearance in the Raffle Room, and we look forward to seeing her there!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Victory Radio Cabs

Oops! I left a digit off the phone number for Victory Radio Cabs:


Thanks to Jean Sullivan for that catch.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Convention Update: Jane Powell and Dick Moore

Jane Powell and Dick Moore have confirmed that they will be attending the convention dinner banquet on Thursday, August 7.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Here's to the start of another postwar era...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Convention Update: Transportation

There are two ways to get from Newark Liberty Airport to the Piscataway Embassy Suites. The first most of you know about from your registration packet: Call State Shuttle at 1-800-427-3207 or reserve online at One person one way will pay $45, but that price drops considerably when two or more people reserve for the same destination.

I'm happy to report that there is another way to get from here to there. The free AirTrain (an elevated monorail) stops at Terminal B of Newark Liberty Airport and in 10 minutes will take you to the NJ Transit RR Station, where you will transfer to the NJ Transit train that is bound for New Brunswick. That train ticket is $12.75; senior citizens pay $8.75.

Go to for the train timetable. Or call AirTrain: 888-EWR-INFO and NJ Transit: 800-772-2222

Once at New Brunswick, Victory Radio Cabs (732-545-6666) will take you to the Embassy Suites Piscataway for $11-$15 -- and again, that price comes down if you can split it with another person. The cab stand is right downstairs from the train station, in the heart of downtown New Brunswick and the Rutgers University campus. The hotel is a mere 15 minutes away.

For those touring NYC on their own, once again, Victory Radio Cabs can take you from the convention hotel to the train/bus station in nearby New Brunswick.

Once at the downtown New Brunswick train station, you can hop on the NJ Transit train to New York Penn Station (33rd St.) for about $10.50 one way. There are ticket vending machines and ticket clerks on site.

If you want to work out your own itinerary, go to and click on Itinerary Planner. Under Departure point, type in New Brunswick RR Station. Choose for your Destination New York Penn (you'll find it on the menu under NYC Landmarks). The system will ask you to choose from several New Brunswick stations; you'll choose New Brunswick RR Station ***Accessible** to New York Penn Station.

If you want to go the bus route, The Suburban Transit Bus Line operated by Coach (not NJ Transit) is your best bet. (The route is Line 100/Main Line New York Express).

The bus stops across from the New Brunswick Train Station, in front of Red's Barber Shop in Ferren Mall -- look for the Rutgers University Book Store, and facing the store entrance it will be a few steps to the right-- you'll see the Suburban Transit Bus Stop sign. Bus Fare is $8.75 one way -- tickets can be purchased at B & M Bagel Shop, right in the Ferren Mall (which isn't a huge indoor mall, but a small series of shops with doors facing the street). And yes, there is a reduced fare for senior citizens.

Go to for more information. When entering information under Scheduled Services, choose New Brunswick, NJ for Origin, and New York, New York for Destination. There are buses that stop at Grand Central and the UN, too, but only Monday-Friday, as it is mainly a commuter line. You can also reach Coach/Suburban Transit at 732-249-1100.

(Pictured: McLoughlin Coffee paper doll and cart, circa 1903.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fresh Ink by Hallmark Cards

I found these two Fresh Ink/Hallmark cards in the Rutgers University Book Store in New Brunswick--an important landmark for those of you eager to explore NYC on your own using mass transit. I'll have more on that soon.

The first card has a wheel to turn, which changes the patterns in various windows (hats, dresses, shoes, chair). I've given you two views of the "wheel" card.

The third image is a very sweet and stylized punch-out paper doll card.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eugenia by McLoughlin

Eugenia measures about 4 and a half inches tall, and from her costume I would guess she is circa 1870s-1880s. Marian Howard's book illustrates a larger version of this doll (6 inches) that was published in Germany as an embossed set; Howard refers to this smaller version as likely coming from a McLoughlin Bros.' six cent sheet (page 191).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sunny Susan by Raphael Tuck

Sunny Susan is from the Little Maids New Series of Dressing Dolls, c. 1894. The doll measures 13 inches, and comes with four costumes and matching hats. She is pictured in the classic Blair and Margaret Whitton book, "Collectors Guide to Raphael Tuck & Sons" on page 126 (with complete costumes, a topnotch of hair, and her finger intact). From the collection of Carol Carey.

UPDATE: Carol Carey is donating Sunny Susan to our Raffles table. Thank you, Carol!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Betty Bonnet

This is the large size version of the paper doll, sold separately, in addition to the series that appeared in the pages of the Ladies Home Journal. I found this envelope and contents in the back of an antiques store.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Cutout Family

This is a clever insurance advertisement that plays on the words "cutout" to get its point across.

Remember: click on the photo to get a larger image, then right click to save it to your own computer for future reference or to print out.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Paper Dolls on Parade, 1940

Here's a set that I found on craigslist as part of a larger 1940s lot. There are four dolls in the set; here's Pat and Sue. Paper Dolls on Parade was published by Saalfield in 1940.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Morris Museum

The Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ is just 30 minutes from the Piscataway Embassy Suites, and well worth the trip. Most days at 2 p.m., there is a special tour of the museum's permanenet exhibit, Musical Machines & Living Dolls.

Bob Kussner is the official guide to the collection, composed of more than 150 historic mechanical musical instruments and automata from the Guinness Collection. Mr. Kussner not only explains the history of these magnificent machines, he also selects one or two for activation. There is a fairground organ that was designed to play loudly and lure fairgoers from miles around -- it will knock your socks off!

But there is also a demonstration of one or two automatons: The slow but sure movements of the dolls, created more than 100 years ago, are pure enchantment.

Pictured here are "La Mascotte" made by Gustave Vichy, Paris, France, circa 1885. As a waltz from that opera plays, the figure moves and the basket lid opens to reveal a chirping bird.

On the right is the Limonaire "Orchestrophone," made by Limonaire Freres, Paris, France, circa 1910. This carousel or band organ features 108 pipes. Both of these images are taken from greeting cards, on sale in the museum gift shop.

The Morris Museum, 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ. Phone: 973-971-3700. Hours: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10-5; Thursday, 10-8; Sunday, 1-5.
Entrance fee: $8.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Antique Trader

As often happens, I was looking for something else on the web, and came across The Antique Trader, a weekly magazine. Two articles appeared within the last six months about paper dolls and toys, and referenced not only the convention but collectors we all know. The first article by Karen O'Brien appeared in April, and features quotes by Jim Faraone; the second article by Chriss Swaney appeared in February and has quotes from Elaine Price, Letty Schwarz, Deanna Williams and many other collectors. Both articles can be read at the following links:

The Antique Trader also has some excellent links for upcoming auctions, with many photographs. Check out the Old Town auction, scheduled for June.

Above, a doll from The New Model Book of Dolls, 1904.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

"Growing Up Dolls," from Jack and Jill, April 1957.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Two Workshops Now Closed

Please note the following two workshops are now closed:

Paper Doll and Toy Newspaper Supplements with Carol Sullivan.

Make a Ziegfeld Girl Fan with Brenda Sneathen Mattox.

There are still 15 other workshops to choose from!

And there is still room on the NJ Historical Society tour, Aug. 6 at 10 a.m., where we will see a special exhibit of handmade paper dolls from 100 years ago.

On top: a greeting card published by Pop Ink, artwork and design by Charles S. Anderson, Design Company, Minneapolis.

The Antique Center of Red Bank

Garth Lax has just sent out another informative email with many things to see and do for those who plan to arrive a few days prior to the convention, or stay a few days later. I'm in the process of finding out more about all available mass transit options between the hotel and New York City, and will post that information here within the next few weeks.

For those who have access to a car, and want to explore local sights, I highly recommend the Antique Center of Red Bank, just 35 minutes from the hotel, exit 109 off the Garden State Parkway. 100 dealers in two buildings, on the corner of West Front St. and Bridge Ave. Open daily 11-5 and noon to 5 on Sunday. 732-842-4336 or

Friday, May 9, 2008

FIT Tour now closed

e've reached our limit on the FIT tour! Thank you David Wolfe for sponsoring this exciting event. All 50 slots are accounted for.

If you have signed up for the FIT tour, and think there's a chance you might not be able to make it, please let me know. I'll gladly refund your tour fee, and will give someone else the opportunity to join the tour.

Raffles: Original Paper Doll Art

Original paper doll art is highly prized among collectors. I was lucky enough to win this original watercolor/pencil drawing of Eartha Kitt by Ralph Hodgdon at a convention a few years ago.

Pat O'Rourke had the excellent idea of reaching out specifically to paper doll artists for raffle donations. They're also known as helpers, because that's exactly what they are: Raffles help pay a great deal of convention expenses--most of which are not covered by the registration fee, which we try to keep as low as possible.

If you are able to make a donation, please contact our Raffles coordinator Jayne Keller at papermermaid(at)aol(dot)com and let her know the size of your artwork; she will tell you the best time and place to deliver it to her safekeeping.

The doors of the Raffle room will open early on Thursday, August 7. Ron Fong will be overseeing the Raffle room, and he can use volunteers-- the better to keep the Raffles room open longer. Interested? Let me know, and I'll pass the word to him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Drama Book Shop

The Drama Book Shop at 250 West 40th Street, right down the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Ave., is one of my favorite places in NYC.

UPDATE: The Drama Book Shop is open Mon-Sat, 10-8, and Sunday, noon-6. Call 1-800-322-0595 or

Near the cash register there is an array of postcards and flyers announcing small theatre productions, auditions and workshops. The magazine rack is stacked with publications devoted to acting and writing, theatre and film. A large mannequin atop a bookcase in the center aisle is adorned with a gown made of book pages -- the writings of Aphra Behn, the first professional woman writer in English literature.

The back of the store has hundreds of theatre-related books, scripts and memoirs. I picked up a copy of Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming" here, prior to attending the play's recent revival on Broadway.

If you are a devotee of fashion or theatre history, this is the place. It's great to see Tom Tierney's paper doll books prominently displayed. His work is valued by anyone creating costumes for a period production--Tom researches each book thoroughly, as you know. In addition, the Drama Book Shop also has an Edward Gorey toy theatre for sale, and numerous photographic- and illustrated- fashion history books, some just about hats, others just about shoes, and even patterns for costume makers.

The image at the top of this post is from a small book of postcards, "Playbill Classics Collection."

Below, more Erte note cards. The golden glitter doesn't show up, but trust me they are gorgeous.

Left: "Triple Costume design for Golden Wedding (1924)." Right, "Manhattan Mary (1927)."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Postal rates go up May 12

Here's as good a reason as any to get your registration in now: postal rates go up on May 12. First class letter will be .42.

And if you received your packet, please return the forms ASAP to reserve your place in workshops and tours.

Here's Jenny's Style Show, Oct. 22, 1944.