Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Dolls of Canada

Dolls of Canada: A Reference Guide

Evelyn Robson Strahlendorf
Photography by U.C. Strahlendorf
Judy Tomlinson Ross
Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 421
  • Book Info
    Dolls of Canada
    Book Description:

    Evelyn Strahlendorf has compiled a reference work that traces the development of dolls in Canada and of the industry that produces them

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7402-8
    Subjects: Art & Art History, History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)

    This book is for doll collectors, museums, libraries, antique dealers, doll stores, and flea market operators. It contains the dates, names, and characteristics to identify about one thousand Canadian dolls from prehistoric times to the present, with the emphasis on dolls of this century manufactured commercially and dolls made by Canadian artists. It may be considered a history of Canadian dolls. Also included are about fifty dolls sold by The T. Eaton Co. Limited labeled as Eatonʹs Beauties. Many of the Eaton Beauty dolls were made by European companies like J. D. Kestner, Armand Marseille, and Cuno and Otto Dressel....

  4. Chapter 2 INUIT DOLLS
    (pp. 5-15)

    The oldest dolls found in Canada were made by the Inuit. There were Inuit living in the Arctic for thousands of years before Christ was born. We do not know at what point in their history they began making dolls, but it is certainly an ancient tradition. What is significant is that dolls were being made in Canada long before the white man came.

    The Inuit hunters used to mount a small doll on their boats before going hunting to bring them luck. Archaeologists have unearthed small doll figures made of ivory or wood in the remains of Inuit camping...

  5. Chapter 3 INDIAN DOLLS
    (pp. 16-31)

    ʺMy People have always made dolls,ʺ was the answer given by a Canadian Indian doll artist when asked about the history of Indian doll making. Because Indian dolls were generally made of natural materials such as wood, leather, fur, and cornhusk, which are perishable in a temperate climate, they did not survive over the centuries as did the Inuit dolls of the far north. It is known, however, that at least some of the Indian tribes were making dolls long before the arrival of the Europeans.

    Dolls were made from almost any available natural material. Some examples are given of...

  6. Chapter 4 SETTLERSʹ DOLLS
    (pp. 32-40)

    Settlersʹ dolls were made in Canada over a period of nearly three centuries before an indigenous commercial doll industry was established in 1911. Colonialization began in the Maritimes and Québec in the early seventeenth century and expanded to the west. Ontario was gradually populated, a process that was aided by the influx of Loyalists from the United States beginning about 1780. And, after the railway linked the entire country in 1886, settlements spread rapidly throughout the Praires and British Columbia.

    During this settlement period, dolls were made at home by families for their children. Dolls were constructed of common materials...

    (pp. 41-56)

    Multiculturism is fostered in Canada with such slogans as ʺcelebrate our differencesʺ, and so most people are very much aware of their own heritage and those of others in the Canadian mosaic. Canada was initially populated with isolated settlements spread across the country. Usually an area was settled by one ethnic group, and they tended to have little contact with other groups for a long time. Consequently, many Canadians have a strong sense of belonging to one area of the country. Since each group remained somewhat isolated, they tended to maintain their ethnic identity. This has given many Canadians a...

    (pp. 57-85)
    Judy Tomlinson Ross

    The history of the Eatonʹs Beauty dolls is a truly fascinating and never ending story. To own an Eatonʹs Beauty was the desire of almost every little girl in the Dominion of Canada. An Eatonʹs Beauty was the most popular and often the most advertised doll of the Eatonʹs line-up of Christmas dolls. The little girl who owned an Eatonʹs Beauty was the envy of the neighbourhood. Unfortunately, most of those envied little girls do not know what happened to their Eatonʹs Beauty. Thus, to search and find one as an adult is a pleasant walk down memory lane.


    (pp. 86-97)

    A Canadian Celebrity doll is one that is made to represent a well known Canadian. This group includes both celebrated sports figures and historical personages. It does not, however, include Canadian made dolls of celebrities from other countries, such as the Shirley Temple doll by Reliable Toy Co. Included, though, are dolls representing Canadians but manufactured outside of Canada, such as the Dionne Quintuplets and Wayne Gretsky. The important thing here is that the person to be honoured is a Canadian.

    Canadian celebrity dolls is a field that has been much neglected by the dollmakers. Many collectors would enjoy collecting...

  10. Chapter 8 THE WORKING DOLL
    (pp. 98-110)

    Dolls are not just playthings. Since the earliest known civilizations, mankind has been using the doll figure to fill a variety of needs. Dolls were often used as fertility symbols, good luck charms, for ancestor worship, and in propitiatory ceremonies. They have been used in black magic and as voodoo dolls. Votive figures were used as religious offerings. Dolls can be used as a means to teach, persuade, frighten, comfort, educate, and demonstrate; and mankind has used the power of the doll to full effect. The working doll is as useful today as it has been throughout the ages. A...

    (pp. 111-115)

    Paper dolls are an old concept. They were first made in the mid-seventeenth century in Germany. They were used by fashionable women who were interested in the styles of the day. Some of the early paper dolls had extensive wardrobes that pictured many accessories including shoes and gloves as well as handbags and umbrellas. Late in the nineteenth century the manufacturers began making child paper dolls and, in the 1890s, advertising paper dolls appeared.

    At the Canadian Toy Show in Montreal in 1961, 1966, and 1969, the Copp Clark Publishing Co. Ltd. was listed as showing paper dolls. We have...

    (pp. 116-358)

    The commercial doll manufacturing industry began in Canada as the direct result of demand. At the start of the twentieth century dolls were being imported from Europe in ever increasing numbers. Nerlichs and Company, wholesalers in Toronto, put out a catalogue in 1902 that listed dozens of imported dolls for sale. They were bringing in all-bisque dolls, dolls with bisque heads and leather bodies, and dolls with bisque heads and composition bodies, as well as composition, rubber, and celluloid dolls for the market in Canada. As toy firms in the United States began expanding, dolls were imported from that source...

    (pp. 359-406)

    It is a new idea to create a doll as a work of art in Canada.

    What is art? According to Websterʹs dictionary it has many meanings. Perhaps the most applicable is ʺthe conscious use of skill, taste, and creative imagination in the practical definition or production of beautyʺ. This is a definition that aptly fits the creation of an original doll. Many of the artists are highly trained and skilled workers whose dolls are the epitome of taste and creative imagination. Another meaning is ʹthe expression of beautyʺ. One cannot look at these artistsʹ dolls and not know the...

    (pp. 407-408)
    (pp. 409-410)
    (pp. 411-414)
    (pp. 415-421)