Dolls as Advertising Gimmicks

The following is an online exhibition entitled, "Dolls as Advertising Gimmicks." The theme pages in this exhibit are decorated with cut scraps of trade cards removed from one such album. [Exhibit prepared by Diane DeBlois with material from the collection of her mother, Babbie DeBlois.]

Dolls were one of the most common design motifs on 19th-century trade cards. In combination with attractively-dressed, winsome, children, they helped project a Victorian ideal of domestic beauty and tranquility to the consumer of the new Middle Class. Choosing such a design to promote a product all but guaranteed the trade card's inclusion in ubiquitous parlor scrapbooks.

Click on a page number to learn more. (A new window will open.*)

Page 1
Page 1
Dolls as advertising gimmicks
Page 2
Page 2
"Borrowed" designs
Page 3
Page 3
Depicting dolls as toys
Page 4
Page 4
Portraits of girls with dolls
Page 5
Page 5
Portrait-with-doll design in advertising
Page 6
Page 6
Dolls and Christmas theme
Page 7
Page 7
Playing outside the home
Page 8
Page 8
Rehearsal for adult life
Page 9
Page 9
Playing doctor
Page 10
Page 10
The tea party
Page 11
Page 11
The sewing circle
Page 12
Page 12
Wash day

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   © 2011 The Ephemera Society of America