A Brief History of Baby Dolls

Talking about its history, dolls are of variety. The invention of doll dates back to the dawn of human civilization itself. There were pre-historic dolls which were crudely made from whatever material. Dolls utilized in ancient times were of a different function–symbolized a deity. Dolls played a significant role in religious ceremonies, and rituals.

Dolls have taken on several different figures during its long history. It is a tangible child’s toy: most dolls act as the representation of a baby, or a grown up human being. Dolls designed as animals, or imaginary creatures have come into popularity with the progression of time. Throughout history, dolls have been evolving along with the time period, and often replicate the latest trends of fashion.

The advancing of technology has promoted doll creation, and eventually spurred the mass production of dolls. Before 1700’s, dolls were not solely considered to be the playthings of children but also designed for adults. These particular dolls were dressed and shaped like adults. Dolls are not geographically isolated either. Children in all cultures, of all races spread throughout the earth seem to enjoy playing with them.

Many different kinds of dolls have been discovered to be cult objects by primitive people, well preserved dolls made of wood, stone, clay, ivory, bone, and bronze have been found in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Crochet dolls, some of which considered artistic masterpieces were utilized as representations of the nativity in Roman Catholicism.

In the Fifteenth century, dolls gained popularity as gifts amongst the monarchy and its courtiers. Meanwhile, these dolls also played a significant role in the spread of fashion. Dolls brought over to the American colonies mirrored current trends in clothes and even modeled the latest hairstyles, reflecting the current European culture in miniature.

In 17th century, dolls were played with by both boys and girls. At this particular time in history, Sonneberg in Germany was recognized as the manufacturing center of wooden dolls. Later on, this town became a leading producer of the heads for dolls. These heads were made of china by the dawn of the nineteenth century. The Parisian doll industry began developing dolls that could open and close their eyes, and speak around this time also.

The material of papier-mâché entered the doll manufacturing industry at early 19th century; it seemed stimulate the scaling up of doll production.

At that time, some of the other commonly used materials for making dolls included wood, china, and wax. Hard rubber was first introduced around 1850, and bisque in 1862. Colonial cornhusk, and rag dolls had humble beginnings as mere domestic products. Both then quickly gained popularity. During the twentieth century, the manufacture of dolls in the United States has become a large and seemingly prosperous industry.

Nowadays, dolls are no longer viewed only as a children’s toy, adults are also collecting dolls as a hobby. The reason why adults are collecting dolls includes nostalgia, a doll‘s beauty, a doll‘s design, historical relevance and purpose, or as an investment.

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