When I was about 8 years old I discovered Betsy McCall. McCall’s magazine dedicated an entire page in each monthly edition that showcased a Betsy McCall paper doll and a corresponding adventure with clothes to cut out and play with … like Betsy McCall goes to School. or Betsy McCall has a 4th of July party.
I could hardly wait each month until my mother’s magazine arrived. I had to wait until she had read it first before cutting up the page I was waiting for. After just a couple of months I was hooked on paper dolls.
There is a plethora of information on Betsy McCall from 1951 through the 1990’s. In the 50’s stories were simple and were based on events supposedly typical school age girls could identify with. As the years passed, the Betsy McCall page became more sophisticated with mazes and puzzles and more vocabulary and printed material. Today you can Google Betsy and there is more information to entertain you. The history, the story behind the illustrators, the various cousins and pets that followed Betsy throughout her “life”
In a few short years, I discovered other paper dolls. Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor, Annette, The Lennon Sisters, Here’s the Bride. I spent hours playing paper dolls on the living room floor. Each set of paper dolls came in a cardboard folder which had pockets to store the clothes. I would set up each folder around the living room, pretending each one was the house of the paper doll. I had an entire neighborhood. My paper dolls interacted with one another. Natalie Wood was best friends with The Lennon Sisters! Really!
Sorry I could not resist adding this great tune by The Mills Brothers. Oh, and by the way, they performed this song on The Lawrence Welk Show which also launched the careers of The Lennon Sisters. Love the harmonies.