Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Brief History of Izannah Walker Dolls


Above is Izannah Walker's patent for her dolls. Below is a quote from the website "History of Cloth Dolls."

history: "IZANNAH WALKER DOLLS Izannah Walker was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1817. At the age of 7 she lost her parents. Izannah and her sisters went to live with her mother relatives in Somerset Massachusetts. We do not know much about her early life but in 1865 the Census of the State of Rhode Island she was listed as a doll maker residing in Central Falls. In 1873 Izannah obtained a U.S. patent for making rag dolls. The patent stated in the dies I place several thicknesses of cotton or other cheap cloth treated with glue or paste so that they will adhere together and hold the shape impressed upon them by the dies. When these cloth forms are dry a layer of cotton batting or other soft filling is carefully laid over them covering the whole or the head and neck portion only and then in turn covere with an external layer of stockinet or similar webbing. The latter is then fastened to the features of the cloth forms by stitches or paste and they are then placed again in the press. After they are taken from the press the forms are filled with hair cotton or other stuffiness and a piece of wood having been centrally and longitudinally laid between the two for stiffening they are tightly pressed together and secured by sewing pasting or gluing their edges to each other. The finish is then done by painting the face and other parts neatly with oil paint. Izannah Walker claimed in her patent "

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