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Mama Dolls 1918-1940s+

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1918 Madame Hendren Life-Like Mama Doll, 24", 1st Ma-Ma doll

1918+ Madame Hendren Life-Like Mama Doll, 24" tall, the first acknowledged Ma-Ma doll

On June 11, 1918 Georgene Averill - Madame Hendren, patented and created an improved baby doll.  Averill's doll has a composition flange head, molded painted hair, painted eyes, closed mouth, cloth upper arms with partial composition lower arms and hands, a wide cloth stuffed torso body and straight, swinging cloth legs with stitched heeled feet (exclusive to Averill's doll) to simulate walking, when led by the hand.


What is a Mama doll? Not long after production had begun on the Averill doll, a voice box was added to the tummy that cried Ma-Ma when the doll is tilted, which is how these dolls got their name.  By 1921 Mama dolls were also patented in England. 


During 1923, 80% of all dolls preferred by a child in the United States, were Mama dolls.  By 1926 costly production of dolls and high import tariff's, the German bisque doll market dominance had ended.


Here is a guide to help date your Mama doll according to it's body style.  In 1927 Mama dolls had slimmer bodies and partial composition lower legs were introduced, about 1928 composition swivel shoulder heads with full composition limbs thus the dolls could stand unaided. 


Around 1935 Mama dolls appeared with distinct right and left feet, rather than both feet exactly the same.

By the mid-1940s composition Mama dolls popularity had declined, doll makers began to replace that material with plastic, invented during World War II.  

Many, too many Mama dolls are look a like's and unmarked making it nearly impossible to identify a Mama doll with certainty.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help, to do so though.



Alphabetical list of known of Mama doll makers or distributors


(1920s+ most USA makers of composition doll products made Mama dolls)


ABC Toy Company

Acme Toy Company

Alexander Doll Company

Louis Amberg

American Character Doll

Arcy Toy Mfg. Company

Arranbee (R & B)

Atlantic Toy & Mfg. Co

Atlas Doll & Toy Co

Averill - Hendren Doll Co


Baby Phyllis Doll Co

Albert Bruckner & Sons

Bing Brothers

Butler Brothers


Century Doll Company

Chessler Doll Company

L. Cohen & Sons Co


Davis & Voetsch

Domec Company


Eegee (Goldberger)

Effanbee (F & B)

European Doll Mfg. Co


Gem Toy Company

Arthur Gerling Toy Co

Goodyear Toy Company


L. Herman doll maker

Bernhard Hermann dolls

Hitz, Jacobs & Kassler

Hoest & Henderson

Horsman Doll Co


Ideal Doll & Toy Co


Jeannette Doll Co (Freundich)


K & K Toy Company

Kämmer & Reinhardt

Katagini Brothers

JD Kestner

J. H. Kletzin Company


Loeffler & Diller

Louisville Doll & Novelty Co


Metropolitan Doll Co

M & S Shillman Doll Co

Modern Doll Company

Montgomery Wards

Mutual Novelty Company


National Doll Company

Natural Doll Company

Nibur Novelty Company


Original Doll Company


Paramount Doll Co

Penn Stuffed Toy Co

Perfect Toy Mfg. Co

Pollyanna Doll Co

M. Pressner & Corp.

Primrose Doll Company


R. B & L. Mfg Co

Regal Doll Mfg Co

Reisman, Barron Co

Reliable Mfg (Canada)

Royal Doll Manufacturing Company

Russell (England)


S & S Doll Company

Schoen & Yondorf (SAYCO)

Albert Schoenhut Doll Co


Self Sell Doll Company

Seymour (England)

Shaw Doll Company

Star Doll & Toy Co

F.A.O. Swartz


Uneeda Doll Company


Well Made Doll Co

Louis Wolf & Company

Woodtex Company


- Makers of bisque head German Mama dolls; Century Doll Company,

K & K Toy Company, Kämmer & Reinhardt, JD Kestner,

   Leo Grubman, B. E. Lloyd and Louis V. Aronson Voices, Inc. made

voice box's for Mama dolls and likely others.



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