Carnival and Novelty Dolls 1912+

All Bisque Betty Boop type carnival doll
All Bisque Betty Boop type carnival doll

Carnival dolls were advertised as prizes given at carnival’s and fairs made by various early American doll makers, many, most, of these dolls are unmarked.  Carnival dolls range from small to large 31″ tall, with a composition character head on bodies of cloth, composition or a combination.  Early dolls may even bare a resemblance to bisque headed German dolls.  Carnival dolls can be baby dolls, boy or girl dolls, dolls dressed as Base Ball players, Bathing Girls, Bellboys, Boy Scouts, Clowns, Students, Cowboys or Cowgirls, Firemen, Jockeys, Nurses, Policemen, Rough Riders, Sailors, Snookums, Snookey Ookum Baby, Soldiers, Uncle Sam, YamaYama, comedian Charlie Chaplin and others. 

Celluloid, chalk ware or composition dolls include Bathing Beauties, Chubbies, Cherubs and Kewpies, Comic Characters and Vamp figurines.

Some of the carnival doll makers are American Doll Company, George Borgfeldt, Central Doll Manufacturing Company, Effanbee Doll Company, Elektra Toy & Novelty, Gem Toy Company, Goldberger Eegee Company, Fair & Carnival Supply Company, Fair & Carnival Trading Company, Ed. Hahn Company; Novelties Notions Jewelry, Holiday Novelty Company, Modern Doll & Toy Company, Morris Politzer Doll Company, New Era Novelty Company (NENCO), New Era Novelty Company, Royal Doll & Toy Company, A. Steinhardt & Brothers, Star Toy & Novelty, Tip Top Toy and probably others. 

Distributors of carnival dolls were Baltimore Bargain House, Butler Brothers, Henry Fabricius Toy & Novelty Company, M. Gerber Brothers Company and Singer Brothers Company, plus others.

Shop for dolls
Shop for antique, vintage Carnival dolls

The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Dolls volume I, II by Dorothy S., Elizabeth A. and Evelyn J. Coleman. To our knowledge there is no book specifically about Carnival dolls, you’ll need to research each individual companies dolls.