Averill 1918 Mama doll 18" tall
Averill 1918 Madame Hendren Llife Like Baby Doll 25″

Guide to Identifying Mama Dolls 1918+

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 European bisque doll market dominance had ended.

A guide to help date your Mama doll by 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 composition with plastic invented during World War II.  By the early 1950s most doll were made of hard plastic, those makers are listed on this page.

Many, too many Mama dolls are look a like’s and unmarked, making it nearly impossible to identify a Mama doll with certainty.  It’s also possible more than one doll maker used the very same doll head mold.

Mama Type Dolls Identified

ca. 1930s American composition Mama doll 20" face

ca. 1930s American Mama type doll 20″ face, composition head molded hair, sleep eyes, open mouth, cloth stuffed body with crier, doll unmarked.

1931 Horsman Baby Darling Mama baby doll face

1931 Horsman Baby Darling a Mama type baby doll, composition head molded hair, sleep eyes, open mouth, stuffed cloth body with crier, doll unmarked. This doll head mold was also used by many other doll makers.

ca. 1940s Horsman Mama art doll 23 1/2" face

ca. 1940s Horsman Genuine Art Mama type doll 23 1/2″ composition head molded hair, sleep eyes, open mouth, cloth stuffed body with crier, doll mark unmarked or Horsman. This doll head mold was also used by many other doll makers,

ca. 1940s ABC Toy Company Mama doll 17" face

ca. 1940s ABC Toy Company Mama type baby doll 17″ composition head molded hair, sleep eyes, closed mouth, cloth stuffed body with crier, doll mark ABC Toy Co.

Mama composition doll makers or distributors

(1920s to 1940s companies who made composition dolls and probably Mama dolls too)

ABC Toy Company
Acme Toy Company
Alexander Doll Company
Louis Amberg
American Character Doll
Arranbee (R & B)
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
JDK Kestner (German)
J. H. Kletzin Company

Loeffler & Diller
Louisville Doll & Novelty Co
Metropolitan Doll Co
M & S Shillman Doll Co
Modern Doll Company
Montgomery Wards store
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.
Pressner & Corp.
Primrose Doll Company
M. Pressner & Corp.
Primrose Doll Company
R. B & L. Mfg Company
Regal Doll Mfg Co
Reisman, Barron Company
Reliable Mfg (Canada)
Royal Doll Mfg Company
Russell Company (England)

S & S Doll Company
Schoen & Yondorf (SAYCO)
Schoenhut Doll Co
Sears department stores
Self Sell Doll Company
Seymour Company (England)
Star Doll & Toy Company

Uneeda Doll Company
Well Made Doll Co
Louis Wolf & Company
Woodtex Company

Shop for dolls
Shop for Mama dolls

Collector’s Encyclopedia of American Composition Dolls 1900-1950 books, vol. I in 1999, vol. II in 2004 by Ursula Mertz,
The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Dolls books, vol. I in 1968, vol. II in 1986 by Dorothy S., Elizabeth A. and Evelyn J. Coleman,