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

Mama Dolls 1918-1940s+

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.

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 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.  Does not mean you shouldn’t ask for help, to do so though.

List of known of composition Mama doll makers or distributors

(1920s to 1940s American USA companies who made composition dolls, would have 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
JDK Kestner
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 Co
Regal Doll Mfg Co
Reisman, Barron Co
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 (England)
Shaw Doll Company
Star Doll & Toy Co
F.A.O. Swartz

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

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