Ernst Reinhardt doll mark;
° Made in °
° ° °
° ° °
Pat. Sep. 1914
Ernst Reinhardt was born in 1875 near Hildburghausen,
Thüringia Germany. It is unknown if there is any connection to the
Waltershausen, German Reinhardt's. Ernst began assembling dolls when
he was in his
early 20s in Germany along with employees, neighbors and wife Laura
Reinhardt who designed the dolls clothing, these first dolls were tiny
miniature four inches tall, jointed at the shoulders and hips only and were
dressed in German provincial costumes.
By 1909 the Ernst Reinhardt family immigrated to Philadelphia, USA and established a doll factory making bisque heads with
paper-mache and wood bodies. Ernst was granted a patent in 1914
for the easy changing of the dolls stamped celluloid eyes. In 1916
Ernst moved his porcelain factory now named Bisc Novelty Manufacturing
Company and family to East Liverpool, Ohio. Due to the war, doll
production was a non-essential so around 1918 the family then moved to Irvington,
New Jersey. Doll heads marked Mesa and Perth Amboy are
from this later period 1918 to 1922.
With the end of war in 1922, inexpensive German bisque dolls
again became available in the USA, thus ending Ernst doll making business.
Ernst Reinhardt is believed to be the first to manufacture bisque
head dolls in the United States commercially with domestic US clay. Reinhardt
designed his own unique doll molds to make both bisque socket and shoulder head dolls, sleep eyes or painted
eyes, molded hair or wigged on composition ball jointed bodies.