Friday, April 17, 2009

Celluloid dolls

One type of doll that I have to few of, is celluloid. I'd love to have a whole family of these little darlings, and I'm close, not pictured is a pioneer mother with a Amish type boy. This little lady reminds me of Patsy, a very, very popular doll from the 50's. Patsy has little sausage curls at the ends of her hair like my lady does.
Celluloid is a synthetic plastic that was discovered by inventor John Wesley Hyett in 1868 when he accidentally spilt Collodion and it dried to a hard substance. Mr Hyett was seeking a substitute for ivory billiards and although celluloid wasn't a durable material for billiard balls, it was a later addition of Camphor (a derivative from the Laurel tree) that allowed natural play to continue with pool games. This was the birth of Bakelite. Celluloid was a institutional ingredient in flexible photographic film.

This little guy is about 3 inches tall, he is marked Banner. I found one little snippet on the Internet about him that indicates he was made in the 1930's, more than likely true since celluloid was outlawed in 1940. In addition to celluloid being fragile, it was discovered that if exposed to a open flame or high heat, the material would combust and explode, it is highly flammable and became undesirable taken off the market. Not to many good condition dolls left around.
My Patsy doll is strung and missing her legs, my plan is to make her a pincushion doll but I haven't found a vintage fabric I like yet.



Soon! Or maybe a set of legs will show up. C&G Design

5 comments:

tina said...

A pincushion doll would be perfect. I have a celluloid vanity set. Pretty neat but serves no purpose.

Kathleen said...

I would love to see how you make a pin-cushion doll...I have no idea, but feel this is something I would like to attempt. I also did not know that celluloid was flammable. You can get so smart by visiting your friends. Love the info! Hope your week-end is sunny...hugs, Kathleen

Skeeter said...

How interesting this is to me as I have never heard of this before! Get that baby some legs so she can be whole again. :-)

I am busy but enjoying Spring vacation and being in the garden...

Jean said...

Well if legs do not show up, I am sure it will make a great pin cushion doll.

Debbie said...

I have seen pincushion dolls on Ebay and they are adorable. That would be a great idea. Great info on celluloid. I have seen the little doll at yard sales. Speaking of which! There was one in my town today! I didn't have time to stop though...:(:(...maybe this weekend. It has begun!! Have a great day Dawn!