Monday, February 1, 2010


Barbara Annalee Davis was born in Concord New Hampshire,1915. She grew up to a young adult in the 1930's whereas she enjoyed making puppets and dolls, she crafted in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Each one of her dolls were fixed, told a story with their posture, and had their character clothing sewn to them unlike a child's dolly. Photo courtesy of Annalee: "The Magic is in the Smile".com
In 1941 Barbara Annalee Davis married Charles "Chip" Thorndike the son of a Boston physician. Together they resided in Meredith, New Hampshire and worked their chicken farm everyday. After some time chicken farming in New Hampshire became non-profitable and Barbara Annalee took back to creating dolls changing the coop into the design room. Soon every area of the farm was covered with the production of Annalee dolls, every corner of the kitchen held different aspects of her Yankee influenced, mischievous, whimsical faced dolls. Chip made the wood components, skis, poles, sleds, etc. and the wire frame that allowed each doll to be posed. The production was helped by local women some were hired to assemble in their own homes. By 1950 the dolls were in New Hampshire stores, Annalee was hired to portray living in New England in hopes to attract tourism.

In 1955 Annalee Incorporated becoming Annalee Mobilities, adding new and innovative ideas, introducing bunnies and mice. By 1960 Annalee dolls were in 40 states, Pueto Rico and Canada, and in 1964 they moved production to the "Factory in the Woods".

Annalee dolls were first published in 1965, the popularity came from the happiness each doll or set emitted. In 1983 The Annalee doll Society was founded and continued for 20 years until in 2003 it became The Annalee Doll Club, it was then retired in 2005.

Barbara Annalee Thorndike passed away at her home, the age of 87 in 2002, after a long illness.

C&G Design

Words and photos by Dawn,

C&G Design.


tina said...

Never heard of AnnaLee dolls before. Interesting.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Their faces are so beautiful. She was a wonderful artist. I love her sense of humor.

Wouldn't it be great to start a business like that and make it profitable?

Skeeter said...

I have never seen nor heard of these dolls before. Hum, very interesting post on her Dawn. They have such fun faces...

Jean said...

I am with Tina and Skeeter in I do not ever remember seeing or hearing of these dolls but I wonder why as they really are adorable.

Kathleen said...

I'm catching up here....Love the Anna Lee dolls. I have been aware of them for quite some time. I always thought their faces were wonderful. I did not not the creator had passed away. Thanks for the info on her. Wooly is just beautiful. I love a cat that loves to be loved. Those animal dolls...they are too cute. I would love to see them in different outfits....I will be interested to see what you do. Hope you are doing well, and staying warm. Why haven't we had any snow lately? Remember last year? Hugs, Kathleen

Nancy said...

I love Annalee dolls. We used to scour garage sales, etc. for them in Florida!

Great post, Dawn. One of my faves of all times.

CC said...

Oh my gosh!!!! I've never heard of her before,so thank you for the wonderful introduction to her dolls. The oh my gosh!!!! is because I love them. What sweet,adorable faces these little sweeties have,They're just adorable. Do you suppose ebay has some of these little cuties???
Thanks for your sweet comment..I haven't a clue how I want my blog header to be..since that's going to be done..yayyayyy and yippeeee, I'm thinking while she's doing that,to find out the cost of a whole blog re-do. I'm tired of looking bland and blahhhh. I will probably need some help and input from you,if you would be so kind to offer an opinion. Your blog really pops,and thats what I want mine to do as well.