Monday, March 12, 2007

Those Oh So Fashionable Ginny Dolls

In the beginning, Jennie Graves called her little Massachusetts shop YE OLDE VOGUE DOLL SHOP. She started out as a doll clothes designer, but when she discovered dolls in department store windows wearing the clothes she had designed and carrying hefty sales prices, she decided to do something about it.

In 1951, she created the Ginny doll, named after her daughter Virginia. The first one had painted eyes and a mohair wig. A “Vogue Doll” inscription marked the back of her head, and she sported a ‘Hi! I’m Ginny” wrist tag.

By the mid 50s, Ginny was so popular that one in four little girls living in the United States had one.

By then, the tiny doll shop had grown into VOGUE DOLLS. Mrs. Graves used over 100 home sewers to make Ginny’s outfits, paying them by the piece. Cut out clothing articles with snaps, hooks, and eyes already assembled were sent out in boxes to the sewers, who used treadle machines to make Ginny’s beautiful wardrobes.

Not every eight inch plastic doll from the 1950s is a Ginny. She had many copies. The real Ginny must say “Ginny” or “Vogue” someplace on her body.

Ginny is featured in my next Dolls To Die For mystery, when Gretchen Birch bids on a box of originals and gets more than she bargained for. Go to my home page for a sneak peak at the cover of Goodbye Dolly, coming in September, and tell me what you think.
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1 comment:

caryn said...

I had 2 Ginny dolls when I was growing up, but then they passed to my niece and they are no more. I wish I would have saved them. My daughter has an American Girl doll. They are the same idea only larger dolls-lots of outfits, lots of accessories, wonderful.