What a perky little face with a secretive smile--a smile A&M drew from quite often. According to 'Coleman's Encyclopedia Of Dolls', volume one, this particular head was made in 1912 by A&M for Butler Brothers, and it was placed on all sorts of bodies. I was bowled over by the multitude of different 'Baby Insert-your-favorite-name's there were at this time. Almost all of these heads were made by A&M for dozens of doll and toy companies.
An astute shopper pointed out I didn't put in her height. Betty is 14" tall.
So, how did this little girl come to be, and why is she on this very crude body? It IS her body. The metal hook in her head, connecting to the body, has been there a very long time. The Coleman's notes said the 'Baby Betty' heads were made by A&M and various doll/toy companies put them on their own bodies. Any bodies. Composition ball jointed or kid, or this one--a very crude compo limbed body. Her head has no damage and her eyes sleep. But I have her head packed. to hold the lead weight. Her pate is new.
Was she a premium for selling something? A carnival prize? Perhaps a doll bought at a matinee? (Oh yeah... I know what you're thinking. "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane".) They did sell little dolls in nice enough dresses with nice enough heads at various venues. If she'd been sold in a department store, I think she'd have had a more sturdy body. Vaudeville theaters and moving picture houses were a big deal to attend. These entertainments were often accompanied by merchandise for purchase during intermission or after the film. Was our Baby Betty purchased like that? Was there a film star named 'Baby Betty'? I know 'Baby Peggy' and Baby LeRoy' and there were a dozen other 'Baby' Whatsits in the teens and 20s. Boat rides, zoos, fairs... so many ways our little Baby Betty could have been purchased for some eager little girl.
This Baby Betty is as silent as the films being made in her time. No subtitles. Her sweet dress with bretelle, and her wig and bonnet, are all antique and may be hers. I love them. Her undies are also old, but they are not original. I doubt the shoes and socks are original, either, but they are vintage and very nice.
She would be a sweet presence in a doll cabinet. She has been in mine for years. Thank you for checking in. Ask any questions, and please study the photos. Postage is estimated at a California rate--the most expensive--because I always underestimate myself. Non-California residents will see less expensive postal rates.
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