14 Popular Dolls From 20th-Century America

Throughout human history, children have played with and cared for dolls. Miniature facsimiles of human beings have been found around the globe from all periods of history, using all kinds of materials. They range from carved wooden paddle dolls discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs to scarily realistic soft vinyl dolls programmed with artificial intelligence—and everything in between. 

The Industrial Revolution helped make playthings more widely available and affordable with mass production and cheap materials. And throughout the 20th century, ever-evolving mass media—newspaper and magazine cartoons, books, radio, film and TV—played an important symbiotic role in both generating and promoting doll characters. They also provided storytelling platforms for bringing the dolls to life.

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