Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood, 1830-1930

Made to Play House: Dolls and the Commercialization of American Girlhood, 1830-1930

by Miriam Formanek-Brunell
     
 

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In Made to Play House, Miriam Formanek-Brunell traces the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century dolls and explores the origins of the American toy industry's remarkably successful efforts to promote self fulfillment through maternity and materialism. She tells the fascinating story of how inventors, producers, entrepreneurs—many of whom were

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Overview

In Made to Play House, Miriam Formanek-Brunell traces the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century dolls and explores the origins of the American toy industry's remarkably successful efforts to promote self fulfillment through maternity and materialism. She tells the fascinating story of how inventors, producers, entrepreneurs—many of whom were women—and little girls themselves created dolls which expressed various notions of female identity.

Editorial Reviews

Molly Ladd-Taylor
Formanek-Brunell's study of the United States doll industry provides a fresh perspective on the construction of gender in America. —Journal of American History
Booknews
Drawing on a wide variety of contemporary sources--including popular magazines, advertising, autobiographies, juvenile literature, patents, photographs, and the dolls themselves--Formanek-Brunell traces the history of the American doll industry back to its beginnings, showing how dolls and doll play changed over time, and drawing out the gender implications. Includes 56 b&w illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
American Historical Review

The book makes a solid contribution to the literature on childhood as well as business history and... illustrates the use that can be made of material culture in historical research.

— Sylvia Hoffert,

Journal of American History
Provides a fresh perspective on the construction of gender in America..a pioneering book of interest to collectors, historians of women and of consumer culture, and anyone who has a child who plays with dolls.

— Molly Ladd-Taylor

Technology and Culture
Formanek-Brunell effectively challenges the popular assumption that dolls are representation of patriarchal culture and that girls are passive consumers of that culture.

— Lisa A. Marovich

Business History Review

Much of the value of Made to Play House is its deft weaving of business history, cultural history, and material culture studies into a coherent, largely convincing, narrative... The vivid portraits of the female entrepreneurs with an agenda for childhood are the book's most significant contribution to the literature of history and business.

— Mary Lynn Stevens Heininger

Nation

This superb interdisciplinary history deploys mechanical patents and material culture to chart the development of a gendered American doll industry.

— Eileen Boris

American Historical Review
The book makes a solid contribution to the literature on childhood as well as business history and... illustrates the use that can be made of material culture in historical research.

— Sylvia Hoffert

Nation
This superb interdisciplinary history deploys mechanical patents and material culture to chart the development of a gendered American doll industry.

— Eileen Boris

Business History Review
Much of the value of Made to Play House is its deft weaving of business history, cultural history, and material culture studies into a coherent, largely convincing, narrative... The vivid portraits of the female entrepreneurs with an agenda for childhood are the book's most significant contribution to the literature of history and business.

— Mary Lynn Stevens Heininger

Journal of American History - Molly Ladd-Taylor

Provides a fresh perspective on the construction of gender in America..a pioneering book of interest to collectors, historians of women and of consumer culture, and anyone who has a child who plays with dolls.

Technology and Culture - Lisa A. Marovich

Formanek-Brunell effectively challenges the popular assumption that dolls are representation of patriarchal culture and that girls are passive consumers of that culture.

Business History Review - Mary Lynn Stevens Heininger

Much of the value of Made to Play House is its deft weaving of business history, cultural history, and material culture studies into a coherent, largely convincing, narrative... The vivid portraits of the female entrepreneurs with an agenda for childhood are the book's most significant contribution to the literature of history and business.

Nation - Eileen Boris

This superb interdisciplinary history deploys mechanical patents and material culture to chart the development of a gendered American doll industry.

American Historical Review - Sylvia Hoffert

The book makes a solid contribution to the literature on childhood as well as business history and... illustrates the use that can be made of material culture in historical research.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300207583
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
01/31/2014
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Miriam Formanek-Brunell is associate professor of history and director of women's and gender studies at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

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