In the late 1800s, Ella Gauntt Smith of Roanoke, AL, made cloth dolls for her family, but when others asked for one of her creations, she developed a small cottage industry to produce the dolls commercially. She made mold-pressed, hand-stitched, oil-painted dolls sturdy enough for enthusiastic doll play and for washing when the doll play became not just robust but dirty. Calling her products Alabama Indestructible Dolls, Smith marketed them as alternatives to the fragile china and bisque dolls of Europe. Smith produced her dolls from about 1897 to 1932.

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  • Title: Doll:Alabama Indestructible Doll
  • Creator: Ella Smith
  • Date Created: 1904-1924
  • Location: Roanoke, AL
  • Type: Cloth and Rag Dolls, Dolls from the Early Twentieth Century
  • Medium: cloth, paint
  • Object ID: 79.9784
  • Artist: Ella Smith