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By the 1920s, financial stress forced the A. Schoenhut Company of Philadelphia to make several changes to its doll line to minimize production costs. Consequently, in 1925 Schoenhut introduced its version of Grace Storey Putnam's Bye-Lo Baby, hoping to cash in on the vast popularity of the doll. While the original Bye-Lo dolls had fragile bisque heads, Schoenhut created reproductions with more durable wooden heads. When Putnam became aware of the project, she threatened the Schoenhut Company with legal action, ultimately convincing Schoenhut to abandon its plan. Many experts believe, however, that Schoenhut did not intend to infringe on Putnam's copyrights, but rather hoped to catch the attention of Geo. Borgfeldt & Company, the manufacturer responsible for the bisque-headed Bye-Los, and sell the wooden dolls within the legal parameters. Such theories, however, involve some speculation. The exact story of the Schoenhut Bye-Lo remains a mystery, one that may prove impossible to unravel.

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  • Title: Doll:Schoenhut Bye-Lo Baby
  • Creator: The A. Schoenhut Co.
  • Date Created: ca. 1925
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Type: Dolls from the Early Twentieth Century, Baby Dolls
  • Medium: plastic, wood, cloth, glass, paint
  • Object ID: 78.3278
  • Artist: Harry E. Schoenhut | Grace Storey Putnam

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