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By the 20th century, the A. Schoenhut Company of Philadelphia had established itself as a successful American toy manufacturer. When Albert Schoenhut, a German immigrant with a talent for making toy pianos, opened the company in 1872, it specialized in miniature musical instruments, later expanding its inventory to include circus figures, mechanical figures, and other toys and games. In March 1911 Schoenhut unveiled the newest addition to its catalog-dolls. Schoenhut touted the All Wood Perfection Art Doll as a marvel of "American Ingenuity and Production, a Real Manikin, A fully jointed figure made entirely of wood" and claimed that the doll could outlast "fifty of any other jointed doll." In addition to durable wooden bodies, the doll, designed by Italian sculptor M. Graziano, also had "Real Character Faces" meant to resemble real children. Schoenhut's unique and patented joint system, which consisted of a series of internal steel springs held in place with metal pins, allowed a wide range of movement and poses. Convinced of the lifelike and versatile qualities of the dolls, the company encouraged customers to use them to demonstrate gym class exercises. The durable, realistic, and poseable dolls disappeared from the Schoenhut catalog in the 1920s, but remain popular among collectors today.

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  • Title: Doll:Schoenhut Girl 19/309
  • Creator: The A. Schoenhut Co.
  • Date Created: 1912-1916
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Type: Dolls from the Early Twentieth Century
  • Medium: metal, wood, paint, mohair, fabric
  • Object ID: 78.3285

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