Mechanical doll:Bebe Jumeau Phonographe


The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

Precursors to the Chatty Cathy dolls of the 1950s, talking dolls got their start in the 19th century. Not long after Thomas Edison first presented his phonograph doll in 1890, renowned French doll-maker mile Jumeau created his own version, B??��b??�� Jumeau Phonographe. This elegant, bisque-headed doll from 1895 has a phonograph that plays small celluloid cylinders with recordings of nursery rhymes and other lyrics; French, Spanish, and English translations were available. When wound and turned on with a plunger device, the clockwork mechanism on her back made the phonograph play. Quite an innovation, phonograph dolls had a special room at the 1900 Paris Exhibition where girls could record songs, recitations, and even crying on the cylinders. Progress came fast, and by the end of World War I, American companies dominated the phonograph doll market. These talking dolls became far less of a novelty when the radio and gramophone came into widespread use.

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  • Title: Mechanical doll:Bebe Jumeau Phonographe
  • Creator: Jumeau
  • Date Created: 1895, 1895
  • Location: France, France
  • Type: Talking and Walking Dolls, Talking and Walking Dolls
  • Medium: metal, composition, bisque
  • Object ID: 77.671, 77.671

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