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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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American Girl: 1920

American Girl: 1920

"Miss Smith and Dolls." Emily Smith (1901-1980), daughter of New York Gov. Al Smith, circa 1919-21. View full size. George Grantham Bain Collection.

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Miss Smith and Dolls

Miss Smith turns out to be Emily Smith (1901-1980), daughter of four-time New York governor Al Smith. Below, Emily in 1924. The doll photo was made around 1920.


This is a little offbeat, but I LOVE that bench the dolls to the left are sitting on.

The "wedding ring"

The "wedding ring" is yarn.

[Something tells me you're looking at the wrong hand. Explanatory illustration from our Graphics Department below. - Dave]

Looks to me like somebody

Looks to me like somebody had money to have that many dolls back then.

Miss Smith could pass for a

Miss Smith could pass for a doll with a curly wig and a crochet hat and shawl.

I have to agree that the photo is a little creepy though...

Knitting needles - or personal safety devices?

Miss Smith can defend herself with those knitting needles, should any of her doll "friends" get out of line!

Doll House

Everything about this picture is CREEPY.

The doll

It's a circus costume. Ringmaster or lion tamer maybe? Pierrot style, like the clown at far left. Miss Smith looks like she could be 20. She seems to have a wedding ring.

pant suit

The doll in the pant suit is a boudoir doll, popular among flappers in the 20s and 30s. It was designed for women, not children.

A pants suit in 1915?

Doesn't it seem odd that the doll closest to Miss Smith, sitting on the bench to her right, is wearing what appears to be a colorful pants suit? Is it supposed to be a male doll with long hair, or maybe a foreign doll? I was under the impression that as close to pants as a female would come in that time period was maybe puffy bloomers for the most daring, but I'm no expert.

The dolls eyes

Ok cute picture, cute kid, nice room, BUT look at that dolls eyes, curly hair with bow, standing on the bench, eyes to the side, has murder on her mind!!!!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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