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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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American Doll: 1936

American Doll: 1936

1936. "Mount Holyoke, Mass. Paragon Rubber Co. and American Character Doll. Building rubber doll moulds." Photo by Lewis Hine, who seems to have moved on to bigger things once he was done snapping newsies. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Body builder

Those must have been some tough dolls, to have helped him develop big muscles like that.

The precursor

to inflatables.

Ah, Shall I Say It?

He's a "leg" man! What a HUNK!

I'll take two

... dolls, of course!

Wow, what an amazing composition. This is a variation on one of Hine's most famous photos, of the powerhouse mechanic (1920). Like that one, this photo is as much a study of the human form as a snapshot of the American factory worker. I love a good juxtaposition, and this photo has it -- between the muscled upper torso of the craftsman and the doll legs he's working on. The light is also beautiful in this shot.

Humble request

This man should definitely be among the ranks of the Handsome Rakes!


Wow does he ever look like Chef Bobby Flay! Well except for those muscles. That file sure must give him a workout.


There has been criticism of the tag "Pretty Girls" used with some pictures at Shorpy. Perhaps this example is #1 for the tag "Hunks"? As @Vintagestvs says - not your picture of a toymaker.

[The tag is called Handsome Rakes. - Dave]

Big Windows

Most manufacturing plants always seemed to have a large amount of big windows to let in the light. Any NY'ers out there - think Long Island City, and it's abundance of factories and manufacturing plants.

One of the reasons (I believe) that plant owners did this was to save on electricity. I see the one light bulb hanging down. I am sure there were more but not too many.

[When most of these plants were built, electricity was not an option. - Dave]

Paragon, ACDC

When it went out of business in 1989, Paragon Rubber Co. was located at 150 Pleasant St in Easthampton, just northwest of the town of Mt. Holyoke. American Character Doll Co. (known by its multiple-meaning acronym ACDC) apparently went out of business in 1989.

Not what comes to mind

when you think of a Toymaker.

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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