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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.


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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.

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