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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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Playing Dolls: 1959

Playing Dolls: 1959

Every little girl is given dolls to play with. I was as car-crazy at age five as I am now. I would have loved to play with toy cars. But I was not given any, even when I asked for them. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t like playing with dolls too.

I named this doll “Sunrise Tomato Juice.” It was given to me by Mrs. Betty Shaeffer, who lived next door in the year 1959. The Shaeffers had no children so she delighted in visits from me. And I loved going over to her house where I played with her dog, cat, and copied things she did. She put on hand cream (my mother didn’t do that). She had a silk comforter on her bed. I made my mother buy me a comforter just like it, though my mother bought me nylon, not silk. She also saved the bright red boxes she got at a store called The Hitching Post, which was in the Levittown Shoparama, to give to me. (My mother did not like Hitching Post. She said it was overpriced).

Exactly what concept I had, piling up all those phone books, Sears catalogs, and papers for the doll to sit on top of, I can not fathom, now that I am an adult, any more than I can understand why I gave the doll such a stupid name.

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Phonebook pile

You cannot fathom why you piled up all those phonebooks and catalogs for the doll to sit on? It seems apparent from the photograph: to make a highchair for the doll to sit at the coffee table.

SHORPY OLD 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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