Paper dolls were fun for mid-century girls. As a kid growing up in the sixties, I remember the thrill of getting a book of paper dolls. They were sold on thick glossy cardstock with perforations that allowed you to push out the shape of the doll and her clothes to be mixed and matched.
Any 6 year old girl knows that the best thing about having a doll is dressing her. This is true for flat dolls and 3 dimensional dolls as well. McCall’s magazine agreed. They published their Betsy McCalls series for decades and eventually sold Betsy McCall dolls that could be loved and dressed and purchased in the store. A Betsy McCall page could be found in each issue. I have two December issues of McCall’s magazine showing Betsy McCall on Christmas morning. One from 1951 and one 12 years later from 1963. Each page included a few paragraphs to tell how Betsy enjoyed Christmas morning.
The Betsy McCall page served double duty. It was also an excuse to sell stuff. Here’s a write up from the 1963 issue to tell the reader where they can buy Betsy’s nighties.
One more sweet thing found in small print is instruction telling how to get more Betsy McCall paper dolls. Here’s what the 1951 issue said.
I’m not sure what “10 cents in stamps” is referring to. However, the 1963 edition tells the reader to send coin and not stamps. Note the difference in the address. Apparently a box number and zip code was not necessary in 1951.
Here’s to kids, the anticipation on Christmas Eve, and the thrill on Christmas morning.
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