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Rag Doll Kit

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Continued from product description on Historical Doll Kits' Page Four...

Historical Background: The rag doll is, by far, the most popular and most well known of all American folk dolls. A soft, cuddly rag doll was very often a child's first toy. The term "rag doll" actually describes almost any stuffed, cotton-cloth doll made from scraps of fabrics. Rag dolls have been made for centuries in many parts of the world and all of them are different. Dolls were usually stuffed with the least appealing fabric scraps and the best scraps were used for the doll's body and clothes. If there was hair, it was usually made of yarn or string. The doll's face was either embroidered, painted or left plain.

Most early rag dolls have not survived due to the disintegration of the fabric over the years. The oldest surviving rag doll in North America is considered to be a doll named Bangwell Putt. This doll was made by a relative for Clarissa Field of Northfield, Massachusetts, around 1770. It is now located at the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield, Massachusetts. This doll is 15-1/4 inches tall, features distinctly sewn fingers and is dressed in 18th-century fashion, including a corset!

During the early years in Colonial America, children were hurried into adulthood, which left little time for play. By the 1780s, children were encouraged to play with gender-related toys. Thus, playing with dolls was encouraged for little girls. Girls could dress the doll, care for it as a mother would, and even learn to make clothes for it as they learned to sew.

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Rag Doll Kit
Rag Doll Kit
Item Number 4715

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