Effanbee Dolls

Effanbee Dolls

Little Lady, from the Cause A Frockus collection

Vintage dolls are known for their tremendous details – capturing every aspect of feminine charm, down to the stockings and fingernail color! Perhaps no other firm conveyed this beauty better than the American brand: Effanbee Dolls. Effanbee Dolls started uniting little girls with their miniature best friends in 1912 and the company continues to enjoy great success to this day.

Effanbee Dolls

The firm, established by Bernard Fleischaker and Hugo Baum (The F and B in Effanbee), is perhaps best known for the Patsy doll. Patsy, originally called Mimi, was designed by Bernard Lipfert and she debuted in 1928. She holds a lot of firsts: one of the first dolls to have her own manufactured wardrobe with accessories, a special neck joint that allowed her to stand independently, her own newspaper (“The Patsytown News” which had an estimated audience of almost a million kids), and a line of friends (including a boyfriend named Skippy). With her bold, red hair cut into a fashionable bob, Patsy was the toast of the doll collecting town. She was available in a range of sizes from 5.75 inches (the “wee Patsy”) to twenty nine inches, fitting with the sizes of other dolls in the collection. Most Effanbee Dolls have a golden charm bracelet around their wrist, but Patsy also received a tag with her name on it.

Effanbee Dolls

Effanbee charm bracelet

The war years were difficult for the firm, with the death of Hugo Baum in 1940 and the ongoing struggles of World War II. In 1946 the company was sold to Noma Electric and a 17″ Patsy was reissued. The company continued to change hands, but Patsy returned to the collecting community during most transitions. During her more recent evolution, Patsy was recreated in vinyl that was painted to look vintage.

As a collector it is important to understand what manner of materials you may encounter. Due to the company’s extensive history, Effanbee Dolls have been made out of composition, rubber, vinyl, and hard plastic. You may be wondering what a composition doll is exactly composed of. It is the mixture of different binding materials: sawdust, glue, resin, or corn starch. This technique was first used in the 19th century as manufacturers and consumers looked for a more sturdy solution. Effanbee Dolls were a treasured friend for many generations and will be for generations to come. Whether it be a Little Lady or a Patsy, they are a joy to collect (and play with!).

Cause A Frockus would like to thank their tremendous resources: Effanbee Dolls, Collect Dolls, Doll Reference, and Wikipedia.

For our readers: Do you collect Effanbee Dolls? If so, which lady or lad is your favorite? Any tips on preserving dolls or their vintage clothes? Share with our community in the comments!

Replies for “Effanbee Dolls

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments will be subject to approval by a moderator. Comments may fail to be approved or may be edited if the moderator deems that they:

  • contain unsolicited advertisements ("spam")
  • are unrelated to the subject matter of the post or of subsequent approved comments
  • contain personal attacks or abusive/gratuitously offensive language