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Object Name Doll
Date ca. 1920-1935
Description Buddy Lee advertising doll. Composition head with molded and painted facial features and brown hair. Composition body with a raised molded mark on his back: "Buddy Lee". He wears blue jeans with a "UNION MADE / Lee" label on the back; a tan cotton shirt with remnants of red embroidery; and a ribbon around his neck. He may have originally worn a hat. Overall height is 13 inches.
Acquisition Gift of Mrs. Ericcson
Ownership and History Buddy Lee figures first appeared in 1920, and they continued to be made until 1962. They were made for the H.D. Lee Mercantile Company of San Francisco, manufacturer of denim goods (Lee jeans are still produced today, as a brand of another corporation). Buddy was dressed in a different outfit each year and sent to retailers as a window display to advertise Lee clothing, and was subsequently sold as a doll. On this Buddy Lee, the underside of his shoes have marks that suggest he was originally glued to a display stand and later removed. He has a large "Lee" label on the back of his jeans.
Earliest Date 1920
Latest Date 1935
Maker H.D. Lee Mercantile Company (distributor)
Subjects Advertising
Clothing industry
Lexicon Sub-category Toy
Catalog Number T03.0434
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2012.
Legal Status Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.