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Object Name Doll
Date ca. 1925-1930
Description Bye-Lo baby doll. Bisque porcelain head and body, with molded and painted facial features. Body is jointed at the hips and shoulders. The doll wears a plain white cotton dress with chemise and pantalettes and matching cap and peach crocheted sweater. Printed round green paper label on doll's stomach: "BYE-LO BABY / [copyright symbol] / GERMANY / G.S. PUTNAM". Impressed mark on doll's back: "20 - 20". Overall height is 8.5 inches.
Acquisition Estate of Lois Ohning
Ownership and History The Bye-Lo baby doll was popularly known as the "million dollar baby" because of its immense popularity. It was designed by an American artist named Grace Storey Putnam, who patented the doll design in 1922, and it was said to have been modeled from a 3-day-old infant. This example was most likely made in Germany by J.D. Kestner Company, a noted doll manufacturer that began producing all-bisque Bye-Lo babies around 1925. Other versions of Bye-Lo babies were produced by other European manufacturers in materials that included wood, celluloid, wax, and composition.

This doll was owned by Lois Ohning (1923-1999) of Staten Island, New York, who probably played with this as a young girl. The doll appears to be wearing her original clothing.
Earliest Date 1925.0
Latest Date 1930.0
Maker Kestner, J.D.
Subjects Dolls
Lexicon Sub-category Toy
Associated People Ohning, Lois
Catalog Number 00.006.0002
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.