Madame Beatrice Alexander Behrman came by her love of dolls naturally – her Russian-immigrant father opened the first doll hospital in America! To help make ends meet, she and her sisters created and sold cloth dolls based on World War 1 Red Cross nurses, and from there, she created the Alexander Doll Company in 1928.
In the years that followed, Madame Alexander made doll history many times over. Among her accomplishments: creating the first dolls based on licensed characters, First Ladies and living people; inventing the “sleep eyes” mechanism that make dolls’ eyes close; making the first-ever line of patriotic dolls; using hard plastic in doll manufacturing; and creating the first full-figured heel-wearing fashion doll (several years before Barbie hit the market!).
Beatrice Alexander passed away in 1990, but her company lives on, and her dolls are still delighting young and old alike. Among the fans are such well-known collectors as Oprah Winfrey, Barbra Streisand, Tori Spelling and Britney Spears.
In honor of Madame Alexander’s 90th anniversary, here are some of the company’s most popular creations based on books and movies. Do you have any of them in your collection?
To learn more about Madame Alexander, visit the official website.
[Photos: courtesy Madame Alexander/Sally Fischer PR]