Friday, March 26, 2010

Schoenhut versus Converse "Realy Truly"

This is a Keystone of Boston of the earliest dollhouses made by Keystone Mfg. Co.  The design pre-dates any of the houses in their 1938-39 toy catalog, so my guess is this house was produced about 1936. But this post is not about the dollhouse, it's about the 2 sets of doll furniture I keep switching in and out of this  little house!
Two American firms that manufactured dollhouses in the early part of the 20th century were the Schoenhut  and the Converse companies. Both firms made dollhouses for several years before they started manufacturing furniture to fill their little houses.

Here's my house filled with furniture manufactured by Schoenhut.......

Schoenhut's first dollhouses were produced in 1917, but they didn't start manufacturing dollhouse furniture until 1928. Although they  made dollhouse furniture for only 7 years, the designs of the furniture changed almost on a yearly basis. 

And here it is filled with furniture made by Converse.......

Around 1909, Converse started manufacturing dollhouses using colors lithographed directly on to  wood. Furniture for dollhouses wasn't produced until 1930 when they changed the style of their houses to one of  fiberboard and wood. The new house was called the Realy Truly dollhouse, and the furniture made for the dollhouse is referred to by collectors as Realy Truly. Only 4 rooms of furniture were produced... living, dining, bedroom, and kitchen, with the design not changing for the short period it was made. Their furniture was very similar to the Schoenhut furniture produced during the same period.

This ad for Schoenhut furniture appeared in the Sears and Roebuck catalog in 1933; not all the Schoenhut  furniture in my house is from this ad.

This ad shows the Realy Truly furniture from the 1930 Sear and Roebuck catalog. 


This Schoenhut  living and dining room furniture was made in 1931.

A library table was part of the living room set (I don't have one), but I'm not sure if smaller tables were also produced.

My dining set needs a touch of Old English scratch cover...just like in real life!

This bedroom furniture is from Schoenhut's 1934 line. The top of the mirror has the same scalloped design as the head and foot boards on the bed. Removing the frame from the dresser's mirror  was a cost cutting design on the part of Schoenhut. Underneath this yellow calico, the sofa and chair are just like the set in the living room. In fact, the set in the living room came with these cute  slip covers.  Since they were in better shape than the set now covered, I  removed all the 1/4 inch nails and recovered the set that was in poor condition (using a hot glue gun). And now I have over 30 tiny vintage nails to make other repairs to my houses!

The bath furniture is also part of the 1934 line, the last produced by Schoenhut. The vanity stool is not part of the set; it was an unfinished piece that came with other funiture.

I love the way the dollie can still see her reflection in the mirror....after 76 years.

The Schoenhut kitchen is from the line produced in 1933, with the exception of the stove which was made in 1934. I'm sure yellow chairs came with the set, I just haven't found any! These blue chairs were part of the bedroom set. The green table in the back is from their 1931 line.  The tea trolley came with the dining room furniture; as it has the same legs as the kitchen table, I assume it is from 1933-34.


Converse Realy Truly living room set came with a library table and a cute little footstool....

and a radio just like real houses had in 1930!

The dining room included two different sized buffets just like the Schoenhut line.

The bedroom set included twin beds, dresser, rocker, end table and lamp (not the one shown).

The beds were covered with paper printed to look like coverlets.

The kitchen set included 7 different pieces....table and 2 chairs, stove, refridgerator (although I'm sure in 1930 they were still "ice-boxes"), hutch, and a 2-legged sink.

Here are some comparison pictures.....

Realy Truly on the left..........Schoenhut on the right

So, I wonder which little set will win out and get to live in my little house?

All of the information on these sets of Schoenhut and Converse doll furniture comes from one or more of Dian Zillner's wonderful dollhouse books.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Leaving...on a jet plane

Rigoberta is so excited about the trip she and her hubby Felipe are taking to a sweet little time-share cottage in Illinois. She has all of her suitcases out and is busy trying to decide what to take with her. Isn't that always the problem? Oops, must leave a little room for Felipe!

Their good neighbor, Gund Slinger, volunteered to take them to the airport. Gund is thinking... that's a lot of suitcases!  Rigoberta is wishing Gund would keep his eyes on the road in front of him.  Felipe is wishing the windshield were higher because he is getting a lot of bugs in his teeth.

"Felipe!  Get a trolley to carry these bags. Why did you bring your lunch box? Don't you know they will serve  food on the plane?" says Rigoberta.
"Oh, Honeybun, I filled my lunchbox with Ding-Dongs just in case they don't have them in  Illinois!"
"Oh, Felipe, what to do with you! I bet that was Consuela's idea."

"PUSH! Felipe. PUSH!  I think I'm stuck!"

OH!  IT'S A FUN JET VACATION!!      T--A--K--E--O--F--F   !!!

        to be continued again.....but where?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A little time to share with Felipe...

It's a nice Spring morning at Villa Hogarin. Little Rocio came early to see her Abuelita Rigoberta and Abuelito Felipe because Consuela promised to make her famous Spanish pancakes for Rocio.  Yum yum yum!  Breakfast finished, Consuela is cleaning up the breakfast dishes.

Abuelito Felipe is out on the steps enjoying his third cup of coffee while he pets El Gato and listens to the bluebird sing. Oh, how he enjoys the first days of springtime...he could sit here forever.   El Gato is listening to the bluebird sing also...and wishes abuelito would hurry and finish the coffee and go inside so he could try to catch that fat little bird.

Oh, look, Consuela is really busy today!  Such a good helper for abuelita!  She likes to work in high - heeled shoes because Felipe tells her how shapely her legs are when she wears heels. Tee-hee!

Is that abuelita in the background reading a book to little Rocio?  But isn't it time for her favorite TV show, Pick your Destination! on The Travel Channel?

Yes, abuelita is sneaking peeks at different travel spots while she reads to little Rocio. Oh,  where would she like to go this spring...and take Felipe of course!
"Oh, do you see that, Rocio? A time-share in a nice little village in the rolling hills of Illinois, with sweet little shops and walks through the countryside. Deer hunting!  No, not for me!   I wonder if they have a romantic little restaurant with a nice combo for dancing? Look at the time-share, Rocio.   What a lovely place...with a fireplace and a little kitchenette...just perfect for abuelito and abuelita!"
"Abuelita, you're not R-E-A-D-I-N-G !!" says little Rocio (who evidently wants to grow up to be a movie star just like Sharon Stone).
"Shh! Rocio, what was that number?  Let me write it down.  1-800-Got-Dolls....and ask for Millie."

"Hello, Millie? This is Rigoberta Hogarin.  I would like  to make a reservation.....

                                                                          to be continued......

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A day for all Flaggs!

HOWDY!! My name is Melvin Flagg. I'm a cowboy and I ride 'n rope in Texas.

My hostess juss been showin' me a pikshur of a real cute li'l filly livin' up in Canada (they have us cowboys there too). Not too sure, but my hostess might be tryin' to git me to move on. Last munth it were this purty little gal name of Christine that lives way over in Germany with Mz Puppilottchen.... but, heck, I cudn't ride my best friend Buckshot all the way over to Ger-man-y! Gol-ly!

Anyways, this purty li'l filly an her yungun Patsy be in computishun to get to live in a really big hacienda.... plenty room for a REAL man there, too. Purty li'l Mrs. Flagg might be needin' a man to take care of her and that big ole house, know what I mean?

So friend, what I'm a askin' you to do is to go on over to Susan's Mini Homes and cast yur vote for that cute li'l Mrs. Flagg to git to live in that big ole house of Susan's. Ifen she wins, I just might pack my saddle bags, jump on ole Buckshot and mosey on up north to check them fillys out! I do thank ya, pardner, I do thank ya very much!

Hey! Did ya see my girl cusin at Smallstuff's place? She's English. Wernt she all gussied up and lookin' purty in her maid outfit? Must work fer some big im-por-tant Duke or sumthin'. Good looks do run in our family, don't it?

Gol-ly, now I jus seen my fancy cusins, Cal and Bob Flagg, livin it up at Amy's! Oooh boy, all them weapuns! Heavy duty stuff! Never could lern them boys anythang 'bout shootin'. And drinkin licker! Sum un better warn Miss Amy before thay cause big trouble! Can ya hear me Miss Amy? WATCH OUT for them boys when they be drinkin that licker!

Don't ferget to go vote, pardner!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Just like mommy has!

Rebecca has the neatest way of passing on awards! Recently she passed on the Sunshine award to other bloggers by selecting a "sunny" or flower picture from The Australian Home Beautiful book that showcases Australian design for the last 80 years.

This is the picture she selected for me....a sunny yellow 1930s bathroom! It looked very familiar to me, so I looked in my little houses....

and found this bath set! This set was made by Strombecker Manufacturing Company and first featured in their catalog in 1936. Hmnn, picture that in your bath!
A lot of American dollhouse furniture from the 1930 era is brightly painted; I also have a lavender bath set that is part of the Happy Hour series made by Jaymar. I've wondered if the bright colors were a marketing ploy to attract the attention of little girls wanting dollhouse furniture. Rebecca's picture shows that at least some of the dollhouse furniture was true to the dollhouse advertising of "just like mommy has".
Thanks, Rebecca! I enjoyed every one of your personally selected design pictures!