Friday, March 11, 2016

A mail order bride for Harry, Part 3

We first met Harry Castleton in 2011 when he asked me to find a nice companion for him.  A mail order bride for Harry tells that story. Harry next decided he needed a set of wheels so he and his new bride wouldn't have to ride the bus or metro rail.  You can read about his excursion to Smitty's Used Cars at Harry buys a used car

Harry needed some repairs made to his home before his bride arrived, so he made arrangements with the dollhouse lady to do that. Alas, it has taken the dollhouse lady over 3 years to make the repairs. But now Sophie has arrived and we can continue with the story!

Back from their honeymoon, Harry helps Sophie out of their car... 

and carries her across the threshold. 
"Whoops! I didn't mean to bump your head Sophie!"

Showing Sophie around their home, Harry first shows her his most prized possession...musicians on barrels...that he inherited from his father. 
Actually he didn't inherit them. 
Each of his 4 brothers also wanted them, so they played a game of
 mumblety-peg to see who would claim them. Harry won and was no worse for wear.  

Next he shows Sophie his mother's silver tea service.
He and his brothers drew straws to see who would claim it.
This time drawing the short straw was lucky for Harry!


"How do you like our nice large kitchen, Sophie?" asks Harry. 
"I bet you will be making us some great meals!"

"Of course I will, Harry. Will you teach me how to cook?"

"Hmmn, twin beds," Sophie  thinks to herself. "Harry is a wise man."

"Beryl, my sister-in-law, suggested you might like your own desk
 for correspondence," says Harry.

"And I picked out this vanity just for you, to help you keep yourself beautiful."
"Hmmn, not always a wise man," thinks Sophie.


"We have a nice supply of linens," Harry says, 

"and a bath large enough for two!"

"I think not," thinks Sophie.

That very evening Harry introduces Sophie to his family....four brothers!
Hollis and Beryl were the first to arrive,  

followed by Hugh and Lesley.


Hedley introduces himself and his wife Noreen to Sophie.

"Oh, poor Sophie!" laments Noreen.
 "I bet you didn't expect to see something like this on the mantel."

"Wonder where that youngster Huntley is," asks Hollis as the doorbell rings.
 "He's always the last to show up. Wonder if he is bringing a date?"

"Hello, guys! This is one of my students, Fern," says Huntley.

As the evening ends and Huntley and Fern are the last to leave,
we notice the mantel is bare and Huntley is carrying a familiar object in his arms.

Oh, Sophie, no you didn't!!

"I thought my mom's favorite figurines would look nice on the mantel," says Sophie.  "I hope you don't mind."

Harry and Sophie live in a Keystone of Boston southern mansion #1255 that appeared in the Keystone catalog of 1942-43.

This was one of their "top of the line" 4 room models...with stairs, fireplace transformer for interior lighting, plywood floors, painted carpets, canopy shades on windows, 
built in kitchen cabinets and lovely stenciled wallpaper.  

Several models of this particular design were produced.

This shows the 6 room model with the stairs in the lower middle room....and no painted rugs or fancy wallpaper.

And a delightful picture of a happy little girl who received this dollhouse for Christmas...

 and a smaller version of the same model, 
with 4 rooms, was also produced.

I have furnished this house with the smaller dollhouse furniture made by Menasha Woodenware Corporation of Menasha, Wisconsin. The company, founded in 1849, originally made barrels, pails and other utilitarian wood products and only made dollhouse furniture for several years during the 1930s to see them through the great depression.

The furniture was made in 2 different sizes...a traditional 1":1' scale and a slightly larger size that could be considered 1.5":1' scale.  The larger furniture was marketed under the Tyke Toys trade name. Examples of the smaller Menasha furniture can be found on pages 135-36 of Antique and Collectible Dollhouses and their Furnishing by Dian Zillner and Patty Cooper. There is an excellent article on the Menasha Tyke Toys furniture in Zillner's International Dollhouses and Accessories 1880 to 1980 on pages 79-80.

The Menasha Woodenware bedroom....
the folding screen and lamps are not Menasha products.

The bath made by Menasha in the smaller series.
My friend George has a Menasha bathtub with a "tile" surround similar to the one made by Strombecker circa 1950.

The dining table has 2 centered legs for support....just like designs of real furniture in the early 1930s. Strombecker also used that design in their furniture of the same period.

Tall legs and with a modern vibe, 
the chair and sofa were flocked.

The hutch is probably my favorite piece of Menasha furniture.
I don't have a refrigerator, but George does one was definitely made!

The piano and bench.
Sophie couldn't find room for it in her new home..
so maybe they will be moving soon?

The unique design of the turned legs helps to identify Menasha furniture.

The kitchen cabinet was a built-in provided by Keystone.

If you have read many of my posts,
you have probably realized that Caho/Caco dolls are my favorite. 

Beryl, in navy, is from the early 1930s; 
Sophie, Lesley and Noreen are from the period
right after World War II; 
and Fern, with plastic hands and feet, is from 1970.
The most complete information on Caco dolls can be found
on the diePuppenstubensammlerin website.

 Ah, the Castleton brothers!
Harry, Hugh, Hedley, Huntley and Hollis are Caho dolls from the late 1930s.

And here ends my story of the mail order bride.

But....there are 4 more brothers who live in the Village....


After I posted this silly story, guess what I found on Ebay....

a Menasha bathtub with tile surround! 
And Patty reminded me that I had a Menasha scale! 
Now I am looking for a fridge...