Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Art of Giving in a Keystone of Boston double Put-A-Way dollhouse

This is Keystone of Boston's largest dollhouse in their "Put-A-Way" series. 
Rooms on either side pivot/fold into adjoining rooms 
to give a smaller footprint in a child's room.

The extra rooms house a kitchen and a small garage 
with a patio on the front side of the house.

I found this sweet little Strombecker kitchen table and chair set on Ebay
 and liked the way the seller had folded the corners of the tablecloth
 and also made seat pads for the chairs. 
The seller had listed all of the kitchen appliances along with the table set. 
It was a great buy and I couldn't pass it up. 

Then I noticed she was also selling other full rooms of furniture....
and since making bed covers is not a particular thing I like to do, 
I added two bedroom sets to my purchase!

The "Art of Giving" came when I received my purchase...
and I was the recipient of the art of giving. 

"The art of giving is simply defined as giving from the heart 
without any expection of something in return."

When I opened my package I found not only the kitchen set 
and the two bedroom sets, this kind lady had included 
the living room set, the dining room set AND the family 
that had lived with her furniture in her dollhouse. 
I count this "art of giving"  as one of the nicest things 
that has happened to me in all my years. 
I have made a point to play it forward 
and also have kept the furniture and family together.

This larger double "Put-A-Way" has the same interior design
 as the single "Put-A-Way" in my last post. 

The furniture in this house is Strombecker 
from different years of production.

Most of this Strombecker living room furniture 
came from the later years of production.

The fancy lawnmower is marked Commenwealth Plastics.
The ladder is a Marx product. The metal garage door opens.

This rattan patio set is not marked for maker, 
but is the perfect size for these smaller Caco dolls.

The yellow gingham bedding is perfect for 
this yellow and white stripped room. 

A small bathroom, but still large enough for all fixtures needed.

The children's room is cozy in pink and blue.

Two lucky little girls with their private patio for playing. 
(Acme bouncing horse, Renwal swing and Ideal chaise.) 

All of the furniture in this dollhouse is part of the ¾" scale Strombecker production. 
When I started researching the furniture, I came up with some surprises. 

 This style kitchen chair was first produced in 1947. 
In 1958, the appliances were sold in the set shown below, 
and the stove and sink are trimmed down versions of a set made in 1947. 
The earlier set had shelves at the end of the two cabinet bases. 
The table is a newer model with tapered legs, and the recycled chairs are from 1947.

The dining room set of buffet, server and table and chairs was introduced in 1942. 
The buffet has one opening drawer. The tea cart is from the 1960 dining room set.

The "davenport", chair, radio and walnut side tables were first seen 
in a Strombecker catalog of 1942. The TV was introduced in 1958. 
The grandfather clock was first seen in 1934, but since the salmon color 
was popular in Strombecker's 1938 line, this clock was most likely produced then. 
The black base floor lamps were first produced in 1935. 
No documentation has been found for Strombecker production between 1952-55, 
but the turquoise waterfall coffee table and end tables are shown in the 1956 catalog. 

All of the these bedroom pieces show signs of having been pink at one time. 
With the exception of the yellow base lamps, it is the same
 as in the set shown below produced in 1958. This style dresser 
was seen in a Montgomery Ward catalog as early as 1941,
 the same year the yellow lamps were introduced.

Here is the same dresser (missing the mirror), bedside table and opening bedroom chest all introduced in 1941-42. The silver lamp/ green shade is from 1935; the blue lamp is a repainted Nancy Forbes.

The early 1940s headboards have been found with small variations, all with a slight bump in the middle. The beds found in the boxed sets have a flattened bump like the one on the far left. The more rounded headboards were made in two different heights. The beds in my set are like the one on the far right. 

The toilet and sink are models from 1942. The 1947 tub has been recycled without the blue tiled walls, and the yellow hamper is from 1949. This style bath heater was first introduced in 1935, but was first seen in this color combination, gold with a red heating element, sold in the 1" scale bathroom set in 1955. The turquoise bath stool was introduced in 1958 and is often misidentified as a lantern.

Here is the little family of Caco dolls that came with the furniture 
and live in my Keystone double Put-A-Way. 
The mother, father and baby are smaller scale dolls 
while the older daughter is larger scale. 
Information about Caco dolls can be  found at

All the information and the many pictures shared are from  
The Complete Guide to StromBecker Dollhouses & Furniture,  1931-1961.
Patty Cooper and George Mundorf collaborated on this wonderful reference book 
on the production of this vintage Strombecker dollhouse furniture.
If you are a big fan of Strombecker dollhouse furniture, 
you should consider adding this book to your library.  
It is available on

Monday, May 6, 2024

Moving on up to the a Keystone single Put-A-Way


The Vlags put their Rich Toys house up for sale 
before moving on up to the Westside...
(of the dollhouse village....OK one of the 3 dollhouse villages in my house.)  
You can read about the Vlags Rich Toys home  here.

Here is Roberta Vlag taking one last thing 
from their home before the movers arrive. 
She is excited about her new home
 and wants to show it to you.

This is Keystone of Boston's single "Put-A-Way" dollhouse.
One room pivots into the base of the house, 
plus the roof is removable for easier play. 
This dollhouse has six rooms on two floors 
and is furnished with lovely Canadian Reliable dollhouse furniture.

This larger Put-A-Way design 
has one extension that houses the kitchen. 
 Extra features are found in this house that
 make the house appealing to little girls...and their moms. 

Reliable's cream and blue kitchen set goes great 
in Roberta's new blue and white kitchen. 

 Extra features found in the kitchen are 
a cabinet under the window and 
a partition over the window indicating cabinets. 

In maroon and white, the dining room  is just
 the right size for Roberta's 9 piece dining room set. 

An extra feature in the dining room is the coved bookshelf
with a cabinet below and doors that open for storage. 

The living room opens to the left of the front door and is spacious enough for the furniture brought from the Vlag's former home. The lovely carpets and window curtains accompanied this dollhouse from the former owner.

An extra feature in the living room 
is the staircase to the second floor. 

Above the kitchen is the patio 
were Roberta and Robert relax and the children play.

Robin and Robby share a bedroom just like they did in their Rich Toys home. 
Mom brought the pictures from their room to hang in their new house.


 The bathroom is found between the two bedrooms.
 Roberta is a bit disappointed  
that it is so much smaller than in their previous home. 
But she is pleased they now have a staircase to get to the upper floor.

Did you guess what was behind the door? 
Yes, that's where the staircase ends....
and that is the original shower curtain.

Reliable's bedroom furniture is ornate and lovely
 and fits nicely in their blue and white bedroom. 

 I see Roberta has already hung her favorite sign over the sink.

Roberta and Robby are playing in their room. 
Robby is riding their "ole yaller" bronco 
and Roberta is waiting patiently for her turn.

Robby is still riding.

Roberta is still waiting patiently. 

 Roberta has decided to play with her dollhouse 
while Robby continues to ride their "ole yaller" bronco.

Now Roberta is on the patio riding their tricycle....except
 her feet don't reach the petals so she sits there and pretends to ride.

Looks like Roberta is checking out the toy box while Robby continues to ride.


I think Reliable's color combo of cream and bright blue is one of the more attractive plastic dollhouse kitchen pieces made.

The dining room buffet and china cabinet have the same
 ornate design as found in the bedroom furniture. 

The living room was produced in both red and blue.  
The lamps are American made by Jaydon.

Additional pieces for the living room are 
the fireplace, tea table, radio and grand piano.

Youth beds and potty chairs came in both pink and blue.

The youth beds were sold as a bunk bed set. 

An attractive bath set in pink was also available.

Little girls must have loved this fancy bedroom set.

Also available for the bedroom were 
the chest of drawers, the man's dresser and a sewing machine.

Reliable was licensed by an American firm, 
Ideal Toy Company, to copy some of its products.
Below is a comparison between some of
the Reliable dollhouse products (on the left)
 and the same pieces sold by Ideal (on the right).

Zillner and Cooper's Antique and Collectible Dollhouses share 
that the floor radio, grand piano 
and the dining room chairs (like the Ideal kitchen chairs)
were also made from the Ideal Toy Co. molds.

And now my little Keystone Put-A-Way is put away.