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


  1. Its a great house and you have done an awesome job of combining these Strombecker pieces to make it look cozy. I love the mix of furniture from different decades and the color palettes for each of the spaces. Those kitchen cabinets and the all of the graphics are really neat. Thanks for the great photos, the history and a great post!

  2. Great Post! I have this house too and I love it. Mine is furnished very much the same. Thanks for posting.