Saturday, December 14, 2002

Paper Dolls

I loved Betsy McCall paper dolls when I was little; my mom had lots of old magazines (and I mean old, going back to when she must have been pretty young) and the Betsy dolls were a big favorite of mine. She even let me have the ones out of her new issues to cut out. Years later, I found the older Betsy pages in vintage magazines at sales and so forth, and really fell for the late 50s ones—I even own a handful now. These pages were, in fact, the original inspiration for the Action Girl Activity Page series of paper dolls. All the Betsy outfits would have little stories and details for every outfit, and to me they seemed just like comics. Anyway, I've been slowly trying to clean up my bookmarks (it's way out of hand) and I found this link I'd forgotten about, to a huge collection of Betsy strips pages (see, there I go again, I keep typing "strips"!) My favorites are right around 1959, although all the 50s ones are great. Someday I'd like to get mine in order and maybe track down some more!

And thanks to sharp-eyed Bill, here's a couple of Christmas Betsys!!


  1. Are there any other places I could find paper dolls like yours? My Monkey's Name is Jennifer had some in the first issue. I guess that would actually be a paper monkey! ;)

  2. Paula - you know, I'm positive there are. I'm positive I even have (or had) some of them. But at the moment, I can't think of any comic paper dolls other than stuff like the Brenda Starr collections that came out a few years ago. Anyone else have any ideas?

  3. There are a couple Betsy McCall Christmas pages from the 1950s at this Christmas site of scanned holiday magazine articles from the 1950s.
    I confess I'd never heard of Betsy McCall until I read your blog entry. You never stop learning, do you?

  4. Sorry, here's the URL:
    The page is called "Decorating for Christmas
    in 1950's Style"

  5. wow, thanks!! those are great pages. whatever happened to matching outfits? The christmas stuff is pretty cute too - I actually have a couple of actual all-Xmas specials from about then, and it's terrifying to think that some people, maybe a lot, actually did all these demented Xmas crafts...


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