THE DOLL INDUSTRY IN EUROPE
Germany as the leading doll manufacturer in Europe during the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century dominated the doll market in Europe and abroad. It has been estimated that about seventy-five percent of these German dolls were sold in the British Isles and the United States. Germany became the leading doll manufacturer for two reasons. One reason was the abundance of raw materials such as wood. Another was the need of its agricultural society for occupation during the long winter months. Although dolls were cast from the same or similar molds, doll characteristics varied from dollmaker to dollmaker.
Dollmakers in Germany were group in two regions: The Saxon Ore Mountains where paper-mache, wood, and leather toys were made, and Nuremberg and Sonneberg where wood and metal toys were produced. On a smaller scale, France, Austria, and England also engaged in the blossoming doll industry.
THE DOLL INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES
Prior to World War I, the United States imported dolls from Germany, Austria, France, England, and Japan. World War I generated the building of the American doll industry due to embargoes on goods, especially those of German origin. The incentive of the doll market's profitability induced many smaller companies to engage only in the sale fo dolls, such as the E. I. Horsman Doll, Incorporated.
Materials of all types were employed in the production of the American doll. Composition limbs and heads, made of glue and sawdust, were commonly utilized among with leather for the toy's body. Wooden dolls were manufactured in smaller scale by fewer companies.
Originally developed for military use, in 1948, the use of plastics became popular. With this advent, hard plastic dolls replaced other types of dolls in the consumer market. The vinyl plastic doll was later introduced, which is still utilized by the doll industry as we know today.
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