Vintage Patsy doll history: The famous toys from the 20s & 30s

Famous vintage Patsy dolls from the 20s-30s at Click Americana (2)

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The text below is excerpted from an article published in 2003, and offers a brief retrospective on the Patsy doll, a toy that debuted shortly before the Great Depression.

My grandmother had one of these dolls from that era — she’s pictured here. (The color photos show Patsy today, but there’s also a snapshot of Patsy celebrating her mama’s birthday in 1932.)

Patsy doll made by Effanbee starting in 1927

The Effanbee (for “F and B”) Doll Co. is one of the oldest American doll firms. It was founded in 1910 by Bernard Fleischaker and Hugh Baum.

Their most famous doll, created in 1927, is “Patsy, the doll that looks like a real girl.” She was also the first doll to have a wardrobe of dresses and accessories.

Patsy and her family were made in many sizes. Patsy was 14 inches tall. Others in the family ranged from 5-1/2 inches to 30 inches tall.

Playtime! Vintage Patsy dolls from the '20s and '30s

The original Patsy was made of composition material with painted eyes and a small, closed mouth. She originally sold for $2.95, and was copied by many other makers. The doll was sold until about 1950.

The Patsy face was used on several ethnic dolls, including a black Patsy and a rare Chinese Patsy.

Patsy was remembered by many, and in 1976, was reissued in a limited edition. A vinyl Patsy was made in the 1980s, and another reissue was made in 2000.

One Effanbee Chinese Patsy doll sold at a McMasters Doll Auction several years ago for $1,850. The 14-inch-tall doll has a five-part composition body.

This Patsy doll at play in the 1930s

She was a popular toy even during the Great Depression.

Vintage Patsy doll

Vintage ads for Patsy dolls from the 1930s

Effanbee Dolls: See Patsy Ann in her new ensemble. Patsy Ann has captured popular fancy with her tantalizing demureness. She is wistful one minute and impevish the next. 

Patsy Dolls at Weisman’s Toyland: Pastyette (9 inches tall), Patsykin (10-1/2 inches tall), Patsy (13-1/2 inches tall), Patsy Joan (16 inches) and Patsy Ann (19 inches)

Patsy doll made by Effanbee - ads from the 1930s

Playtime! Vintage Patsy dolls from the '20s and '30s

Patsy dolls popular with collectors

Several books have been published for doll collectors. Here’s the cover of Collectible Patsy Dolls and Patsy-types (Number 4) by John Axe, which was published in 1978.

Collectible Patsy Dolls and Patsy-types (Number 4)

Patsy Doll Family Encyclopedia
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Schoonmaker, Patricia N. (Author)

The whole vintage doll without outfit

Famous vintage Patsy dolls from the 20s-30s

The vintage Patsy doll in her handmade outfit

A green dress and yellow hat, both with daisy decorations

Antique toys from the Great Depression era - handmade clothes

Tiny Tears, the doll that cried 'real' tears, delighted little girls back in the '50s

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