It’s been awhile since I blogged about ‘Memories and Collecting- Part 1’ and I wanted to have part 2 come shortly thereafter, however the monster storm, hurricane Sandy, got in the way and I’ve been busy working on a logo for someone.
I didn’t want to let this little story go though so here it is!
When I was little and still living overseas, I had this wonderful doll that my parents got for me. I think my dad must have bartered with someone for this doll because there was no way they could have afforded such a luxury. This doll was more of a ‘shelf’ doll because I was way too small to squeeze and love this doll as yet.
The doll was a Schildkröt-puppen doll, a most beautiful jointed doll about 16 inches tall. She was made of celluloid, which was a material that evolved from the earlier celluloid invented by an American named John Wesley Hyatt in 1868. The celluloid that was first made was not suitable for toys. It’s intention was a less expensive Ivory replacement.
“By 1889, a German company had found a way to further improve celluloid so it could be used for toys. The required machinery was developed, and soon dolls with the turtle trademark were sent out into the world. The company was the Rheinische Gummi- und Celluloidwarenfabrik (Rhenish Rubber and Celluloid Works), but before long it was better known as Schildkrötwerke (Turtle Works)—Schildkröt, of course, meaning turtle in German.”
When my parents, my brother and I came to America, we were only allowed to bring a few items because the more you brought, the more it cost. Since my parents were sort of displaced after WWII, America was a new beginning with the added bonus of having my grandparents there. So my little family packed up and took a boat to this wonderful, new country full of opportunity. I had my precious doll clutched in my arms, afraid to let her go!
Long story short…….years passed and my doll was still with me. She was a ‘shelf’ doll, pretty to look at but not to touch. Needless to say my doll did not survive. She fell one day and I was devastated because this doll was the only thing I brought to America from my birthplace.
Yes, I cried. But I had to let it go……….until one day I was Internet searching and I came upon some information about celluloid dolls. The distinct mark that I remembered on my doll was the ‘turtle’ mark on the back of her neck. Imagine remembering that distinct ‘tattoo’ after all those years! So I did a little more research and found an image of my doll. There she was!
Darling’ was excited about my discovery and knowing how much this meant to me, surprised me with a new doll that looks exactly like the one I brought to America years ago. The carefully wrapped box was waiting at the door the night we returned home from our daughter’s wedding earlier that day. What a surprise!
‘Inge’ as I learned was her real name, came all the way from the Netherlands! She had a lovely velvety blue dress on, much nicer than the one I remember my doll in, which was tattered and had rust stains on it.