vintage, nostalgia and memories

June 20, 2016

These 26 Vintage Photographs From Inside Old Doll Factories Will Make You Shudder

Hundreds of pairs of vacant eyes stare down from the walls. Tiny mouths are destined to remain semi-open, forever jammed half-way between a smile and a scream. And sure, the end product made millions of little girls happy. But the factory where these toy dolls were mass produced? It looks like something straight out of a horror movie.

Inside these vast factories metal moulds formed torsos by the thousands. In one room, mountains of flesh-colored limbs were manufactured en masse. Tiny legs and arms, meanwhile, hung loosely from conveyor belts, still waiting to be attached. And away from the assembly lines, workers painstakingly brought these plastic mannequins to life with paint, eyes and false hair. Finally, when all was completed, this army of creepy clones were shipped off to toy stores across the country.

It was, of course, a completely different time and a world away from the digitized child play of today. From the 1920s onwards, the toy industry boomed across the world. And for a new generation of consumers one toy in particular was more popular than any other: the baby doll.

c. 1930

Dec. 18, 1935. A worker paints celluloid doll heads at a factory in England.

c. 1937. A worker paints dolls at a factory in England.

1947. Freshly cast doll heads wait to dry.

Jan. 28, 1949. A worker trims the eyelashes on a pair of doll's eyes.

Dec. 15, 1951

Dec. 15, 1951. Freshly cast doll legs dry at a factory in England.

Dec. 1953. Workers test the strength of a doll's head.

c. 1955. A worker paints doll's heads.

c. 1955. A girl looks at doll's heads at a factory on Long Island.

c. 1955. Children watch a worker painting doll's heads at a factory in Long Island.

c. 1955

c. 1955

1931. Workers style dolls' hair at a factory in Germany.

c. 1950. A worker paints dolls at a factory in Italy.

c. 1950

Jan. 12, 1949. Doll eyes and heads at a factory in England.

Dec. 15, 1951. Parts of a doll in an injection mould at Cascelloid's factory in England.

Dec. 19, 1951. A worker sprays a doll head at a factory in England.

c. 1955. Workers stress-test dolls at a factory in Long Island.

c. 1955

Dec. 3, 1945. A worker clothes dolls at a factory in Paris.

Dec. 3, 1945. A factory in France.

Dec. 3, 1945. A worker sprays doll heads at a factory in France.

c. 1940

c. 1940

(Images: Getty Images, via Mashable/Retronaut)


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