The Barbie Doll
This story takes place in the 30’s. It’s a story that’s starts out sounding like one we’ve all heard before.
A young girl meets a boy and they fall in love, the girl graduates from high school. She has visions of a great career success in the real world and wants to go to college. Her parents are not exited about college since it was more traditional for a girl to get married and raise a family. The girl goes to college anyway and marries the boy too. This married girl and boy are Ruth and Elliot Handler. They raise two children and they called them Barbara and Kenneth. Sounds familiar?
In the mid 40’s, Elliot began to use the scraps of wood from picture frames to make doll furniture. This was the beginning of their toy business. In 1945, the Handlers joined their closest friend called Harold Mattson, to form a company called MATTEL as MATT and Elliot.
When Ruth visited Switzerland, she purchased a German doll called “Lilli Doll” which was a shapely, fashion doll first made in 1955. Lilli is the doll that would inspire Ruth to create the Barbie Doll.
Ruth knew what she wanted Barbie to look like, and with the help of the engineers and the technicians of MATTEL, Barbie was born. She called Charlotte Johnson, a famous fashion designer, to make Barbies wardrobe.
It was in 1958 that the patent for Barbie was obtained. Paper fashion dolls of the times would give way to a three dimensional beauty with a wardrobe of high quality. Ruth and Elliot would name their fashion doll after their daughter, Barbie. Barbie dolls’ soon to be boyfriend Ken, would be named after their son Ken. By 1960, the mood would change and the orders started pouring in to MATTEL. It took several years for MATTEL to catch up with