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A Catalog of WPA Dolls

Photo with WPA Sign

We hope you'll enjoy browsing through this catalog of dolls that were created by the Doll Unit of the Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project. Portions of the catalog are taken from Catalogue Number 10 which the Project produced in 1939.

The dolls were sold to tax-exempt institutions for the cost of materials.

22-Inch American Dolls

"22-inch high, with molded head, washable and unbreakable. The body is made of percale stuffed with kapok. Heads are of ribbed cotton which is starched, pressed in a mold, stuffed, and painted. Hair is made of cotton warp in various colors and styles and can be washed. Each doll comes with a 6-piece wardrobe."

Number Description Cost
D-100a Black bob with bangs $2.25
D-100b Blonde bob with bangs $2.25
D-100c Brown bob with bangs $2.25
D-101a Black braids $2.25
D-101b Blonde braids $2.25
D-101c Brown braids $2.25
D-102a Black braids with bangs $2.25
D-102b Blonde braids with bangs $2.25
D-102c Brown braids with bangs $2.25
D-150a Negro, black curly hair $2.25

22-Inch Foreign Dolls

"22-inch high, also with molded head, and made as above. The dolls are dressed in complete costumes representing particular nationalities."

Number Description Cost
D-200a Norwegian Girl $2.00
D-205a Dutch Boy $2.00
D-206a Dutch Girl $2.00
D-210a Italian Girl $2.00
D-215a Polish Girl $2.00
D-220a Welsh Girl $2.00
D-225a Scotch Boy $2.00

Other 22-Inch Dolls

There were also three storybook character dolls.

Number Description Cost
D-302a Little Black Sambo $2.00
Unknown Little Boy Blue $2.00
Unknown Little Bo Peep $2.00

Soft Dolls with Embroidered Features

"Made completely of percale, with embroidered features. The body and head are stuffed as above. This is a light weight doll. The accompanying wardrobe consists of 4 pieces."

Two styles were sold: a 19" girl and 16" boy/girl twins. A third style, an 11" "counterpane" doll, was made from scraps left over from the other dolls and given away to children in hospitals. One Christmas, they were given to the children of WPA employees.

Number Description Cost
D-418a 16" Twins, black bob $2.00
D-418b 16" Twins, blonde bob $2.00
D-418c 16" Twins, brown bob $2.00
D-419a 16" Twins: Girl, black braids; boy, black bob $2.00
D-419b 16" Twins: Girl, blonde braids; boy, blonde bob $2.00
D-419c 16" Twins: Girl, brown braids; boy, brown bob $2.00
D-420a 19" Girl, black bob with bangs $1.10
D-420b 19" Girl, blonde bob with bangs $1.10
D-420c 19" Girl, brown bob with bangs $1.10
D-421a 19" Girl, black braids with bangs $1.10
D-421b 19" Girl, blonde braids with bangs $1.10
D-421c 19" Girl, brown braids with bangs $1.10
None 11" Counterpane Doll No charge

Soft Dolls with Silk-Screen Features

Dolls with silk-screened faces designed by Elizabeth Passler appeared in 1939. These dolls were 16" tall. The silk-screen process allowed for more rapid production of the dolls. These dolls were never listed in a catalog.

Boy/Girl Twins
Honey Chile
Peter and Patsey