“Doll Collection”

Carroll County Times article for 26 September 1993

By Jay A. Graybeal

Many times the historian’s view of local history focuses on the professional and work aspects of daily life in the past and neglects what people did to play. A significant collection of dolls and toys owned by the Historical Society of Carroll County provides insights on the playtime activities of children throughout Carroll County’s history.

Doll curator Bettyanne Bethea Twigg will present a program on September 23rd about the highlights of the Historical Society’s collection. The presentation will show the historical evolution of dolls and how they reflect cultural and technological changes of their time.

Of particular interest in the Historical Society collection are the dolls which are documented to local families. A number of the dolls have a local provenance and were played with by children of Carroll County.

An example is several dolls donated by Grace Fox and Mary (Fox) Whittlesly. The Fox sisters played with these dolls when they summered at their grandfather’s Italianate style house in Uniontown. The Fox dolls are all original, in excellent condition and some have their original packaging.

One doll, known as a Bru, has a fur stole and muff and is dressed in a skating costume. Dating from about 1860, she has inset paper-weight glass eyes and a closed mouth.

The Fox collection also contains German dolls from the early 1900s and a variety of doll accessories. In addition, there is a doll dresser with ornamentation that can be traced to a Uniontown cabinetmaker.

The presentation will also cover the various types of dolls in the Historical Society’s collection, including china, parian, bisque, papier mache and cloth dolls. The collection also includes doll houses, Teddy bears, toys and books.

Bettyanne Twigg has been working with the Historical Society collection since 1976. She first became involved through the work of her mother-in-law, Henrietta Roop Twigg, who was a charter member of the Historical Society and served for many years on the museum committee.

The presentation will draw on Ms. Twigg’s many years of experience as a conservation educator for museums and historical societies. She has written numerous articles about the history and preservation of dolls and toys. Her work has received national recognition from many organizations including the United Federation of Doll Clubs and the American Federation of Woman’s Clubs.

The program is open to the public. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 23rd in the Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 East Main Street in Westminster. If you would like additional information, call the Historical Society at 848-6494.

Photo Caption: Doll curator Bettyanne Twigg will describe the highlights of the Historical Society of Carroll County’s doll and toy collection at a membership meeting on September 23rd.