The Barbie Doll
My parents had two children. My sister was almost four years older than I. Our maternal ancestors were Polish and both my sister and I are half Polish. Then my sister was young she played with dolls.
Those dolls were representations of infants although my sister and her friends would sometimes give them adult roles. No, I did not play with dolls. I did watch the M-i-c-k-e-y M-o-u-s-e Club which first aired in October of 1955. I spell that out for those
like myself who remember singing along.
Ruth Marianna Mosko was born in Denver in 1915. Ruth was also Polish. She married Elliot Handler in 1938. That same year, 1938, Elliot started making items from Lucite, a type of plastic. He made lamps, picture frames, hand mirrors, and candelabra. They were very good, and Ruth was convinced she could sell them. They named the company Elliot Handler Plastics. In May of 1939 they made their first sale for $500 (wholesale) worth of merchandise. Soon they had another order for $1,500 from Douglas Aircraft for clocks with a Plexiglas face.
In 1940, Elliot came up with a design of a woman’s miniature hand with small graceful fingers holding a small vial. The idea was to fill the vial with water, put a flower in it, and pin it to your lapel. It was an instant success. In 1941, Zachary Zemby formed a partnership with Elliot to design and sell jewelry. Using a naming pattern that would be utilized again, they named the company Elzac Jewelry. Later that year, Ruth gave birth to their first child, Barbara. As World War Two progressed, sales of Elzac Jewelry flourished. Susan Hayward and other stars wore the jewelry and helped to promote it.
In 1944, Elliot and Harold “Matt” Matson formed a new company called…
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