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Toys

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Ruth Mosko Handler unveils Barbie Doll

March 9, 1959

Ruth Mosko Handler unveiled the Barbie Doll at the International American Toy Fair in New York.

Ruth Mosko Handler

Best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, Ruth Mosko Handler combined her marketing genius with her husband Elliot Handler’s creative designs to form the toy company Mattel, Inc. Starting in their garage in 1939, the Handlers produced Lucite gifts, wooden picture frames, and dollhouse furniture before developing their first toy, the Uke-A-Doodle, in 1947. The success of the Uke-A-Doodle was followed by a series of rubber-belt-driven musical toys, including the Jack-in-the-Box, as well as toy guns such as a Winchester rifle replica. Yet it was the Barbie doll, created in 1959, that “ran off the counter.” Thirty years later, sales of the doll that Handler named after her daughter exceeded one billion dollars.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Toys." (Viewed on November 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/toys>.

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