Beatrice Alexander's sharp business sense and her uncompromising attention to detail made her the most successful and best-loved doll manufacturer of her time. The daughter of a doll-maker who ran a "hospital" for broken toys, Alexander joined the family business at an early age and quickly began designing and marketing her own dolls. In 1923 she created the Alexander Doll Company, which not only survived the Great Depression but remained an industry leader throughout her lifetime with innovations like plastic construction, sleepy eyes, and rooted hair. Wanting to make more realistic dolls that would captivate children's imaginations, Alexander scoured libraries for images of costumes from around the world and insisted on getting the details right, down to the lace on the petticoats. "I didn't want to make just ordinary dolls with unmeaning, empty smiles on their painted lips and a squeaky way of saying 'mama' after you pinched,"she said. "I wanted to do dolls with souls. You have no idea how I labored over noses and mouths so that they would look real and individual."
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Beatrice Alexander." (Viewed on May 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/alexander-beatrice>.