Monday, January 19, 2009

Fluffy Ruffles

Someone asked recently about Fluffy Ruffles, one of my favorite topics (as many of you already know)!

Fluffy Ruffles was a comic strip in the New York Herald (from roughly 1906-1909) written in verse by Carolyn Wells and drawn by Wallace Morgan. The conceit of the comic was that Fluffy Ruffles couldn't hold a job because she was a distraction to the men around her. But she always retained her dignity, and dressed impeccably. Women of the era imitated her dress, and the newspaper held contests around the country to find women who personified Fluffy Ruffles. Macy's carried a line of clothing in her name (shirtwaist, fitted jacket, large plumed hat and a parasol). There was a Broadway musical, sheet music and even candy named after her.

The colorful paper doll that was produced by the Herald as a separate purchase was published on thicker cardstock, and appears to have been drawn by someone else, not Morgan, because they seem so different in appearance (that is clearly Morgan's drawing on the envelope, however).

The black and white illustration by Morgan shown here (Fluffy reading a seed catalog) is taken from a compilation book that was put out at the height of her popularity.

Last year Jean Sullivan sent me a copy of another Fluffy paper doll, one that looks like it could have been drawn by Wallace Morgan. It ran in the newspaper:

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