Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Walking paper doll, c. 1924

I've seen this walking doll plenty of times with different advertisements. This one, for the Jolly Juniors at Chautauqua, caught my eye at the Antiquarian and Ephemera show in East Hanover last weekend. 

Chautauqua is a town on a lake of the same name in upstate New York, the site of the famous Chautauqua Institution founded in 1874 as a Christian summer school for adults. But the concept was so popular, it  expanded to include science and the liberal arts. Chautauqua's founding principle was education for everyone, and the proper use of leisure time to expand the intellect, not drink or gamble. 

Chautauquas sprang up around the country, mostly in remote rural areas, drawing top performers and orators, including William Jennings Bryan. FDR and Alf Landon addressed the New York Chautauqua during the presidential campaign of 1936. The Chautauqua movement gave people in small towns another option besides vaudeville and the movies. And Chautauquas are still going strong. You can read more about it here.

Here's a Chautauqua ad from the Livonia (N.Y.) Gazette, Aug. 15, 1924, promoting the Jolly Juniors, programming geared toward the younger set:


  1. Thanks for this information.Adult education is an interest of mine but I'd never heard of this before.As always your blog is a treat for the eyes and for an inquisitive mind.
    Take care, Maricha.

  2. Adorei seu blog. Quanta criatividade. Sou sua seguidora.