Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fluffy Ruffles, the It Girl of 1907

I've been enchanted by the Fluffy Ruffles story ever since I found a paper doll of the comic strip character in 2007 at Jayne Keller's sales table at the Pennsylvania luncheon. 

I did research at my local library and at the New York Historical Society (where I copied the above image from microfiche copies of the old New York Herald). 

In 2007, I made a presentation on Fluffy Ruffles at the paper doll convention in San Antonio, and created a limited edition zine about the Fluffy Ruffles fad of 1907. 

Last year I wrote an abridged version for the Paperdoll Review magazine. There wasn't enough room for all of the images I wanted to share -- I've continued to collect Fluffy ephemera -- so I just posted a new version on Medium, which you can read here.

One new aspect of the Fluffy story that I hadn't touched on: The Fluffy Ruffles hoopla was no doubt created by the New York Herald to boost circulation. That's something that belongs to the previous century of course, as most people now get their news on social media, including Twitter and Facebook. A generation of young people has grown up without the newspaper habit, which is amazing for those of us who eagerly anticipated the "funnies" in Sunday's paper as children, or followed a favorite columnist or serial in the daily paper.

Margaret and Howe Brown long ago urged me to tell the story of this unique paper doll, which has given me so much to think about. Thanks to you both, and see you in Chattanooga!


  1. Thanks, I read your article on Medium. Great article! I had heard the phrase Fluffy Ruffles but didn't know the background.

  2. Dear Linda, I really loved the Medium article and your other work on the topic of Fluffy Ruffles! I've also been doing some research into Fluffy Ruffles, and I'd love to talk about this via email. I couldn't see your contact details here, so hopefully you see this comment - my email should be visible on your side. Many thanks.