A reporter with the Pantagraph observed on this date 100 years ago, that it was going to be a sad Christmas. He interviewed W B Read, who reported that the previous Christmas about 75 percent of orders came through, but in 1915, very few toys from Europe were being delivered. The shipments of toys of course were being blockaded by the British Navy.
Why were Americans so dependent on European toys? American manufacturers could not produce the same toys that were produced in Germany and certainly could not produce them for the same price. There were no doll manufacturers and no mechanical toy manufacturers in America. Germany had cornered the market on beautiful dolls, and among antique dolls they are of course the most treasured now. "America cannot
make dolls. It has tried in the past and the result has been a lot of wooden expressioned effigies from which the American child brought up on the other kind turns cold eyes." This was a pretty damning description of American Dolls, but of course no one had yet designed the steely-eyed Barbie, which was of course based on a GERMAN doll, and even that doll was not meant as a girl's companion.
Can you tell which doll is the German and which the American?