Manufactured in the 1920s, Baby Bye-Lo dolls were manufactured by several German companies, making them more difficult to identify. Grace Storey Putnam modelled the original Bye-Lo head in clay in a hospital nursery, where she copied as closely as possible the face of a newborn infant.
She made a wax model from this head and patented the first realistic baby doll - made to look like a real baby, wrinkles, lumps, and all. Some of the more lifelike features were, intentionally or by necessity, eliminated from the commercial product, but the doll was still a huge hit. Their distinctive "frog body" has legs spread with the knees out, like a frog's, reminiscent of a real infant's posture.
These dolls were immensely popular due to their realism and cuddly body - the one-piece fabric body was stuffed to be soft and huggable - with hand-blown glass eyes and bisque head that keeps some of them intact today.
Information for this article taken from The Hawk Eye "Out of the Attic: Bye-Lo Baby Doll" by Lindsey Schier, Quintissential Antique Dolls "Bye-Lo Baby and a Family Story" by Jennifer Stewart, and Fab Tin Toys "Bye-Lo Dolls."
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