Li’l David and Li’l Ruthie 1st Anatomically-Correct Dolls

Name: New Arrival Li’l David and Li’l Ruthie

Made by and When: Sculpted by Irene Szor for Horsman, 1975

Material: Vinyl heads, stuffed vinyl one-piece bodies

Marks: 1/Horsman Dolls, Inc/19©75 (Lil’l David); 1/Horsman Dolls, Inc/19©75 (Li’l Ruthie)

Height: 13-1/2 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Painted brown hair, painted brown eyes, drinker mouths

Clothes: Li’l David wears a light blue and white gingham shirt and matching diaper. Li’l Ruthie wears a pink and white gingham dress, matching bonnet, and diaper.

Other: Li’l David and Li’l Ruthie are described as America’s first mass-produced, anatomically correct Black/African American twins. Each doll’s box contains a message to parents that reads:  *This doll has true-to-life features which differentiates little girls from little boys. For those who feel they do not want their children to be aware of this difference we do not recommend this doll. (See the image of this message in the slideshow). Because of their anatomy, these dolls became quite controversial for the 1970s play market.

Li’l David and Li’l Ruthie were designed by Irene Szor, who sculpted dolls for Horsman from 1957 through 1986.  For playline and other mass-produced dolls from this era, it was very uncommon to know the identity of the designer.

Accessories include a yellow pacifier and rattle (Li’l David) and a baby bottle, pacifier, and sponge (Li’l Ruthie). A punch-out birth certificate is included on the back of each doll’s box. 

Slideshow

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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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