Charlotte’s Doll Book

The pages and images here are the preserved contents of my grandmother’s childhood doll book.

Charlotte Marie Pennebaker was born September 8, 1900 in Ashland, Oregon. Family lore has it that at about age 5, she was diagnosed as “sickly”. For this reason, she was allowed to work on her own projects while in school, the implication being that she was unlikely to live very long anyway. (She died in 1973.)

This doll book is one of her projects.

Her notes say that she made these clothes by hand, from material scraps and items she was given. She worked on these from age 9 (1909) until she was 16. In 1936, she gathered the outfits, typed the descriptions, and put them into a custom box, show below.

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The book was passed to me in 2014. I have photographed each page as she assembled it, then cleaned and remounted the clothes on acid-neutral unbleached muslin. The muslin squares are mounted on coroplast and stored away from light and moisture in a new box.

The text transcribed here was typed on “Fleetway Onion Skin” paper. Each page was punched with two holes and reinforced with adhesive rings.

Follow this link to her introduction or go to the first image. Any of the Top links will return you to this page.


N.B. - Charlotte mentions “cigarette rugs” on a few pages. It appears that about 1912 tobacco companies began including silk or felt “rugs” with their products. These were about 2“ x 4.25” and often looked like Persian rugs. The fad seems to have lasted only a few years.