.Best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, Jewess Ruth Mosko Handler combined her marketing genius with her husband Elliot Handler’s creative designs to form the toy company Mattel, Inc. Starting in their garage in 1939, the Handlers produced Lucite gifts, wooden picture frames, and dollhouse furniture before developing their first toy, the Uke-A-Doodle, in 1947. The success of the Uke-A-Doodle was followed by a series of rubber-belt-driven musical toys, including the Jack-in-the-Box, as well as toy guns such as a Winchester rifle replica.
The Winchester Rifle legacy, Sarah Winchester's nightmare:
In 1862, Sarah married William Wirt Winchester, son of Oliver Fisher Winchester, Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut and manufacturer of the famous Winchester repeating rifle. in 1866, disaster struck when their infant daughter, Annie, died of then mysterious childhood disease marasmus. Mrs. Winchester fell into a deep depression from which she never fully recovered. Fifteen years later, in March 1881, her husband’s premature death from tuberculosis added to Mrs. Winchester’s distress. Sarah Winchester believed that her family and her fortune were being haunted by spirits – in fact, by the spirits of American Indians, Civil War soldiers, and others killed by Winchester rifles.
The House That Mrs. Winchester Built
Mrs. Winchester moved west to build a new house. She was so fearful of the spirits she constructed the house be built with hallways and stairs to nowhere to keep the spirits confused. There were occurrences that defied explanation. Neighbors would hear a bell ring at midnight and 2 a.m., which according to ghost lore are the times for the arrival and departure of spirits. Some said that Mrs. Winchester never slept in the same bedroom two nights in a row, in order to confuse any evil spirits that might be waiting for her. Sarah Winchester passed away in 1922. Her house is called The Winchester Mystery House which is now a museum. It would be interesting to know how Mrs. Winchester would have felt about all the little American boys with Winchester rifle toy replicas in their bedrooms?
|Out of the closet|
As she explained to a reporter in the early 1980s, “When I conceived Barbie, I believed it was important to a little girl’s self-esteem to play with a doll that has breasts."
|real life Barbies...growing up Barbie|