Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1930s Converse Dollhouse

A recent find was this 1930s Converse dollhouse, made of lithographed wood (the design is printed directly onto the wood, not onto applied paper). It's missing its two front porch pillars, but it's still a lovely little cottage, I thought. It measures 12 inches square by 10 1/2 inches tall, and opens from the right side.

 Access to the single room inside is via the end wall which opens with a knob instead of the more frequently seen latch.

I've furnished it as a cottage for a little 3 inch dime store teddy bear of similar vintage, with pieces made by the Menasha Woodenware Corporation (fireplace excepted). Menasha was founded in 1849 in Wisconsin, and was originally a maker of wooden barrels, tubs, and related items. In the 1930s, they expanded their line to include wooden dollhouse furniture in the 1" to 1 foot scale. This toy furniture, trademarked "Tyke Toys," is hard to find now as it wasn't made for very long, but it kept the company in business through the Great Depression. Menasha pieces are often misidentified as Strombecker, as the two firm's products are rather similar.

A view of the inside from above, with the roof removed.

Two of my favorite Menasha pieces are the kitchen cupboard and the stove.
Looks like the little bear is getting ready to make a berry pie...


  1. It is beautiful - I'd love to have a tiny house like this. How sweet that a bear lives there. Berry pie, yum yum!
    I like Menasha furniture too - I have a radio and a half circle side table. The turning on the legs is lovely - like on the kitchen dresser here. The stove is great too - love the stars representing the gas burners!

  2. Hi Rebecca,

    I just love this furniture, too: it's so homey and cozy-looking somehow. I have a lot more pieces (including the 2 you mentioned), like the bedroom and bathroom sets, a sofa, floor lamp, sideboards and buffets, etc., but couldn't fit much in this little house.
    I got really lucky and found it all as a set (advertised as Strombecker!) Maybe I should do a Menasha post and display it all?

  3. I'm visiting to try to catch up a bit on what's happening on your blog Tracy.

    This is a little cutie for sure, and I think the living room looks so cozy, lucky little teddy.