I am privileged to own one period photograph of a child holding an Izannah Walker doll. It is a carte de visite of Sarah Alice Langworthy age 22 months, taken during December, 1884. Sarah was born in February of 1883 in Westerly, RI, 10 years after Izannah Walker received her patent. Sarah Alice died in January, 1887.
Fortunately the back of the carte de visite has Sarah’s name, her age, and the date written on it. That information along with the location of the photographer printed on the front of the image allowed me to search for Sarah Alice. It took me several hours of research to find the record of her birth and death… In my heart I had been hoping that I would find out that Sarah Alice had married, borne a houseful of children, and lived a long life. It would have been lovely to imagine that the doll Sarah Alice was holding so tightly in her photograph was a family doll, that might have been passed down to her own children… There is no way of knowing if the Izannah Walker doll that Sarah Alice is holding once belonged to her mother or other family member… or if it was a prop belonging to the photographer, meant to entertain children and help them sit still…
In memory of Sarah Alice, Cloe and I attempted to recreate her carte de visite. We were not entirely successful, as the lure of actually playing with a doll is so much more enticing to a two year old, than merely sitting demurely in a chair. I hope Sarah Alice had many similar days filled with love, and the unconditional joy of a child playing with her favorite doll. ❤
More birthday fun coming your way at 2:00, 4:00 & 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. My New Dolls will be posted at 2:00 p.m., which is later than my previously stated time of noon… I’ve had a few technical difficulties with my video! Sorry!!!