1997 “Baby Coos” – Classic American Dolls
- Pictures the “Baby Coos” doll produced by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company.
- Part of the Classic American Dolls set – the first time photographs were used instead of paintings or drawings for a large US set with different stamp designs
Classic American Dolls
32¢, First Class Mail Rate
First Day of Issue:
July 28, 1997
First Day City:
Printed for Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. by Sterling Sommer of Tonawanda, New York
Panes of 15 (Vertical, 5 across, 3 down)
10.9 by 11.1
Large tagging block over all 20 stamps, covering the stamps to the edges
Why the stamp was issued:
To commemorate the “Baby Coos” doll created by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company in the 1930s.
About the stamp design:
The stamp pictures a photograph of the doll against a blue paper background.
First Day City:
The First Day of Issue Ceremony was held during the annual membership meeting of the United Federation of Doll Clubs at the Anaheim Hilton and Towers Hotel in Anaheim, California.
About the Classic American Dolls set:
The USPS issued the stamps to commemorate American dolls that “reflect the tradition, heritage, culture, and artistic style from various geographical regions of this country.”
Each stamp design pictures a photograph by Sally Andersen-Bruce. Each doll or pair of dolls is shown in front of a blue paper background, tying the stamp designs together. The names of each doll are printed in small type below the bottom frameline of each stamp, across from the 1997 year date. They’re also listed in the horizontal selvage at the bottom of the pane of 15.
The set marked the first time photographs were used instead of paintings or drawings for a large US set with different stamp designs.
History the stamp represents:
Featured at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, early baby dolls had cloth bodies that contained a squeak box to mimic crying. As technology changed the world in the years that followed, toymakers were eager to use these new inventions. Much time and effort went into developing unique “gimmicks,” that would catch the fancy of young consumers.
Developed in 1948 by the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, Baby Coos was a glorified version of earlier baby dolls. Life-sized, it had a stuffed “magic skin” body (a special latex which felt like real skin), jointed arms, and sleep eyes. Inside the doll’s body, a reed-like arrangement, much like that found on a clarinet, allowed it to “sob” if patted too hard, “cry” when spanked, “squeal” when pinched, and “coo” when hugged.
A similar classic “look” characterizes baby dolls of this era, causing confusion for collectors and researchers alike. In fact, some collectors believe the doll on the 1997 postage stamp is actually “Plassie,” a similar Ideal doll. The patent number in the mark of the stamp doll is the same one which identifies “Plassie.”