1997 “Betsy McCall” – Classic American Dolls
- Pictures the “Betsy McCall” doll created by the American Character Doll Company in the 1960s.
- 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 “Betsy McCall” doll produced by the American Character Doll Company in the 1960s. The doll appeared earlier as a paper doll in McCall’s
Magazine in 1951.
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:
Betsy McCall debuted on the cover of McCall’s Magazine
in May of 1951. She was born as a paper doll with cut-out clothes. Initially, Betsy advertised patterns for McCall’s and modeled children’s clothing designs from independent companies. Her popularity exceeded her original purpose and Betsy McCall became a household name.
From her introduction as a paper doll, through present day, Betsy McCall has graced the pages of McCall’s Magazine
. Mothers and daughters shared the fun of reading the adventures of Betsy and her family – cousins Barbara, Linda, Sandy, and her dog Nosey – and cutting out their paper clothes. Betsy McCall’s life paralleled the lives of the children she appealed to – attending school for the first time, experiencing the excitement of Christmas, hosting a tea party.
In September of 1952, Betsy jumped from the pages of the magazine into the hands of her loyal fans as a 14” doll manufactured by Ideal Toy Company. For the next 35 years, various doll manufacturers produced many versions of the Betsy McCall doll. In 1996, Robert Tonner, an award-winning doll artist, reintroduced Betsy into the market as a high-quality vinyl doll made especially for collectors.