During the 1930s North American factories churned out dollhouse furnishings
During the 1930s, due to the Great Depression, times were tough for many people in
But during the 1930s, metal, wood, cardboard and cloth formed the bulk of miniatures, while plywood, fiber-board and cardboard were the choices for dollhouses. Colorful printed papers were glued over these cheap materials.
One of the most popular manufacturers of dollhouse furnishings was a company in
Dowst. TootsieToy was their trade name. "Tootsie" was the name of a family member who died tragically young at age 16 years. two years later the name changed to "Tootsietoy." Chicago named
The doll house furnishings were made in a "special composition metal that will not break easily" and, further, that this "almost indestructible metal" would "not break like wood."
This company specialized in small, little playthings like toy cars, planes, and little trains. Dowst also created a line for girls focusing on dollhouse furnishings.
And what's interesting about Dowst and TootsieToy was they were able to find an economic way to mass-produce furniture. The original price for an entire set was $1.25. The smaller sets were a little less expensive and they were made out of cast metal. The metal is known as "die-cast" and is very easy to cast, providing a lot of detail. The upholstered furniture, featured a flocked surface so it looks soft, but it's really still a die-cast piece of furniture.
The kitchen furniture pieces featured in their line are just as detailed. A few pieces in the line included a Monitor Top refrigerator, the type of stove used in the day, a Hoosier-type-looking cupboard.
If a collector were to have a boxed set in the highest condition, he could conservatively value the set, at approximately $200 to $300. But when you really put a whole collection together, the price could increase significantly. At an auction, a full set of eight rooms could be valued between $2,500 to $3,000. .
Today's collectors are still in search of the perfect piece. However on the market today, most of the pieces are maimed pianos, table, sinks, etc., not to mention the chipped paint finishes. The scale of the Tootsie furniture is quite small and ranges in scale from ½ inch to 1 inch.