Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Modern Doll House

As some of my acquantences and friends know, one of my other passions is woodworking and restoring Old Woodworking Machinery. So I hope it explains why I have possession of a set of 4 volumes of The Deltagram - books that detail shop projects for the owners of Delta Power Tools. This publication began in 1932 and continued to be published until 1949 - earlier issues seem to have been more prolific but they averaged about 6 issues per year. In 1949 the publication became "Wood Chips" or may have merged into another Delta publication (I'm unclear as to the series of events), which continued to be published into the 70's.

Besides being of interest as an idea storehouse for woodworking, this publication as is true of so many others, also details the styles and likes of homeowners and the US pre-war through post-war. Of particular interest are the modern furniture and furnishing designs featured all through these magazines and aggregated in these 4 volumes. The earlier issues have some wonderful ideas for Deco and Machine Age items, while the later feature "modern" design. Today I'm featuring the latter - and in this instance it also features one of my other passions - vintage toys.

There have been a number of threads over the past several years that regarded Modern Dollhouses offered to young girls during the post-war period. What interested me in this 2-page spread, found in Volume 4 of The Deltagram (originally published in Vol. 16 No. 2 in 1946) and revealed as page 28 and 29 in the hardcover editions, was the floor-plan, the shed roof, corner window and port-a-chere. I don't believe I've ever seen all three elements in a doll-house before. Even the plastic modern doll-houses seem to be based more on the modular Eames house design that this one. Apparently this doll house followed the styles of "Architectural Forum" and used plywood for construction - also a modern building material.

For a higher-resolution image of the above scan
click here.

-- John


Anonymous said...

great post - I love the modern style.

Anonymous said...

I better not leat my daughter see this MCM dollhouse. Great find. Seems like something that would make a comeback.

Unknown said...

I didn't really have a chance to peruse your site. I was doing a search for Deltagrams. I made a spinning wheel lamp in high school shop from a deltagram that my dad had. This was 1962. I has become lost and I'd like to find a copy if possible even a photocopy. Thought one of your collections might have it

John Eaton said...

Hi Kenneth,

I managed to find the Spinning Wheel Lamp you reference - actually I have a Deltagram index and it's mentioned in the following (FYI):
From a June 1944 index under Lamp, Table:
Spinning Wheel:
BI 58 (Delta Blueprint 58)
Del 4:48, 5:25 (Deltagram 4 page 48 and Deltagram 5 page 25)
PP 2:4 (Pratical Projects 2, page 4)

I'll scan and put up a post with the scan on my Vintage Magazine blog (Spinning Wheel Lamp Plan).

-- John

(Best Show)Watch said...


Two things

1) I’d like your permission to (re)print your article on ‘Dollhouse’ for our website

2) I was hoping we could use your ‘scribing’ talent for our website.

The Best Shows Youre Not Watching (dot) com [all one word]
‘Dollhouse’ is one of our featured shows. We’re hoping to round up a few people who can occasionally contribute perspective (via an article/blog) on the shows – maybe a recent episode, future direction, plot shortcomings etc.

What’s in it for you?
Primarily a larger audience back channeled to your blog. We don’t pay but the site has a lot of promise and we're pretty excited about getting it off the ground. Let me know what you think.


John Eaton said...

(Best Show)Watch - feel free to use the article and scans.

-- John