Ginny’s roots actually extend back to 1922, when a resourceful young woman, Jennie Adler Graves, established Ye Olde Vogue Doll Shoppe in her home in Somerville, Massachusetts. The story is that a "friend", who knew of Jennie Grave's skill in sewing children's clothes, asked her to dress some dolls for a charity event. Unbeknownst to Jennie, the "friend" was selling the dolls instead of giving them to charity! Thus inspired, Jennie Graves began dressing and selling imported German dolls to Jordan Marsh, a well-known Boston department store.
THE BEST OF TIMES PART I
||Success followed success until 1948, when a sales dip in her line of existing dolls inspired Mrs. Graves to introduce an 8" plastic doll, the forerunner to Ginny. Storeowners and consumers alike loved the new doll, and in 1951, Ginny was officially born, named after Jennie's daughter Virginia. From a point in 1949 where a 15,000 square foot warehouse was needed and Vogue employed 50 regular workers plus from 100 to 200 home sewers and did a sales volume of $239,000 a year, Vogue grew to a point in 1953 where annual volume reached $2,113,904. Ginny’s success was assured.
Ginny was so popular that many tried to emulate her, and an entire group of 8" dolls appeared on the market in anticipation of securing some of the Vogue business and Ginny fans. By 1957, Ginny had reached over five million dollars per year in sales, and
|was a beloved fixture in most American households.
Mrs. Graves decided to retire in 1960, and her daughter Virginia and son in law Edwin Nelson continued to lead the company until Mrs. Virginia Carlson's retirement in 1966. The company was then run entirely by Mr. Nelson until 1972 when the Vogue name was sold to Tonka Corporation.
Between 1972 and 1995 Ginny had a succession of owners.
1972-1977 Tonka Corporation
1977-1982 Lesney Products Corporation
1984-1986 Meritus Industries
1986-1995 R.Dakin and Company
The transitional years were difficult for Ginny, as her care was transferred from one company to another. Each company, in its own way, added significantly to Ginny’s history.
THE BEST OF TIMES PART II
In 1995 Ginny was reunited with The Vogue Doll Company name. The NEW Vogue Doll Company pledged to restore Ginny to her deserved place in the modern doll era, and has worked diligently since 1995 to achieve those ends. President Linda Smith has stated "Ginny, that engaging little girl of the 1950's does indeed have a place in the 21st century. Her well-loved image, love of fashion, and fun attitude are shining through, and there is much more to come! We hope you will share Ginny, The Best Of Times Part II with us."
The Vogue Doll Company would like to thank Carol Stover and Judith Izen, authors of Collector's Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls, from which much of the above historical information was taken.