|American Girl Dolls Molly & Maryellen|
Back in the day – the day of the ‘50s when I was a child – Healthknit was an underwear manufacturer. They also made pajamas for children, much like the footed Carter’s pajamas of today. (I think we still have Carter’s, but I’m not sure about Healthknit.)
I suppose I was about 8 when I saw a magazine ad for Healthknit which included an order form to purchase pajamas for a 16-inch doll. The amount was nominal, and Mother helped me order two pairs of pajamas for my two baby dolls, which I paid for with my allowance.
Well, one day, out of the blue, I got to thinking about those doll pajamas. I wondered if I could find them and if they would fit the American Girls. So I climbed into the closet, opened a box of doll clothes, and sure enough – there they were. They stretch nicely over the healthy bodies of those mid-century American Girl models, Molly and Maryellen.
Someone at the Healthknit factory must have had some fun making these doll pajamas. Perhaps an employee, maybe a grandmother, noticed that scraps of fabric and bits of the footing stuff were going to waste. “We could make doll pajamas with the scraps and market them with the kids’ pajamas,” she might have said in the Monday morning staff meeting. Perhaps she waited months for the go-ahead while she stashed remnants and scraps in the cupboard. Permission was granted but the project probably wasn’t really lucrative and was discontinued after the initial Christmas season. This is just history trivia according to Kathy, but wouldn’t it be fun to know how it really happened? KW
[Photo -- My American Girl dolls, Molly and Maryellen, representing the 1940s and the 1950s, wear vintage Healthknit pajamas.]