Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BDHT: Antidisestablishmentarianism

Note:  This article was originally written and published in the spring of 2009 in my (now closed) Black Doll-E-Zine Yahoo Group.  Those who collect vintage dolls and enjoy unveiling mysteries that surround them might find it interesting.

Internet-captured image of the November 10, 1955 issue of Jet Magazine
Gloria Lockerman is shown on the cover of Jet Magazine in November 1955 with an unknown doll by Horsman that had "Miracle Hair" (rooted hair that could be curled, washed, waved, and combed).

Approximately two years ago, I began a search for a doll like the one held by Gloria Lockerman on the cover of the November 10, 1955, issue of Jet Magazine, shown above.

In August 1955, Gloria was a 12-year-old spelling whiz who won $16,000 on The $64,000 Question game show by correctly spelling the word, antidisestablishmentarianism. At the time the doll and Gloria were featured on the cover of Jet Magazine, I was almost 6 months old. The doll, having been made during the time of my birth year, inspired me to desire it for my collection.

While surfing eBay for "black Madame Alexander" dolls in March of this year, I found an auction, which was titled, "Vintage Madame Alexander Cynthia 1950s doll LOOKALIKE." In the auction photos, the doll did not resemble Madame Alexander's Cynthia, but it did closely resemble the doll Gloria held in the magazine cover image. I decided to watch the auction and bid to win, which is what happened.

Princess Anna Walking Doll
The apparent  difference in the two dolls (Gloria's and mine) is their clothing. My doll was manufactured as a bride. The doll that Gloria held wore a casual dress.

There are similarities in the faces of both dolls; however, my doll's chin appears more pointed.  The Horsman doll's less pointed chin could be due to the angle from which the Jet Magazine photo was taken.
Princess Anna's box
My doll is very well preserved and arrived with the bottom of its original box. The box contains the doll's name, Princess Anna Walking Doll, the Stock #850, and the word, "COLORED" stamped near the name to indicate the doll was the Black version. Princess Anna bears the neck marks: 17VW.

The Valentine doll company used the VW mark for their dolls. My doll is, therefore, not the same doll that Gloria holds, but is very similar in appearance.  It is possible that the two doll companies, Horsman and Valentine, used the same doll.  It is widely known that many doll companies did this and labeled the dolls as their own by adding their own manufacturer's marks, naming and dressing them.  While I do not know the exact doll that Gloria Lockerman held in the Jet Magazine cover image, her doll, like mine, was on the market the 1950s (Gloria's in 1955) and was probably marketed for a few years under the same or different names.

For more information about Gloria Lockerman's game show experience, visit the following URL:

In addition, below is a YouTube video by Youtuber, OurKrazyKulture from September 2009, which provides additional details about young Miss Lockerman's game show experience and the post-show controversy that developed.


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  1. Wow. What a trip down memory lane! I was watching a you tube video and out of the blue the word "antidisestablishmentarianism" popped into my head, and then the name Gloria Lockerman. I remember this very well. Gloria was an inspiration to everyone in our community and the beauty was we all made sure we could spell that word. She was certainly a hero in my family and community and the funny thing is, our dolls looked just like her's. Thank you for sharing this info and I promise to pass it along. Good luck and God Bless.

    1. Hello Cleo Patra - thank you for your comment. The doll in the post that appears identical to the one Gloria holds might use the same head sculpt (and body) as Gloria's doll, but since publishing this post three years ago, I recently discovered that Gloria's doll was manufactured by Horsman dolls, a different manufacturer than my doll. Many doll makers did purchase dolls and/or parts from the same source. It remains a possibility that Horsman and Valentine used the same head sculpt for these two dolls.

      Do you remember the name of the doll you owned that was just like Gloria's?

      Thanks again!



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