Congratulations to Rob de Bie, Rolf Christian Holth Olsen and David James who correctly identified this weeks mystery object – Mae Starr by Universal Talking Toys Company – U.S.A, 1930.
Mae Starr was made by the Universal Talking Toys Co., and uses the Averill Manufacturing Company’s cylinder phonograph motor. The cylinder mechanism is housed in a well constructed tin-plate housing at the back of the doll. the sound is directed out of the front of the chest. A small lever starts the motor and positions the stylus on the beginning of the cylinder, whilst a crank is used on the thigh to wind the mechanism. All of the dolls that used this type of mechanism used blue, 2 3/16 inch diameter, and 1 ¼ inch long cylinders.
This doll has celluloid arms, legs and head. Her body is cloth and stuffed, and has the metal cylinder holder in her back and a metal lined hole in her chest where the sound comes out. On her side is a hand crank. Mae’s eyes open and with brunette human hair wig. This particular doll stands 26 2/4 inches tall and comes with two original cylinders.
Mae Starr talking doll by Universal Talking Toys Company – Courtesy of the EMI Group Archive Trust Collection. Film courtesy of thegirlofmusic1– ‘Mae Starr Phonograph Doll – Nursery Rhyme: One, Two.’