The Madame Hendren Doll

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In 1922, the Averill Manufacturing Co. issued this type of cylinder talking doll, using the same kind of mechanism already used by the K & K Toy Company of 1916.  The mechanism shown in her back, in the mirror, is cranked from the axis of the mandrel with a key.  The black celluloid cylinders are fixed on a cylindrical cardboard core.  To prevent a reverse installation of the cylinder on the mandrel, one of the end is painted purple.   A sliding door can be pushed down.  A central hole in it permits to crank the motor while the door is closed.  The sound is projected through her wig and her perforated skull from a metallic horn placed in her head.  Later, the Averill company will continue to issue Madame Hendren dolls with a new motor, the same used later with the Mae Starr dolls.

 

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This doll, seen on Ebay is a little bit different.  First, her name; "Madame Georgene". Only the front half of the head is different (fixed eyes, instead of moving ones for the Madame Hendren), the back half comes from the same mould.  Here, the skull is made of cardboard-papier mache like the rest of the head instead of metal.  The horn occupies all the head instead of being smaller and attached to the side.

 

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But, the biggest difference comes from the motor which is central in Madame Hendren and put on the right hand side in Madame Georgene.  Here, the motor is apparent and a long string can be seen between the diaphragm and the needle bar.  Except for the German Arnoldia with her wax cylinders that uses a saphir stylus, all the other ones: Edison (even with a wax cylinder), Lioret Jumeau and Mae Star play their cylinders with a metallic point.   The motor, not so elaborated than in Madame Hendren, with a sliding door, is much older.

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