1997 32¢ Martha Chase
Classic American Dolls
Issue Date: July 28, 1997
City: Anaheim, CA
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: 10.9 x 11.1
Inspired by a beloved Izannah Walker doll she had as a child, Martha Jenks Chase devised a complicated method for manufacturing washable cloth dolls which were virtually unbreakable. The heads were made by stretching a stockinet over a mask with raised features, stiffening the material with glue or paste, and then painting the features with oils. As a final step a waterproof coating was applied.
Both boy and girl dolls had molded, painted hair and features. Chase dolls produced during the firm’s early years have sateen torsos, while dolls made later have a rough stockinet body coated with the waterproof finish. The distinctive Chase trademark can be found on the upper leg or under the arm.
From 1890 until 1925, the year of Ms. Chase’s death, the dolls were made by hand in a small factory, called The Doll House, behind her home in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Durable and lovable, the dolls became known around the world, and were shipped to such countries as Sweden, India, China, and Australia.