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From the Archives: Pasadena matron gathers 600 dolls for Christmas donation

Harriet A. McCabe poses in a garden with dolls to be donated at Christmas.
Oct. 19, 1935: Harriet A. McCabe displays examples of her doll clown circus. Six hundred dolls collected for Holiday donations filled her Pasadena home.
(Jean Kentle /Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)

This photo by writer Jean Kentle accompanied her article in Oct. 20, 1935, Los Angeles Times:

An all-year-round hobby that contributes an inestimable amount of happiness to children is Mrs. Guy Stewart McCabe’s — that of creating, collecting, dressing and distributing hundreds of dolls to underprivileged children.

A director of the Ruth Protective Home, Mrs. McCabe’s original goal was set at fifty, but through the interest and generosity of friends and friends of friends the number has now reached 600 dolls of various sizes, styles and degrees of completion, while there are an additional 200 miniature dolls that are being appropriately dressed to be the exclusive decoration for a large Christmas tree.

Humorous and lifelike clown dolls were the center of attraction yesterday at the all-day garden party and fair on the spacious lawns of the E.W. Knowlton estate on South Grand avenue, Pasadena, held under the auspices of the First Congregational Church. …

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The Prospect Boulevard home of the McCabes in Pasadena is like “Christmas every day” with dolls and doll clothes — bits of fur, brocades and satins, calicos and cashmeres contributed by hundreds of friends, many of whom come in groups to sew tiny seams, buttons on bootees or crochet caps, delighted to do their Christmas sewing early.

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A followup article in Dec. 15, 1935, Los Angeles Times reported the donation drive collected 1,100 dolls.

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This post originally was published Nov. 3, 2014.


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