An Incomplete Timeline

1890– The Edison Phonograph Doll

Used a wax cylinder phonograph. Before then the cylinders were tin-foil. It would play nursery rhymes

1920s- The Mama Doll

Used a cylindrical bellows. When squeezed air came out and it kinda sorta sounded like “mama”.

1960– The Chatty Kathy

Used a string to drag a needle across a grooved disc…essentially a record player with a disc not a cylinder.

1985– Teddy Ruxpin Bear

Used a cassette tape

1987– The Jill Doll

Used a cassette tape.

1994– The Telephone Tammy Doll

Used wireless technology to allow you to call her. I couldn’t find what she used to speak but since it’s the 90s it might be a cassette or even an early CD.


1998– The Furby

Used, basically, a small simply computer.

2014– The My Friend Cayla Doll

Used…and app. With a Bluetooth connection you can talk to her, she connects to the internet and the cloud-based service there to give you a good bit of interactivity.

2020– Moxie

Uses Artificial Intelligence

Edison Doll Audio Clips

The Edison Doll creeped people out. So we wanted to share a couple of the audioclips that caused the creeping:

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Here’s the NPS page that has the others:

Food for Thought

The Mama Doll cost $2.99 in 1920. In today’s money that’s $41.55.


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