Interesting Miniature Tidbits

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I am finally going through the old NAME Gazettes I bought at the miniature show starting from 1977. It's a little spooky, since most of those people are over the age of 60 and the majority of them are dead now, and also because of the truly bad B&W photos of them. But the houses are magnificent. This was a time when few commercial dollhouse companies made houses for us regular folks. Dollhouses then were either children's toys or works of art costing thousands of dollars. If you wanted a dollhouse that wasn't a child's toy and couldn't afford a collector's piece, you built your own or cajoled someone into building it for you. Here's a few things I found that I would like to share:

 

*I am seeing no sign of American Crafts Miniatures, but there is an ad for Carlson's Miniatures, Inc. They are/were based in Delavan, WI.

 

*Was anyone aware that Jackie Dieber was the author of more dollhouse plans than Pepperwood Farm? I didn't, although I'd seen a few of these houses in pictures. Besides, Pepperwood Farm, there was also Windflower Manor, The Concord, The Heartford, Gull Bay Cape, The General Store, and Jackie's Kitchen, Vols I and II.

 

*And while I think we all knew this, now it's official. I found a half page ad stating that "While maybe you can't have a house Noel Thomas finished, you could finish a Noel Thomas house. Noel Thomas has made one of his unique designs available for the miniature crafter to finish." There is a picture of The Tower House, as it's called (and modeled after The Grays River Miniature House of 1979) and underneath the picture of The Tower House, it says: The Tower House   Designed by Noel Thomas   Built by Ray Uhr  And it was sold at Mr. Peepers, Dept. 8, 2665 N. Village Mall, University Village, Seattle, WA.

Further update: Pat Thomas says in an article that the Gray's River house became the prototype for a series of unfinished shells called The Tower House....distributed by Mr. Peepers. Mr. Peepers consists of Allan Davis and Babs Rafferty.

 

*It's funny how some houses just follow you around. In the 80s, I got  a book called 'Through the Looking Glass' by Ann Ruble of Nutshell News. One of the pictures was of a lovely white house with a solarium and a tower. I had gone through all the Miniature Collector and Nutshell News magazines I'd bought at the show last March and in Miniature Collector, they have a page or two of miniatures and what they were auctioned off for. This is how I came to find out that this beautiful White House, as it's called, was auctioned off for $45,000 in 1989. Now, reading a Miniature Gazette from 1979, I have found the story of how Jackie Barlow had the house built in 1978. Unfortunately, she never names the builder, but I bet that info will pop out at me someday.

 

I have only gone through about 6 of the 30 to 40 magazines I have right now, so I will keep updating this thread with interesting tidbits if you want me too. What I'm not doing is reading the letters to the editor at this point. I'm planning to go through those at a later date and I wonder how much info I'm missing by putting that off. I'm always amazed at what shows up in letters to the editor and the comments to stories. So I'm sure there is more info waiting for me there.

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Fall of 1978: Cir-Kit Concepts develops tape wiring method.

                     Sonia Messer presents her new 1978 collection

 

Fall of 1979: Realife Miniatures manufactured by Scientific Models introduces 3 new wood dollhouse furniture kits. They include the Victorian Bedroom, the Victorian Dining Room, and the Victorian Parlor.

 

Winter of 1979: Bobby Sherman (remember him?) recreated Main Street from Disneyland in his yard in 1/5 scale. He actually constructed the buildings.

 

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I moved this post to a thread of it's own. If a moderator wants to delete this post, please feel free.

 

 

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Great post! I love this historical stuff. The old magazines are the only way to hold onto this sort of info, so much of this doesn't exist online. Keep updating!

 

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*Was anyone aware that Jackie Dieber was the author of more dollhouse plans than Pepperwood Farm? I didn't, although I'd seen a few of these houses in pictures. Besides, Pepperwood Farm, there was also Windflower Manor, The Concord, The Heartford, Gull Bay Cape, The General Store, and Jackie's Kitchen, Vols I and II.

 

I have seen some of these before. I might even have some of them. :o

Can you post a pic/scan of the info about the Gull Bay Cape? I'm wondering if it's the same as / similar to my half scale Gull Bay pull-apart house? http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?page_id=9009

I recently came across another half scale pull-apart house that seems to be adapted from a 1:12 house by Jackie Dieber. http://www.emilymorganti.com/blog/?p=10268

I know the Gull Bay is based on a Millie August house but I've never heard of the "Gull Bay Cape" plans...

Also it's good to have the info about the Tower House, Ray Uhr, and Mr. Peepers. That question comes up often.

 

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I'll see if I can get a picture on tomorrow or later tonight. I know the JD Gull Bay Cottage was 1/12 scale and didn't look like your small cottage. I haven't heard of the other one so far. There sure wasn't a lot of half scale back then. Jackie Dieber did make a large Victorian house (I'll post a pic of that too), but in the ad it says there aren't plans for that one.

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I find all this historic information fascinating.  If any one doesn't happen to be interested, they don't have to read it.

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Kelly, interestingly enough I also have a fairly decent collection of dollhouse plan books, and have every house plan by Jackie Kerr Dieber except the Gull Bay Cape. Though I keep my eyes open to find it someday. I would appreciate if you keep updating this thread as well, as I always find this interesting!   :)

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I think this is fantastic!  I will be following this. 

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Please, please keep us updated. It is wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to keep us informed.

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Love this topic.  What exactly is a "pull apart " house?

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I'm loving this thread. I subscribed to mini magazines in the 90s and I still go through them once in a while for the ads as much as anything else. Thanks for documenting this history!

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3 hours ago, Mimajo said:

Love this topic.  What exactly is a "pull apart " house?

It's a house that's assembled as two pieces that slide together, so when they're slid together the house is fully enclosed. Jackie Deiber did several of these in the late 80s that she taught in classes and sold as shells.

gull-bay2.jpg

townhouse7.jpg

Some of the designs are based on Millie August HO scale houses that were also sold in the 80s: https://www.etsy.com/listing/26268780/vintage-millie-august-pull-apart-doll

Also the Pepperwood Farm was also available as a Millie August pull-apart house: https://www.etsy.com/listing/55030046/vintage-milliemeter-mansions-pepperwood

Judging from how many show up on Craigslist and eBay, Pepperwood Farm was probably Jackie's most popular set of 1:12 plans. The 1:12 version is not a pull-apart house, but a fully-enclosed house with hinged walls. Here's some more info about the Pepperwood Farm: http://scarletsailsminiatures.blogspot.com/2013/08/pepperwood-farm.html

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Emily, I finally found the picture of the Gull Bay Cape. It's not with Jackie's other house plans, but it was in an article about her.

Here 'tis:

57cdd70015057_Picture004.jpg.9430a35942b

Jackie had a business going as Green Apples Miniatures. She began to see her plans published when she talked to Sid Minor, a sales representative for Crafts Publications, and he put her in touch with the owner of Craft Publications, Dave Cunningham. Dave published three of her plan books: Pepperwood Farm, Windflower Manor, and the Concord. Dave later took three more: The Gull Bay Cottage AKA the Cape Cod (pictured above), the Heartford, and the General Store. Later Jackie talked to someone named Lee Carlson who made some Victorian and Colonial components to go with the houses. Yup, that's our Lee Carlson of Carlson's miniatures. All this was in the March 1977 Gazette. Jackie also mentioned how her husband helps with her dollhouses; "He helps me carry them into the house and he helps me carry them out of the house."

Also new in 1977 were three new miniature kits from Realife Miniatures: the Library, the Country Kitchen, and the Music Room.

And NAME was presenting their 5th national Houseparty in San Diego.

I gotta go get some breakfast.

I am currently in the middle of a bunch of things right now: I am on page 100 of a 300 page thread about hauntings in the hospitals on a nurse's forum (let me know if any of you want the link - you will never look at a hospital stay the same way again), I am working on Bramble, I am reading books from the library I ordered that all came in at once (I only ordered 8 this time), and for the next 5 days, I will be attempting to get up in the middle of the night (7am) to be one of the first 200 people in line at a new grocery store opening because what they're giving away is exactly what I need. That may die a quick death, however. I go to bed late and don't get up that early unless I have to throw up or go potty, whichever comes first.

So going through the magazines may be a little spotty. But I will continue to go through them and as I am really just paging through them right now instead of reading them, there's probably lots more in there. Let me know if anyone wants me to be on the lookout for something!

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Yep, that looks nothing like my Gull Bay! Funny that they had the same name. I don't know if Jackie came up with the name for my house or if the Millie August house came first (I actually don't know if Jackie had anything to do with designing the Millie August houses). Maybe it was a coincidence.

 

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Kirkbride. Does that mean anything to you Kelly? I have visited several Kirkbride buildings. And chatted with the security guards. 'Nuf said. I love them. I'd love to do a quarter scale Kirkbride. They are mostly in the east, but there is at least one in the west and it is gorgeous. Probably gone by now- but it was there in 90s - old and rotting and guarded by guards to prevent looky loos like me from going in. But the guard was nice. Made me delete my photos, tho. Ahem. Which I "sort of" did. When I go east, they seem to pop up in front of me on my travels and I know what they are immediately and I LOVE the architecture...coincidence (because there were many in the east) or am I subconsciously drawn to them? Mwahahahahaha who knows! lol!

A quarter scale Kirkbride would be the ultimate halloween house.

But back to dollhouses - I had read an article about Jackie Dieber's other houses - I am always interested in seeing her Colonial and Victorian plans...I thought she had also done a 1900s house...a 4 square type. But maybe not - I have over 100 nutshell news magazine from the 80s - the time when I was young and collecting but couldn't afford to buy the magazine (I'd get maybe 1 or 2 per year as a treat). As a self-indulgent adult, I bought a set on ebay for a song (less than $1 apiece) and have been mini-time-traveling since. I love reading old magazines. I also have some home/ladies magazine from the year my house was built so I can keep in touch with my house's time-roots. A bit odd, yes, but fun.

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Also...I have a Dieber pull-apart house I got on ebay. And I LOVE IT. I also had a Pepperwood Farm built shell that I loved - it had wonderfully high ceilings and opened on both sides, so it had a "real house" feeling when you looked through the hallway. Alas, I had to part with it as it was a HUGE and heavy and I knew I would never finish it. 

I will post photo of the pull-apart when I can - it is worth seeing. It was finished inside and extremely well done (the curtains are amazing), doors open, etc. A real steal for what it is. One funny thing - it took me a bit of puzzling to figure out how to open it - I couldn't see any opening clues...so there I was looking inside it to see the rooms. Total rubick's cube at first. Very well designed, imo. Maybe the house was being shy - because after I looked at it for awhile turning it around and cooing at it - BAM! The little roof was suddenly very easy to open. 

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6 hours ago, Elsbeth said:

Kirkbride. Does that mean anything to you Kelly? I have visited several Kirkbride buildings. And chatted with the security guards. 'Nuf said. I love them. I'd love to do a quarter scale Kirkbride. They are mostly in the east, but there is at least one in the west and it is gorgeous. Probably gone by now- but it was there in 90s - old and rotting and guarded by guards to prevent looky loos like me from going in. But the guard was nice. Made me delete my photos, tho. Ahem. Which I "sort of" did. When I go east, they seem to pop up in front of me on my travels and I know what they are immediately and I LOVE the architecture...coincidence (because there were many in the east) or am I subconsciously drawn to them? Mwahahahahaha who knows! lol!

I googled Kirkbride house and got a whole slew of images in all kinds of styles, plus individual houses named Kirkbride House named for different Kirkbride family members, also in a variety of styles. Now I'm curious. Guards? No photos permitted? What's this all about?

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4 hours ago, KathieB said:

I googled Kirkbride house and got a whole slew of images in all kinds of styles, plus individual houses named Kirkbride House named for different Kirkbride family members, also in a variety of styles. Now I'm curious. Guards? No photos permitted? What's this all about?

Maybe the one (or more) that was a mental hospital?

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http://www.kirkbridebuildings.com/

They were victorian insane asylums and there were many across the US. When you come across one nowadays (usually they are closed up and condemned) they are unmistakeable. They are amazing in person. And spooky. They are all called Kirkbride buildings because he was a doctor who came up with the "self contained" village idea. There were underground tunnels connecting portions of the plan. Stores and outer buildings run by inmates...but contained within the grounds. 

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The first one I ever saw was condemned and had a security guard who told me to delete my photos, etc. He said he was there to stop people from trying to get in, etc. I asked him if it was spooky to work there at night - he said he "had seen some things he couldn't explain." I think he knew that was what everyone wanted to hear. The buildings are gorgeous victorian buildings and extra spooky as they decay.

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Thanks for the clarification. They are spooky, all right.

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Well, I checked and I forgot, the 40 or so magazines I have are actually only about 20 or so - the rest were the Miniature Collectors underneath. And as I go further on, there seems to be less and less information. I think when I'm done going through what I have, I'll try to take pictures of the houses in the Gazettes. They won't be the best pictures in the world, because of my camera and because I'm taking pictures of B&W pictures. But it will give you all some idea of how gorgeous the houses were at that time.

I did find one interesting thing. This is 1981 and Batrie is still in business. Batrie makes - made - the houses that go together like Duracraft - by sliding the wood siding panels down between channels. The houses they made that are still being made by RGT are the New Orleans, the Newbury, and the Newport. But I saw a house they made in one of their ads that I've never seen before. I didn't even know it existed.

The house is half a Newport. The ad doesn't give it a name, but it's the Newport with just the tower and bay window section. I thought for a minute they just cut the picture off, but no, there's a door in the tower section. It's an actual dollhouse as it stands. And they didn't have Photoshop in them days. LOL

Later on today or tomorrow, I'll try to take a picture of it and post it here. It's a very interesting house.

Meantime, here's the info for Batrie: Batrie Dollhouses, Dept. MG, Division of Harvard Table Tennis, Inc., 970 The Fellsway, Medford, MA. 

Yes, table tennis. I kid you not.

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17 minutes ago, rodentraiser said:

The houses they made that are still being made by RGT are the New Orleans, the Newbury, and the Newport. 

 

Can I add one more in here.  RGT's Bostonian was also a Batrie house.  I don't see the New Orleans or the Newbury on their website anymore wonder if they have been discontinued along with a few others recently.

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