Time Travel: Helen Keller’s Doll


For those of you who don’t know who Helen Keller is, stay tuned. Helen Keller was one of the few girls who was deaf and blind, but learned how to become an amazing leader.

The photo below was just found, and is currently the first picture of Helen and her doll. By that time, age eight, Helen had collected many dolls, but never had a picture taken with them. The young lady next to her is Anne Sullivan, her teacher. It’s possible the doll was given to her by her teacher, but it could be another one of her dolls.


You’re probably wondering what this has to do with American Girl. Well, Helen loved her doll just like a normal girl loves her American girl doll. Doesn’t the doll in the picture look a bit like an American girl?

The doll has a wig with no center part. The more expensive dolls of bisque usually had wigs with a side part and usually had longer hair. So it is probably not bisque. The short hair-do may have been due to a re-styling with scissors by a young girl!

The doll seems to be well-loved so may have been a metal (tin) head Minerva (or Minerva type) doll. The Sears catalog of 1902 shows a similar wig on their “indestuctible” metal head doll – these dolls had been available as much as 15 years before the catalog. The hands on Helen’s doll also match the Sears illustration.


This doll is a close up of what Helen’s dolls could’ve looked like. It’s a minerva doll, which means it has a head made out of a sheet of metal! Not the kind of doll we would want to be hugging today!

I’d like to thank Millie’s Doll Closet for the wonderful picture of Helen and her doll!


March 23, 2008. Time Travel.


  1. Julivy replied:

    Cool!I never knew helen keller had more than one doll!I only have elizabeth.She’s a nice doll.

  2. Doll Clothes Girl replied:

    Hi this is Lisa-Marie from Emily Rose doll clothes. I think it is great that you guys started this blog! We are updating our blog at Emily Rose and will let all of our customers know abt yours.

  3. sylvierosen replied:

    Thanks, I have heard about your site too.

  4. Alexandra replied:

    I am doing a project on Helen Keller. My teacher asked to get an item on her. I picked the ragdoll. I need as much imformation on it as I can. If so please e-mail me. Thank you.

  5. Kate=) replied:

    i have a doll. it kinda scares me. so i put it back in its box=) it is suposed to look like me but it doesnt. lol oh well.

  6. Amy replied:

    Hi- For my book report I’m doing Helen Keller. My teaher told me we have to dress as the person so, I picked up a doll. It has helped alot for dressing up as her! But… if you have any information you can give me that would be awesome! Email me the information if you could please that would be great! Thank you so much

  7. Elizabeth replied:

    Hi! same here Alexandra I’m doing a project on helen keller and this website was a big help!

  8. civicprincess123 replied:


  9. Callie replied:

    good thing she wasnt able to see that doll

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