S. and J. Fuller
The London toy novelty firm, S. & J. Fuller, produced a series of books
between 1810 and 1816 that came with a paper doll and various outfits,
hand-colored and cut-out. The small books told stories in verse,
centered on a character represented by the paper doll. The character
wore a specific outfit in each episode of the verse; thus, as the book
was read, the doll was supposed to be dressed in the appropriate attire.
The books would often tell morality tales aimed at children. As an
example, in Little Fanny, Fanny is at first an “idle” girl whose chief
activity is playing with her dolls. When her mother refuses to accompany
her to the park, she escapes with her maid and is soon robbed of her
clothes. She appears next as a beggar girl and slowly works her way out
of poverty and into different outfits until she is able to return to her
mother. In the end, Fanny has learned her lesson and appears reading a
book instead of playing with a doll.
The Fuller paper doll design is different than the original paper dolls
of the 1790s. Instead of having an entire body, the doll consists of
only a head and neck. The neck serves as a tab that slides into slots in
the backs of the outfits.
The books were quite expensive compared to other colored children’s
books. Selling from five to eight shillings, they would have been
marketed toward the upper class.