History: Early Years
History: Recent Years
Shows & Events
Interesting Facts about National
Original text submitted by Leona Peterson with revisions by Debbie Diaz
1. Mary Lewis was an eclectic collector who appreciated all
types of dolls.
2. The first doll club consisted of eight women.
3. National held its meetings in the Hotel Pennsylvania, which
became the Hilton, and then at the NY Summit, prior to its
current location at FIT (Fashion Institute if Technology).
4. National was among the first clubs to accept men and
minorities in its membership.
5. Many distinguished doll artists have been members including
Dorothy Heizer, Gertrude Florian, Bernard and Frances Ravca,
Robert McKinley and R. John Wright.
6. Joseph Floyd was our first male president.
7. Robert Tonner was our second male president and is a
renowned doll artist and designer.
8. Barbara Steiker was the longest standing member (64 years) until her death in July 2004, originally joining as a Junior
Member in 1940 at the age of 15.
9. Both Rosemary Sullivan and Loretta Nardone served as UFDC
10. Maureen Herrod, Leona Peterson and Barbara Steiker all
served as judges for UFDC Competitive Exhibits.
11. Krystyna Goddu was the first editor of "Dolls" magazine and is
now a noted author of doll and bear books.
12. Velvalee Dickinson was our most notorious member. She was
convicted of spying for the Japanese during WWII.
13. Viola Simms until her death in May 2001 was our unofficial
Club Hospitality Hostess and keeper of our guest book for over
14. John Noble was the distinguished Curator of the Museum of
the City of NY and wrote numerous articles and books on dolls.
15. Lenon Hoyte was the owner of "Aunt Len's Doll Museum"
located in Harlem.
16. National has contributed to many charities throughout its
years including St. Labre's Indian Home, Albanian Relief, Polio
and other Children's Diseases Foundations.
We are a New York City based non-profit doll club organized expressly for charitable and educational purposes related to doll collecting.
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