The “Dionne Quintuplets,” five adorable dark-haired, dark-eyed babies, were born in 1934 to a poor family outside of Ontario, Canada. Since they were the first recorded set of quintuplets in history to survive birth and infancy, they instantly became worldwide sensations – capturing the hearts and imaginations of the masses. The Canadian government intervened and took custody of the babies when they were four months old, finding the natural parents unfit guardians due largely to their poverty. The baby girls were moved across the street to a newly-built nursery with full-time doctors and nurses. Soon after, the quintuplets became a marketing sensation, endorsing everything from Quaker Oats and Palmolive to automobiles and typewriters. Madame Alexander made a set of composition dolls in the girls’ likenesses and numerous paper doll sets were made of the quints.
This is a extremely rare store display dating from about 1937 and advertising the Dionne Palmolive Paper Doll book premium. A patron needed to send in three proofs of purchase to the Palmolive company to receive the book for free. The paper doll book is one of the more common books produced in the 1930s and is a staple in most paper doll collections!
If you want to read more about the Dionne Quintuplets, I’d recommend the book, “We Were Five,” a memoir written by the four surving quintuplets in the 1960s. I must warn you, their story turned out to be quite heartbreaking.
This extremely rare piece of memorabilia is currently for sale on EBay. What a great addition to a paper doll collection or Dionne collection! Check out the link at the top of the page to my auctions!