Barbara Ann Scott Doll

CMC S89-1843; PCD 94-687-016

Made by the Reliable Toy Co., Toronto, Ontario; composition body and head; costume of lace fabric with synthetic lining, marabou trim; skates have plastic boot, cast-metal blade; 38 cm. high CMC 983.29.23

Children opening the Eaton's catalogue of 1950-1951 would have instantly recognized this doll on skates. Barbara Ann Scott, "Canada's darling of the ice lanes", had a career as brief as it was extraordinary. In 1948 she won, within a five-week period, the European, World, and Olympic figure-skating championships. Seventy-thousand fans gave Barbara Ann a superstar's welcome when she returned to her home in Ottawa.

The Reliable Toy Company was quick to recognize the marketability of a doll in her image and sold them from 1949 to 1955, dressed in a variety of costumes. In the meantime, Barbara Ann had become the star of an American ice show, but retired from skating a few years later. Her legacy? A few surviving dolls, the memory of a petite blonde champion twirling on an outdoor rink, and a generation of Canadian women named Barbara Ann.