Black and White photograph of two dolls in swimming costumes manufactured by the L. J. Sterne Doll Company.

This photograph relates to products and promotions of the L.J. Sterne Doll Company (1939-1971), a Melbourne doll and toy manufacturer founded by Austrian migrants Leo and Hilda Sterne.

Description of Content

Two dolls dressed in swimming costumes and head wear are displayed on a floral surface with a solid background. The doll on the left has dark curly hair, wears a striped one piece bathing suit and carries a towel. The doll on the right had blonde curly hair and wears a black two piece swimming costume. The world 'MELBOURNE' is visible in the top right hand corner.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph on paper.


This item is part of a growing collection of material relating to the migration and settlement experiences of Leo and Hilda Sterne who arrived in 1939. They immediately established a business that became one of the most successful doll and toy manufacturers in post-war Melbourne.

The L J Sterne Doll Company collection (1939-71) is significant as one of the few surviving collections related to an Australian toy and doll manufacturer, a once thriving industry in Australia. Only at the A. L Lindsay and Co. Archive at the Powerhouse Museum and the Jakas Toys Collection at Museum Victoria are comparable.

This collection of photographs, business and promotional documents, dolls, and toys enables the exploration of many historical and social themes including: local television and manufacturing industries; design and production innovation; marketing and merchandising; childhood; gender and cultural representations; leisure and sport; and key cultural and historical events.

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