Black and white photograph of Leo Sterne posing with six dolls 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

Leo Sterne poses for a promotional image with a selection of six dolls from the L.J. Sterne Doll Company. The dolls are in dresses and wear a variety of headresses including bonnets, hats and veils. Leo is holding up two dolls in bonnets and the other four dolls are positioned in front of him.

Physical Description

Black and white photograph with an ink stamp and hand written text on the reverse of the photograph.


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 Melbourne 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 (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 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 Australian post-war 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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