Black and white photograph of a table displaying components from the manufacturing of dolls heads 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

Set against a brick background, a table, covered by a dismantled cardboard box, displays components from the manufacturing of dolls heads by the L. J. Sterne Doll Company. The table holds one completed dolls head on a fabric body, six moulds of various sizes, thirty-two unpainted faces of various sizes and nineteen painted dolls heads of various sizes.

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.

More Information