Colour photograph of Leo Sterne with Humphrey B. Bear Dolls. The location is most likely the Sterne Doll factory in Carlton, Victoria, circa 1965.

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 stands to the right hand side and is focused on propping up a Humphrey B. Bear doll. A group of Humphrey B. Bear dolls stand on a table.

Physical Description

Colour 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 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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