Is It A Doll Or Is It A . . . ?

Between my sister and me, we have somehow ended up with some of the personal belongings of our deceased relatives.  Some are very old things.  Some are run-of-the-mill things, but other things are . . . well . . . a little more interesting.

Some of the more interesting pieces have come from my paternal grandmother.  My sister somehow managed to acquire several things, and my cousin, Tina, and her mother, my aunt, have other things.

Here is a picture of my grandmother.  She died in 1984.

Recently, my cousin, who has been helping her mother clean out her home, gave me a plastic tub filled with a few interesting things from our grandmother, but one of those things stood out more than the others.

My cousin and my sister recall this sitting on my grandmother’s bedroom dresser.

This doll, which is made of plaster and tulle and satin, sat in my grandmother’s bedroom.  When my daughter, Katy, saw it she said it was creepy.

You may think this is just a doll.

A closer look reveals a surprise.

But, if you examine the doll closely, it reveals a secret.  Under the skirt, there is a light bulb and an electrical cord.

The 5 watt light bulb was burned out, but I managed to find a replacement.

Voila!  Let there be light!

Once the bulb was replaced and the cord was plugged in the doll became a . . . lamp!

So, is it a doll or is it a lamp?

My daughter, Rachel, has acquired several old things from various family members.  She has an old tube-style radio that belonged to my DSH’s father, her paternal grandfather.

She has a stack of old engineering and math books from my dad, her maternal grandfather.  There are still notes and math problems, written in his handwriting, tucked away in the pages of the books.

She has an old beer crate from Daddy.  Of course she does.

And she is now the proud owner of the doll / lamp thingy.  I made her promise not to really use it as a lamp because I am quite sure that it is not electrically safe not only due to the very old wiring but also because the light bulb is surrounded by delicate, old fabric which would create quite a torch if ignited.

Unlike her sister, she did not think it was creepy at all.  She thought it was kind of cool and interesting and she asked if she could have it.  And she’s already planning on how and where she will display it once she finishes her current temporary assignment and moves to her permanent home early next year.

I’m just glad to know that it will have a new home and that she appreciates the things that she has collected from her ancestors – many of whom died long before she was born.

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7 Responses to Is It A Doll Or Is It A . . . ?

  1. Martha says:

    I think it is kind of cool also. If she reallly wants to use it as a lamp she could take it somewhere to get it checked. I’m sure it was used before. Kalb electric in Maplewood could tell her if it was safe. Neat to pass things down to the next generation!

    • Mama says:

      With the old fabric, I don’t really see how it could be electrically safe even if it was re-wired. I think it will make a nice conversation piece!

      Mama

  2. Karen Marchetto says:

    just happy to see a new story. hope there are more to come.

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