Saturday, May 10, 2008

Clovia Wallet of "Gasoline Alley" turns Fifty-Nine

I was still a little girl in 1949. One of America's favorite comic strips at that time was Gasoline Alley. In May of that year Clovia Wallet was born to Skeezix and Nina, characters in the funnies. The birth of the red-headed baby was much heralded and there was even a contest to name her. The comic strip was so popular that the baby became instantly well-known. I believe it was Ideal that created a special baby doll named Clovia.

It must have been 1950 when I received my Clovia doll. I may have had dolls before this one but Clovia is the first one I remember. She had "real" red hair which soon became unruly. My solution? Take a pair of Mom's scissors and begin whacking. Of course, this made matters worse and Clovia soon became bald on the back of her head. I didn't mind. I loved my doll.

I find it rather surprising that this doll is relatively unknown. I've tried to google information on the Clovia doll but have not come up with more than this link. (This is where I found the photo). The only other place I've seen mention of the Clovia doll is in the October 19, 1953 edition of Life magazine. Clovia was mentioned in an article that featured comic strip dolls.

I've asked at a couple doll shows, too, but nobody seems to know much about Clovia. I would love to once more own a Clovia doll. However, this doll had a rubber body, and I'm guessing its rubber body has long since gone bad. So any such dolls still in existence may not be in great shape.

Clovia Wallet of Gasoline Alley fame would be 59 years old on May 15. And if you've been doing the math, you will know I'm a bit older, she said with a smile.


Dee said...

I am the proud owner of a Clovia doll by Ideal. She has a replaced vinyl body and a clover was very carefully put on the back of her hand just like the original one. Clovia even has her original pin. I purchased a big poster advertising Clovia, on eBay last year, and it is fabulous. I will try to post the picture on here.
Well that didn't work using an HTML photo from Photobucket.

Suzique said...

I too once owned a Clovia doll. Unfortunately she was stored in the attic when I got older, and her rubber body disintegrated. I think I still have her head. She was a favorite of mine!