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Sample Autograph Signature: Ruth Handler

American inventor of the Barbie doll and author. Ruth Mosko Handler (1916 - 2002) and her husband, Elliot Handler, co-founded Mattel in 1945 with Harold Matson and operated out of a garage making picture frames. The next year, Matson sold his interest to the Handlers and Mattel began to steadily expand Mattel’s product line beginning with doll furniture, then included a line of musical toys, the the first of which was "The Uke-A-Doodle", a child-size ukulele. Later, various versions of a hand-crank, patented music box were introduced. Mattel followed its musical toy success with the "Burp Gun", a highly successful automatic cap gun based on a patented mechanism, followed by a line of replica rifles and guns that reflected the 1950s popularity of Western-themed television shows like Bonanza and Gunsmoke. Barbie, an improbable molded plastic statuette named after her real-life daughter, was invented and patented by Ruth in 1959. It was immediately so successful that Mattel became a publicly-owned company in 1960. During the 1960s, the company created such popular toys as the "Thingmaker," "Chatty Cathy," "See ‘N Say," and "Hot Wheels." Ruth Handler becomes President of Mattel, Inc. in 1967 and in 1974 the Handlers left Mattel. Although Ruth Handler said "I believed it was important to a little girl’s self-esteem to play with a doll that has breasts," many believe it did quite the opposite for girls who later discovered themselves less endowed. Handler was the co-author with Jacqueline Shannon of Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story.

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Author: Ruth Handler

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