Americana: Electro's Hobby

Like many other little girls, Electra Havemeyer liked to collect dolls. Her collection eventually included early American rag and wood dolls, dolls made of bisque, china, papier-mâchÊ, wax, rubber, rawhide, gutta-percha and celluloid. She also liked dollhouses, and wound up owning 43 of them, some big enough to accommodate people.

Of course, Electra Havemeyer was not quite an ordinary little girl. The daughter of Multimillionaire Sugar Refiner Henry O. Havemeyer, she was mar ried in 1910 to J. Watson Webb, a polo-playing great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. Webb eventually inherited a house...

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