Barbie Turns 50

Barbie Turns 50
toy mattel 
The Life and Times of the Most Famous Doll in the World
Allan Grant / Time Life Pictures / Getty

Ruth Handler (with her husband and Mattel co-founder Eliot Handler, above) says she got the idea for Barbie after watching her daughter play adult and teenage make-believe with paper-dolls. She saw an empty niche — no U.S. company had ever made a three-dimensional, adult-proportioned doll before — and a few years later, Barbie was born.

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