Friday Favorites: Dollhouses

Did you know that the first examples of what we call dollhouses today were actually made for adults? These miniature houses, called “baby houses” or “cabinet houses,” date to the 17th century. They were made in Europe and were not toys. They were displays of status and wealth, and in some cases were replicas of the person’s home complete with tiny versions of furniture and possessions in the owner’s full-sized house.

In the nineteenth century, the industrial revolution and the mass-production it introduced changed the dollhouse into a teaching tool. Many thought a dollhouse an ideal way to teach girls household management. It was not until the twentieth century that the dollhouse became a true toy.

The dollhouse currently on exhibit at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum belonged to the great-granddaughter of George and Louisa Macculloch, Mary Louisa McVickar (1860-1943) and her daughters Phyllis and Elizabeth. Visitors of all ages delight in looking at the dollhouse, graciously on loan from Linda Langstaff Carrington.

To learn more about miniatures and see what is possible in small scale visit:

Learn to make a dollhouse from things in your house, visit:

Exterior of a white dollhouse, made to look like Macculloch Hall.

Age / Level:

Friday Favorites: Dollhouses Photo Gallery

Up close shot of a dollhouse containing two chairs, a table with small bowl and plate on top, and shelf. Up close shot of a dollhouse interior containing a couch, chairs, footrest, fireplace, and table. A small dollhouse with couch, chairs, table, and bench.