Among the Delaware County Historical Society’s collection are some artifacts on display commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
Thanks to Kathy Warren of Aston, the historical society has a World War I “Liberty Boy” composition doll. Also known as a doughboy, the doll was designed by Morris Michtom in 1917 and manufactured by the Ideal Novelty Co. of Brooklyn, N.J.
It is jointed at the shoulders and hips by metal springs and its khaki uniform was molded onto the body. Atop his head is a felt brown hat.
These dolls were sold alongside war bonds during the war and Warren said people liked to purchase them to remind them of loved ones serving in the armed forces during the war.
Also on hand is a songbook of popular tunes at the time, called “The Sensational Stammering Song Success Sung by the Soldiers and Sailors” by Geoffrey O’Hara, Army song leader.
On its cover is featured a soldier in the traditional khaki uniform holding the hand of a young curly-haired woman in front of an enormous moon. Above them in large letters is displayed, “K-K-Katy,” referring to the popular song telling of the brave and bold soldier who, yet vocally challenged, expressed his adoration for the golden-hair maiden, Katy.
“K-K-K-Katy, beautiful Katy,” the song lyrics read, “You’re the only g-g-g-girl that I adore. “When the m-m-m-m-moon shines, Over the cowshed, I’ll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.”
There’s also a November 1918 copy of a third edition Morning Republican proclaiming the words many Americans were so relieved to read. In huge lettering, the words, “PEACE! Armistice Signed!” were stretched across the page.
The World War I items can be seen at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum’s telephone number is 610-872-0502. Parking is free on the society lot behind the building or across the street in the municipal lot.
Membership in the Delaware County Historical Society ranges from $10 for students, $27 for individuals to $250 at the patron level. It includes free admission to the society’s Chester museum and library at 408 Avenue of the States, the society newsletter and preferred reservations and discounts for lectures and events. To join, please visitwww.padelcohistory.org or call 610-359-0832.
This doll was made in Brooklyn, N.Y. during World War I and was popular in its day.
Want to learn the lyrics to K-K-Katy and sing like the soldiers in World War I? You can by visiting the Delaware County Historical Museum, where this songbook is on view.