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April 24, 2007

What's a Billiken?


The Billiken was a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Ms. Florence Pretz of Kansas City, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. In 1908 she patented the Billiken who was elf-like with pointed ears, a mischievous smile, and a tuft a hair on his pointed head. His arms were short and he was generally sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him.

The Billiken was one of the first copyrighted dolls and the first likenesses of the Billiken appeared on banks, statues and postcards in 1909.

After a few brief years of popularity, like many other fad toys, the Billiken faded into obscurity.

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