Over three generations of “doctors” and 100 years in operation, Sydney’s Original Doll Hospital has kept the business and art of toy repair alive.
Started in 1913 in the back of a General Store, the Doll Hospital was a one-of-a-kind business from the start. The repair shop kept afloat for a number of years but really gained prominence during World War II when resources were scarce and the only toys most kids would have were those they already owned, making maintenance all the more important. Over the years the hospital was fixed every type of doll from antique wooden figures, to teddy bears, to modern plastic babies. The purview of the items they could repair often widened to include such things as suitcases, leather goods, and umbrellas, but the focus of the facility has always been on dolls.
Today the back room of Sydney’s Original Doll Hospital looks a bit macabre with bins of plastic limbs and heads covering the walls. However, little girls and adults from all across Australia and the wider world still send in their damaged dollies to this inanimate intensive care.