Object # 673.AIMOdA

On the Origins of Stage Setting for Nuclear Testing - A Rare Example Held in the Collections of AIM, extract from a paper presented by the Very Reverent Carmel Nunce, 6th International Conference of Doll and Rare Memorabilia Collectors, Vanuatu, April 2000


The object known as Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress is a keystone of the remarkable collection of object d' art held in trust by AIM. Measuring approx. 35.5 cm x 30.2 cm, the materials are diverse, but include cotton gingham, cotton lace, nylon fiber, wool and press molded plastic. The features of the face are hand painted in acrylic, treated with a tri-part fixitive. Dated to 1964, Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress an example of the 'Baby Doll' range produced by Mattel during the years 1963-1972. The state of preservation is poor, with evidence of repair to the cotton stomach seams, shoulder joints and legs. The repairs are deplorably shoddy, making the task of conservation of this piece extremely difficult. Further, large sections of the hair at the back of the head are missing and the hall mark delicate 'Baby Doll' coloration of the face has been lost, due to the application at one time of blue gaffa tape.

The provenance and origins of Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress are disputed, most entertainingly, by my esteemed colleague Dr Johannes Blofli. Dr Blofli is wildly enthusiastic for his own thesis, in which the object is the mummified body of a Sumerian dwarf child used in ritualistic torture practices. I feel it necessary to point out some major discrepancies in his hypothesis.

Firstly, the Sumerian society to which Dr Blofli refers was, by today's geography, roughly situated in Afghanistan and not, as Dr Blofli alleges, in Egypt. Egypt is in Africa, Afhanistan is in the Middle East, a fact which Dr Blofli blithely ignores. Secondly, the dwarf child torture ritual practiced by the Sumerians was reserved exclusively for males. The object in question is undisputedly female. Lastly, Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress is most certainly made of plastic and not, as Dr Blofli weakly attempts to prove, mummified flesh exposed to alien radiation. His conclusion that high traces of radiation are the result of exposure to an alien influence is drawn from circumstancial evidence at best. The provenance for the radiation is not alien, but rather more earthly - for a more rigorous investigation of a minority race, see my own paper on the Muski Warriors.

Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress is first mentioned by Sergeant Major Robert Down, who served in the pacific rim 1955-1969. Following the bombing of Bikini Atoll, it was discovered that a family on a charter boat cruise had gone for a morning stroll upon the small strip of sand, unaware of imminent A-bomb testing. The only survivors were the family pet, whom the sailors' renamed 'Goldie', and a Mattel Baby Doll. That this is indeed the Bikini Atoll Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress can be attested by the missing clump of hair at the back of the head, where Goldie the golden retriever chewed the nylon hair away in carrying her to safety. What marvels are God's creatures! There is a tragic irony in this courageous attempt by the family pet to save a loved member of the family.

Though Goldie failed, the discovery of the Baby Doll led directly to the military practice of stage setting A-Bomb sites prior to blasting. Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress was transferred to New Mexico, where it was used, along with other every day ousehold items, in tests which have led to our modern day standards of Atomic Bomb Safety. The discoloration of the 'Baby Doll' flesh tone upon the face by the application of gaffa tape indicates that the radiation meter was affixed to the back of the heat. This further exacerbated the loss of hair. Dr BlowfliÕs mysterious alien radiation is thus explained as residue from repeated atomic bomb drops in proximity to the doll. Numerous (incompetent) repairs to Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress were carried out during the period 1968-71, indicating that she had become a valued member of blast site stage settings. The same can not be said for other, mundane mannequins, which were blown up and then discarded. The New Mexico A-Bomb tests ceased in 1974, at which time the stage props used for the blast tests were consigned to be safely disposed of as landfill. Exactly how Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress escaped this fate and entered the AIM collection is unclear. Many object d' art have been anonymously donated to AIM over the years, however and we may simply be grateful for the generous patronage shwn to the collection by an unknown benefactor. Baby Doll in Blue Gingham Dress is as unique and valuable to our world's heritage of innovative ideas as my own beautiful, yet functional, Wafer Dispenser, also in the AIM collection.


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