Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue?

There was an amazing article in the Boston Sunday Post, regarding “Grown Women Who Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue – Stars of Stage and Screen Enthuse Over Their New ‘Back-to-Nature’ Stunt That Gives Rest and Relaxation From Wearisome Work.”[i]
The article begins with:
All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl.
Jill in this instance is the professional girl of the stage.
She works hard—a great deal harder than her public may believe.
It is not the physical exertion that makes her yearn to play; it is the never-ending strain of the artificial – the make-believe.
So that when the stage girl does play she goes to the antithesis of the artificial—the natural. And that is the reason why her trunks are so apt to contain dolls, teddy bears, stuffed doggies, piggies and monkeys and what-not of children’s playthings.
The average individual, on beholding a stage girl sitting on the floor, rocking a doll to sleep or tossing a teddy bear up and down, is apt to pronounce the whole proceeding as absurd….
The article continues on with a story about Effie Hartwell and her playing with dolls as a means of relaxation. The amazing part of the article tells us about Donna’s personal life.
Newspaper Photo of Donna Montran sitting astride a wooden horse.
Now when another photographer wended his way to make pictures of Donna Montran the Boston model and Singer and found the beauty sitting a-straddle on the floor of the studio he was not all surprised.
“Taking it easy?” the photographer asked.
“Right! The very first guess,” replied the model. “This business of posing is one that tests endurance to the limit as any artist will tell you. Physically and mentally you’re exhausted at the end of the working day.
“My own idea of resting up is going back to childhood times and playing as one did when a child. I know it sounds perfectly silly to say so but the remedy sure is a cure-all. And if one can have the children at hand to play with, why its value is increased a thousand times over.  Don’t argue about it; just go ahead and try the experiment once and let me know hit it works out.”
This story of models, actresses, and singers playing with toys as a means to cope with the hectic lives they lead is great material to fill in details about the lives of the famous. Should you play with dolls or toys for rest and relaxation?  Follow Donna’s advice and give it a try.

[i] “Grown Women Who Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue”, Boston Sunday Post, January 27, 1918, Page 29; Online Archive,, accessed 2015.
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One thought on “Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue?”

  1. That's a Wow on two counts for me.

    First, the article contains words straight from my grandmother's lips about the strain a performer experiences. Just like Donna, I think of being on the stage as work. Hard work.

    Secondly, I play with dolls–the very ones I had as a child. And it's for the same reason, exactly. Reverting to child activities DOES help with stress. It's what's behind the current popularity of adult coloring books, (of which I have two.)

    Very interesting…again.

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