Category:Norah Wellings

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Toy Brands and Manufacturers

Norah Wellings

1893 - 1975

Born in 1893. Norah left school at the age of 14 to help care for her invalid father but studied at the London School of Art by correspondence. After her father's tragic death in 1919 she went on to work for Chad Valley as one of their chief designers.

She left the company after seven years in 1926 and opened her own business with her brother Leonard. After many successes together Leonard died in 1959, Norah continued to run the company for a few months but eventually decided to shut it down. Famously she decided that she did not want to sell her designs or leave them to someone else so she made a bonfire and piled on her tools, designs and unfinished dolls and torched the lot.

She then spend her retirement peacefully until she died at the age of 82 in 1975.

1939 catalogue review:

Norah Wellings.

Textile Fabric Toys, by Norah Wellings, is the title of a new catalogue recently issued by this well-known Wellington manufacturer of dolls and soft toys. This year the catalogue is of different size and style to its forerunners. It is larger, but is just as artistic as any of the previous lists.

Colour has been extensively employed, and the items illustrated are shown to every advantage. Where color has not been used half-tone blocks have been resorted to. The whole lay-out, however, is extremely attractive, while the items shown must interest every buyer.

The first pages are devoted to character toys. There are Dutch boy and girl, old Dutch man and his wife, girls in crinolines and party costumes and boys and girls of modern dress. Then there are the Welsh girl, Spanish girl, modern children in modern clothes, as well as the Scotch lads and lassies and the fairy doll. Colour has been employed to emphasise the beauty and novelty of the baby dolls, pyjama babies and the Irish lad and colleen. Long clothes babies and assorted dolls in a series of six are shown, while space has been devoted to dolls' sets, a very attractive range indeed, which should have a large sale. They are featured as the "Norene" and "Dollymine" sets, and in addition, there are the "Babymine" sets, which feature baby dolls with baby clothing. Colour has been employed, too, for the novelty dolls, of which there is a very wide variety. They include such types as Canadian mounties, soldiers, sailors, Mexicans, Red Indians, to mention just a few.

Pages at the end of the catalogue are devoted to soft toys, and they are shown both in colour and in half-tone. These comprise novelty animals in the form of teddy bears, rabbits, monkeys, dogs and camels, birds of grotesque shapes, and an excellent range of correct models, including elephants and other soft toys.

We must not forget to mention the attractive range of nightdress and handkerchief cases in doll and animal form, as well as telephone covers and tea cosies. To sum up, this list is most attractive and interesting.

— , Catalogues Received, , Games and Toys, , July 1939

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