Ruth Handler Essay

By , Fairfield, CT
Dear Memorial Committee,

“It’s the degree of success and the length of time that is amazing.” Ruth Handler accomplished a lot of successful things in her lifetime. Ruth Handler created the Barbie, Became Co-owner of her husband’s company “Mattel” and also battled Breast cancer and created “Nearly Me”.
Creating Barbie was definitely Ruth Handlers biggest accomplishment. Ruth Handler watched her daughter Barbara, and her friends play with paper dolls, Barbara and her friends gave the paper dolls adult roles, they made the dolls cheerleaders, college students, and housewives. Ruth was inspired by this and started to think about making a three dimensional doll, that would be more realistic to play with. Ruth’s husband did not think this invention would sell. It was not until the family’s trip to Germany when the idea popped back into Ruth’s mind. When Ruth saw the Billie Lilli doll. The Billie Lilli doll was created after a French comic strip. The Billie Lilli doll was not meant for children to play with; it was an adult novelty item. Ruth being inspired by the doll took it back to the United States and used it as inspiration for the Barbie doll. Ruth named the doll after her daughter Barbara’s nickname Barbie. The Barbie soon enough got entered in the New York toy fair on March 9, 1959. The Barbie became an instant success. Barbie came as a blonde and a brunette, and in 1980 African and Hispanic Barbie was introduced. Now a days nine dolls were sold every three seconds. That is not all that Ruth Handler has accomplished, Ruth Handler has also overcome breast Cancer, and became Co Owner of the company Mattel (Ruth Handler, About.com Lemels N-Mit Ruth Handler.)
Ruth Handler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970. She had a mastectomy, which was used as the main solution to fight the disease. Since Ruth Handler couldn’t find a suitable Breast prosthetic, she decided to make her own. Ruth Handler later on formed a company called Ruthton Corp with her, and a friend Peyton Massey. The company manufactured a more realistic prosthetic of a woman’s breast. She called this product “Nearly Me,” Ruth Handler marketed the product to the high-end department store Niemen Marcus. She persuaded Niemen Marcus by guaranteeing a crowd of new customers. Since Ruth made this product, it has inhibited the American dream. Woman back them would no longer feel ashamed of what they had, and what had to be done to stop it. Ruth’s invention helped many Women who had a mastectomy. “Nearly Me,” is still a product used today (Wikipedia Ruth Handler.)
In 1940 Mattel was born, Mattel was made around the time of World War two. The Name Mattel came from Ruth husbands name Elliot Handler combined with his business partners name Harold Mason, “Matt” for short. The First sold product of Mattel was a Wooden ukulele called the “Uke-a-doodle” Mattel sold 20, 000, 00 ukulele’s by 1952. By 1959 The Barbie Doll was introduced, and was an instant success. By 1960 Mattel became a publicly owned company. Elliot Handler and Ruth Handler worked side by side making Mattel better and better. Mattel produced many toys like hot wheels, and Barbie’s. Mattel is still a very popular company today (Mattel History.)
As you can see Ruth Handler deserves a memorial for many reasons, she invented the famous Barbie doll, Nearly Me, and was co owner of the company Mattel. Ruth Handler enhanced the American Dream because she created products that entertained and helped Americans through the years.





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