Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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A. Barton and Co (Toys)

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of 31 East Hill, Wandsworth, London, SW18. Telephone: Battersea 4479

  • [1] 1945 Barton started to doll's house furniture just after the end of the Second World War, as a means of giving employment to demobbed British soldiers. At the time, these little houses, made from sheet metal by companies such as Tri-ang and Gee-Bees started to be mass produced. The doll's house became the must have toy for every little girl in Britain, and she needed to furnish it.
  • Barton catered for this expanding market by mass producing "Model Home" doll's house furniture from wood, plastic and metal.
  • 1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Dolls' House furniture and Accessories to Scale. Boxed Sets and Separate Pieces. Miniature Boats and Novelties. (Olympia, 2nd Floor, Stand No. J.2233) [2]
  • Girls' names were a theme for dolls houses in the 1960s and 70s - such as the "Jenny's Home" range by Spot-On (Tri-ang) and "Debbie's Dream House" (Deluxe Reading/Topper Toys) from the USA.
  • By the 1970s the company also made miniature dolls, "Motoplay" garages for boys and miniature farmyard sets.
  • c1976 Barton used the name "Caroline's Home" as a trade mark from about 1976. By this time every little girl owned a doll's house - if not shop-bought, it would probably have been constructed by her father. Every toy shop and department store had a doll's house section and the "Caroline's Home" range of doll's house accessories presented in box sets and on cards covered with bubble plastic were best sellers.
  • With the "Caroline's Home" brand came the first "Caroline's Home" doll's house. Its distinctive yellow door and window shutters and child's bedroom decorated with a Chicken and a Horse turned it into an instant favourite.
  • 1984 Barton and the "Caroline's Home" brand were taken over by Lundby of Sweden.
  • Lundby continued to sell the "Caroline's Home" brand until the recession of the late 1980s, when UK operations ceased. The Lundby company has since changed hands many times but still continues to make doll's houses and furniture.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] English Doll's Houses
  2. 1947 British Industries Fair p24