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Saturday, January 11 2020
The Dolls' Tea Party at Emery, Bird, Thayer 1911-1953 on Exhibit

Do you remember when department stores reached out to customers and their families for a little extra connection? Revisit those days as the United Federation of Doll Clubs museum in Kansas City, examines the history of the holiday tea parties that began in 1911, and continued for four decades at the Emery, Bird, Thayer Company (EBT) department store.

EBT, in downtown Kansas City, quickly learned that an event such as a tea party for kids and their dolls could be both a "feel good" affair and a sales generator. Newspaper reports from that era indicate that 1800 girls attended the first tea party, and two years later, at the third annual tea party, 3000 girls attended.

Open House at United Federation of Doll Clubs Doll Museum
The Doll Museum is hosting an Open House from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm March 18th, 19th, and 20th, featuring this special exhibit. Visitors will be able to meet the exhibit curator, Neal Foster, and enjoy his presentation on the EBT tradition. Tea will be provided by Kansas City’s own “Adventures with Tea” along with cookies just as the children did in the early 20th century.

This unique exhibit, curated by Neal Foster, contains a comprehensive collection of the annual event's tea party cups and saucers, original newspaper advertising for the parties, and other historical memorabilia of the event that became a Kansas City tradition for generations of young girls. This special presentation also includes dolls from the museum's collection representing the years that the tea parties were held at Emery, Bird, Thayer.

The exhibit runs through March 2020, at the United Federation of Doll Clubs museum in Kansas City. The exhibition is open for viewing Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the UFDC museum located near KCI airport at 10900 N. Pomona Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, 64153. The museum can also be opened by appointment on Saturdays. You may reach UFDC by phone at 816-891-7040.

(Photo of cups and saucers courtesy of Bruce Mathews Photography)

About the UFDC museum
Preserving the history of dolls and childhood is an important part of our UFDC Mission. Visitors to our museum are provided with the unique opportunity to see a wide variety of dolls and doll related items that provide a historical perspective of the doll throughout history as not only a plaything but as an essential part of childhood.  Learn more at

Source: United Federation of Doll Clubs

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