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Nurse: Dionne Quintuplets


The Dionne Quintuplets, born near Callander, Ontario, in 1934, were one of the few multiple births to live beyond the first days of life. Children of poor farming parents with five other children, the quints were removed from the custody of their mother and father and placed in the care of Dr. Dafoe, the physician who had delivered them. Dafoe ruled over Quintland, a facility constructed to house the five girls that became a successful tourist attraction. Dr. Dafoe, local businesses, the Ontario government, and others profited from the display of the quints at Quintland, in advertisements and feature films, and in other venues. The quints eventually returned to their parents' home at the age of nine. The novelty of the five girls attracted much attention from the whole world during the dark days of the Great Depression. Images of the five identically alike toddlers offered sweet respite from the grimness of difficult economic times. In 1936, the Madame Alexander Doll Company of New York secured the exclusive rights to produce dolls in the likenesses of the quints, Dr. Dafoe, and a nurse who cared for the girls.

  • Manufacturer: Alexander Doll Co.
  • Material: composition | fabric | synthetic hair
  • Origin: USA
  • Object ID: 105.187
  • Credit Line: Gift of Nancy Johnson, Sally Jansen, and Susan Jansen in memory of Henry and Marie Jansen.
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