Monday, 17 January 2011


The Barbie doll was invented in 1959 by Ruth Handler.

She was born in Denver, Colorado, Ruth Mosko on November 4th 1916. She was married to Elliot Handler. Ruth handler was an American businesswoman, born to Jewish-Polish immigrants Jacob and Ida Moskowicz, the president of the toy manufacturer Mattel Inc.

The invention of Barbie begins when Ruth Handler had noted that her daughter Barbara, who was becoming a pre-teen, preferred playing with her infant paper dolls and giving them adult roles. She wanted to produce a plastic doll with an adult body but her husband and his husband business partner, Mr. Matson thought it wouldn't sell. But when the Handlers were on a European trip, Ruth Handler saw the German Bild Lilli doll (which was not meant for children at all; rather a gag gift for adults) in a Swiss shop and brought it home.

Once home, she reworked the design of the doll and re-named her Barbie after her daughter. Barbie debuted at the New York toy fair on March 9, 1959. Barbie became an instant success, rocketing the Handlers and their toy company toward fame and fortune. Subsequently they would add a boyfriend for Barbie named Ken, after Handler's son, Kenneth Handler and many other "friends and family" to Barbie's world.

Handler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1970. She had a modified radical mastectomy, which was often used at the time to combat the disease, and because of difficulties in finding a good breast prosthesis, she decided to make her own. Handler went on to found a company, Ruthton Corp., formed by her and Peyton Massey, which manufactured a more realistic version of a woman's breast, called "Nearly Me".

Though the Handlers took a more hands-off approach to their company's business practice after resigning, they still kept creating more ideas. One project Handler took on in the 1980s was Barbie and the Rockers. She was credited as a writer of the 1987 film Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World. Handler was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1997.

She died in California from complications of colon cancer surgery on April 27, 2002, aged 85.


Because, Ruth Handler was a famous American businesswoman who established a great empire along with her husband Izzy Handler, called ‘Mattel’. Besides, through her creation and invention of the Barbie doll, it can be clearly clarified that she was a very creative woman. She was also a very determined person. Handler’s Barbie also pulled in a series of criticism from feminists and others, who were concerned about the fact that Barbie's unlikely proportions will send a wrong message to young girls. But, this kind of criticism went like a passing air and Handler continued improvising and popularizing her dream doll ‘Barbie’, with different careers all directed towards giving vast options to the young girls of America. To add icing to the cake, Ruth was also an undeniably determined woman. She fought breast cancer. Unfortunately in the year 1970 Ruth Handler was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a modified radical mastectomy, which was often used at the time to combat the disease. But, because of lack of good breast prosthesis, Handler decided to make one herself. With the help of expert craftsman Peyton Massey, Handler designed a line of realistic artificial breast fashioned from foam and silicon and she named the product “Nearly Me”. She also formed the Ruthton Corporation to sell her product which was launched with an intention to demystify the taboo in those years.With this invention of hers Handler became an outspoken person and an advocate for early detection of breast cancer and she also offered her medical specialty as a way for women to feel good about themselves again. Ruth dreamt of removing the taboo surrounding breast cancer and advertised her product in all possible ways to make it popular among women.

Barbie has become an idol towards the little girls from all over the world. The little girls wouldn't be having and/or playing this glamorous doll if it wasn't for
the amazing Ruth Handler's stupendous creation of Barbie dolls!


  1. Good job!

    This is news to me too. Now I know who the creator of Barbie. Thanks.