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They were intended to entertain adults and spread throughout high society.They were drawn or painted like people with fashions for each doll.Over thousands of years China has produced a great stream of inventions, ranging from the mundane chopstick and wheelbarrow, to sophisticated earthquake detectors and the advanced concept of bank notes.But in China there are four inventions traditionally referred to as the Four Great Inventions.The biggest American producer of paper dolls, Mc Loughlin Brothers, was founded in early 1800 and was sold to Milton Bradley in 1920s.

It is an article reprinted from SACU's China Eye magazine (2004).Book publishing companies that followed in the production of paper dolls or cut-outs were Lowe, Whitman, Saalfield and Merrill among others.Movie stars and celebrities became the focus in the early days of paper dolls in the USA.Around 2,200 BC the Egyptians in the lower Nile region discovered that a type of reed, papyrus, could be formed into a writing surface by overlapping thin strips which had been soaked for a long time in water, and then pounding and pressing it into a sheet.But it wasn't really paper as we know it, and it was difficult to write on, and expensive.

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