The Beginning of MADC
The Beginning as defined by Margaret Winson when Phyllis West asked her to send us a brief synopsis to begin the MADC CHRONICLES for the Club:
“When did it all start? We really do not know the exact date. It was in the late 1950’s that a home study course in repairing dolls (Doll Repair from Lifetime Careers) brought Madame Alexander dolls to my attention. We had a lesson on Cissy, and Norm said something to the effect that Alexanders did not come in much for repairs, unless they were run over by a truck. That caught my attention.
Sometimes after that several members of the school started writing pen pal letters, Ester Darth and I at first. In one of her letters she teased and said ‘we should start a fan club for the Madame Alexander dolls.’ That stuck in my mind so much that I asked her if she was interested in starting one. If not, could I use the idea? So, this one chance remark in a letter was ‘The Beginning’.
The doll paper “Lifetime Careers School” offered free ads, so I sent in a notice asking who would be interested in a club. I started a sort of pen pal type club. No dues, no newsletters, just people sharing information and descriptions via letters.
Luella Hart came on the scene from that ad. Luella gave me the address of the Alexander showroom so I could ask for permission to use the Madam’s name. The first letter went unanswered and I was much dismayed. Luella gave me a verbal push and the name of Laura B. White to write. I did and she answered and gave us permission. We had to sign a paper agreeing to send all literature to her, all material in newsletters or ads. Vera Smith came on the scene, and as a dealer she sent me pictures cut from Company catalogues. It turned out that Vera and Ester were cousins or at least related and they found it out through the club.
In November, 1961, permission was granted for the Madame Alexander Fan Club (MAFC) name to be used, so we use that as the date of actual club inception.”
October 30, 1976 President, Margaret Winson, rented the first office space for the Madame Alexander Fan Club (MAFC) to do club business.
August 10, 1977 Margaret Winson, Jane Thomas and Ellie Watson presented the first modern doll exhibit at the 28th Annual United Federation of Doll Clubs. Fan club members had a building by the pool and set up various modern dolls from Barbie to Madame Alexander for display.
March 1981 Margaret Winson decided to retire as Club President as of January 1982 due to health problems. She notified members that the Alexander Doll Company wanted the MAFC to continue. It was suggest that Margaret pick the next president, but Margaret preferred the members do it.
September 1981 the Madame Alexander Fan Club Official Ballot” appeared in the club newsletter.
January, 1982 MAFC had its first member elected President to take office, Marie Whitely
August 14, 1983 MAFC had its First National Convention in Merrillville, Indiana and we have not missed a year since.
December 1985 the Madame Alexander Fan Club (MAFC) incorporates in the state of Illinois as the MADAME ALEXANDER DOLL CLUB (MADC) as a not-for-profit entity.
1986 MADC’s first member elected Board of Directors was installed.