first barbie doll
The First Barbie Doll. When Ruth Handler realized that her daughter preferred playing with paper dolls of grownups to paper dolls of children, she developed the Barbie doll. Handler bought a Lilli doll while visiting Germany, then presented this doll to her daughter. Handler then bought the rights to distribute Lilli dolls in the U.S. and in 1959, at New York’s annual toy festival, Barbie was born.