From July 27th through the 30th, the United Federation of Doll Clubs is holding their National Convention at the Washington Hilton across the street from our Dupont Circle Bed and Breakfast. This event is jam packed with exciting experiences for friends and family. Fun filled days of educational activities, superb salesroom, themed meal events and sightseeing opportunities. Each day can start as early as 7:00am and goes well into the evening. So whether or not you are an early bird or a night owl, there will always be a workshop, ceremony, or group activity for you to participate in!
So how did this all start, you ask? Well it all started with Mary E. Lewis who was a dedicated doll collector, author and lecturer from Brooklyn, New York, with a passion for sharing dolls. She was convinced like-minded people would share her devotion. In 1937, Mary Lewis arranged an appearance on Mary Margaret McBride’s radio broadcast inviting any interested doll collectors to meet her at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City.
Eight ladies responded, and the National Doll and Toy Collectors Club was formed. In the following years, Mary Lewis traveled extensively, giving lectures, exhibiting dolls, and encouraging collectors to organize clubs. The clubs were called units, with National as the first unit.
Many things happened in the years that followed, however most notably, the first annual convention of all Units was held in Connecticut, September 15-17, 1950. The agenda was to elect Officers and Directors, appoint an attorney and CPA, set new Charter rates and eligibility, and select the next convention city. There were a total of sixteen units, with the National Doll and Toy Club as Unit 1. Mary Lewis was elected the first President of UFDC, Inc. Convention registration was $10 and the souvenir was a plate with the Dolly National logo in the center.
The Convention now has a mass following, as you can see from the video below!
–Meg Durcan, Resident Innkeeper at American Guest House, a Washington, D.C. Bed and Breakfast