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2012/5/6 Children's colouring book, 'Shirley Temple My Book to Color', 'Authorized Edition', 'No.1768', paper / cardboard, made by The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio and New York, United States of America, 1937, used by Daphne Kingston, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1937-1940. Click to enlarge.

ShirleyTemple colouring book

Published
This children's colouring book "Shirley Temple My Book to Color" was published in 1937 by The Saalfield Publishing Company of Akron, Ohio, USA. It was one of the many items of merchandising produced during the 1930s about the popular and timeless child film star, Shirley Temple. In 1937 "The Australian Women's Weekly" noted that Shirley Temple earnt 50,000 Australian pounds from her four films over a year and a further 100,000 pounds from associating her name with commercial products.

This colouring book provides inside information about Shirley Temple's private life. It includes drawings of her home, pets, toys, and the film studio where she worked as well as her school. It illustrates the enormous interest in the private lives of film stars in the 1930s not only in American but in Australia.

The colouring book was used by Daphne Watt (nee Kingston), of Mackay, Queensland, in the late 1930s. Daphne was desperate to own a Shirley Temple doll but was not allowed. Instead she received this Shirley Temple colouring book which she obviously looked after all her life until donating it to the Museum in 2011. As a child Daphne carefully coloured between the lines and in adult life became an artist, illustrator and author.

Colouring books or painting books go back to the 1880s though they did not begin to become popular until the 1930s reaching their peak in the 1960s. They encouraged manual dexterity in endeavouring to obtain even colour distribution and staying between the lines. They also promoted discipline to finish a work, were portable and the colouring could be undertaken individually or with a small group encouraging social interaction.

Margaret Simpson
Curator, Transport & Toys
October 2011

"Shirley Temple is Big Business" in "The Australian Women's Weekly", 18 December 1937, p.36.

Information provided by Daphne Kingston 2011.

Summary

Object No.

2012/5/6

Object Statement

Children's colouring book, 'Shirley Temple My Book to Color', 'Authorized Edition', 'No.1768', paper / cardboard, made by The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio and New York, United States of America, 1937, used by Daphne Kingston, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1937-1940

Physical Description

Children's colouring book, 'Shirley Temple My Book to Color' Authorized Edition No.1768, paper / cardboard, made by The Saalfield Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio and New York, United States of America, 1937, used by Daphne Kingston, Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 1937-1940

This large-scale colouring book is stapled and has a cardboard cover with a photograph of Shirley Temple at an artist's easel on the front and back. The colouring book features line drawings, many of which have been coloured in by the donor, as well as text which describes aspects of Shirley's exciting life as a world famous movie star. This includes where she worked at the film studio in Hollywood and where she lived showing her pet dogs, rabbits, horse and pedal car. Exterior and interior views of her home are shown and the car her father drives her to work in.

Marks

The inside cover of this book is inscribed in blue pencil with "Daphne Watt / 6 Gordon St / Mackay".

Dimensions

Width

275 mm

Depth

6 mm

Production

Notes

The Shirley Temple colouring book was published by the Saalfield Publishing Co. founded by Arthur J. Saalfield at Akron, Ohio, USA, in 1900. This firm specialised in producing inexpensive children's fiction and non-fiction books and paper products including paper dolls, colouring books, activity books and puzzles from 1900 until their close in 1977. The company's author list is a "Who's Who" of American children's literature including Herman Melville, Dr Seuss, Louisa May Alcott, Daniel Defoe and Mark Twain.

History

Notes

This colouring book belonged to Daphne Watt (nee Kingston). Born in Sydney in 1928, Daphne moved to Mackay, Queensland, in 1935 and lived there until 1950. She returned to Sydney for a family holiday in 1937 or 1938 and saw Shirley Temple dolls at a David Jones' department store. She desperately wanted one but her mother declined and instead Daphne was given this Shirley Temple colouring book which she loved and carefully coloured between the lines. Daphne developed her artistic ability and as an adult graduated from the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney. She became an art teacher and artist and spent much of her life recording the old colonial buildings on Sydney's outskirts through photography and illustrations which were published in a number of books.

Daphne's childhood idol, Shirley Temple, was born in the same year as Daphne and began her film career at the age of 4 in 1932 rocketing to fame in a few brief years. Her "feel good" films produced in the depth of the Great Depression attempted to bring hope and optimism to the cinema viewing public to help them forget their worries for a short while. Shirley continued to make films until the age of 12 then only a few more in her teens until retiring from the industry in 1950 at the age of 22. Despite this relatively short film career her name is still commonly known 70 years later (in 2011) and her films continued to be shown on Australian television well into the 1970s.

Handwritten note on the back page by the donor mentioning that both her and her daugter have coloured portions of the book

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Daphne Kingston, 2012

Acquisition Date

5 January 2012

Cite this Object

Harvard

ShirleyTemple colouring book 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 March 2021, <https://ma.as/426233>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/426233 |title=ShirleyTemple colouring book |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 March 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}