'Eva' doll, Washington, D.C., ca. 1865

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Margaret Olson, a nurse in a Washington, D.C., hospital during the Civil War, made this doll with the aid of several wounded soldiers.

One soldier carved the hands from a soup bone and another gave money to purchase the China doll head. The clothes are made from hospital materials – gauze and muslin. A cobbler in the hospital made the shoes.

The nurse and patients named the doll "Eva" after "Little Eva," a character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.

The doll was passed on to Olson's daughter, Wilhelmina Olson Simonton of Falmouth.

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About This Item

  • Title: 'Eva' doll, Washington, D.C., ca. 1865
  • Creator: Margaret Olson
  • Creation Date: circa 1865
  • Subject Date: circa 1865
  • Media: China, muslin, bone
  • Local Code: 2720
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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