The first dolls were made out of corn husks, wood and wax. Rag dolls were introduced during the American Colonial period 1630 to 1762. Manufactured dolls where expensive and hard to get.
Perhaps the pioneer rag doll was an invention of necessity. Families moved away from home, often as part of a wagon train or on long voyages aboard a ship, for better opportunities. Children had to leave behind their toys. A doll, often made out of rags provided comfort and security along the way.
Church dolls, a plain-faced doll would often accompany small children to church. These has no button or zippers incase it were dropped, or made noise, during services and other times of quiet.
Bangwell Pitt is thought to be the oldest surviving rag doll in North America. The doll is 15.25 inches tall.and was named by Clarissa Field of Northfield, Ma., who was born blind. Notice how the doll has fingers and no facial features.