Howdy Doody toy marionette

This toy Howdy Doody puppet was made by Puppet Playthings, Inc. during the 1950s. Authentically costumed with sliding eyes, a moving mouth, and six-inch strings, Howdy Doody puppets became a popular children’s toy during the 1950s. From 1947 to 1960, The Howdy Doody Show was the leading children’s TV program in the United States. The creator of the Howdy Doody character, “Buffalo” Bob Smith, first performed him as a radio character. When the show transitioned to TV, Frank Paris created the new puppet, but left the show (with the puppet) in 1948 to disputes over merchandising rights. Velma Dawson created the now-ubiquitous Howdy Doody that debuted in 1949. This Howdy Doody became popular spokes character, hawking sponsored products on the show or in print. The show’s characters were also licensed and sold in a variety of products and toys.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Peter Puppet Playthings, Inc.
previous owner
Rollins, Hazelle H.
Peter Puppet Playthings, Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
wood (overall material)
string (overall material)
cardboard (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 16 in x 5 3/4 in x 3 1/2 in; 40.64 cm x 14.605 cm x 8.89 cm
place made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Popular Entertainment
Radio and television broadcasting
Television broadcasts
Children's television programs
American Enterprise
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America

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