Elsie the Cow Marionette

Elsie the Cow Marionette

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Description (Brief)
Elsie the Cow marionette is hand carved from wood and operates using a 6-piece wooden airplane control and a separate one-piece bar control with 13 strings. Her cow head with the distinctive horns is on a swivel neck and her jaw is moveable. She is wearing a refined blue suit, white gloves, high heels and a black net hat. She was used to promote Borden products. From the late 1930s to the 1950's puppets became popular for use in advertising.
Elsie is one of large group of advertising puppets used by Elizabeth and Frank D. Haines, a husband and wife team of puppeteers. They operated a puppet troupe in and around Philadelphia, and performed on television and in window displays to subsidize their business. While they were not fond of using their puppets for advertisements, Elsie the cow is just one of their puppets used to promote a popular brand of milk products--Borden.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Haines, Elizabeth L.
Haines, Frank D.
Haines, Elizabeth L.
Haines, Frank D.
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
fiber, synthetic, rayon (overall material)
velvet (overall material)
leather (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 21 in x 8 in x 3 1/2 in; 53.34 cm x 20.32 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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