Television of the 50’s tried to shield us from many ugly facts. For example, the very idea that married couples would sleep in the same bed! The horror! And we never, ever saw the Beave or Wally heading for the can.
But thanks to a man named Abraham Katz, the female members of the Boomer generation were a bit more informed. The reason was that way back in 1934, he released to the world the Betsy-Wetsy doll.
Betsy-Wetsy, named after Mr. Katz’s daughter, would take water into her mouth from the included baby bottle. And physics being what it is, as well as biology, the water would eventually be expelled from the southern end of said doll.
Thus were our female brethren more educated about the facts of life than we males who watched hour after hour of 50’s era sitcoms which carefully hid the fact that people have to occasionally relieve themselves.
Betsy-Wetsy was available in a number of sizes, depending on how much our parents and grandparents wanted to spend. But they all had in common the need to drink and urinate. And thus, they effectively taught our feminine members that if you’re gonna have kids, there’s work involved.
Betsy-Wetsy was also one of the first dolls that was made available as a doll of color, aka black. Here’s a raised Guinness to that!
And Betsy-Wetsy introduced another feature that would later be ubiquitous: eyes that shut when she was laid down.
None of these features were patented, either. A prior company sued Ideal because they had produced a doll that did the same thing. The judge ruled that drinking and urinating weren’t concepts that could be patented. May I add “duh!”
Ideal isn’t around any more, and neither is the original Betsy-Wetsy. But how many of you female Boomers have fond memories of “raising” a baby that required real hands-on action? Enquiring minds want to know!