Wooden dolls were made in the early 1600's and were hand carved for that special little girl. The wood was prone to damage because of the expansion and contraction of the wood.
In 1866 Albert Schoenhut, a third generation toy maker, immigrated to Philadelphia. By the late 1890's to the early 1900's the Schoenhut Company started to make dolls. The dolls caught the fancy of parents and girls because they were not only unbreakable but the painted bodies allowed the dolls to be more realistic with their posability. The company made both girl and boy dolls.
Here are some representative samples of Schoenhut dolls in the early 1900's.