Sydney’s Amazing Doll Hospital
Today, when every store in the city sells toys and your children are more than happy when you buy them a new one, it’s almost hard to believe that anybody would want to repair their old toys when new ones are just around the corner. However, there is a “hospital” for dolls in Sydney, where workers fix fingers, toes and heads, repair broken eye sockets of dolls and restore their original beauty. In fact, this place that makes miracles for the defective dolls has just completed its 101st year of existence.
The story of the Doll Hospital begins in 1913, when Mr Harold Champan Sr opened it as part of his General Store. Harold’s brother was then in the business of importing celluloid dolls from Japan, and during the shipping process the rubber bands that had the role of holding the dolls together would snap or perish and because of that, at Harold’s advice the dolls were repaired. Thus, customers found out that Harold was repairing dolls so they began bringing their ragged dolls, stuffed animals and a promising business was born.
The business was taken over in the 1930’s by Harold’s son, also Harold Chapman who relocated the hospital and starting offering more repair services that would include repairs of leather goods, handbags, gloves, toys, umbrella’s.
Today, the Doll Hospital is run by Mr Geoff Chapman, Harold Jr’s son, who works in the hospital with the same passion, enthusiasm and devotement as his father and grandfather.
So far, the hospital has repaired more than 3 million dolls.