Bill Caldwell: Frank Dale created lifelike advertising automatons

Frank Dale created animated dolls for SweetHeart soap displays in department stores in the 1940s. Dale’s Mechanical Man Inc. made a variety of animated figures for companies such as SweetHeart soap, Esso, Mobil, Quaker State, Wilson Whiskey and Chesterfield. Sweetheart Soap dolls are collector’s items and can be found at auction bringing $500 to $2500.