For sale is an original 1952 DIONNE QUINTUPLETS CALENDER made by the W. G. Shipley Baking Company. This calendar was an advertising calendar for HOLSUM BREAD. The full color image, entitled SMOOTH SAILING, depicts the young ladies yachting. The top and bottom portions of the calendar are slightly torn and some of the calendar pages are missing. Calendar measures about 20 inches by 14 inches. The Dionne quintuplets were used to market a great number of products. A great advertising collectible.
The Dionne quintuplets were born May 10, 1934. They were the first quintuplets known to have survived their infancy. The identical girls were born just outside Ontario, Canada. All five survived to adulthood. The Dionne girls were born two months premature. The mother, financially poor with five previous children, was approached by fair exhibitors for Chicago’s Century of Progress exhibition within days of the girls’ birth, seeking to put the quintuplets on display and show them to the world. At the time it was not unusual for “incubator babies” to be displayed at fairs and other exhibitions. After four months with their family, the quintuplets were made wards of the state for the next nine years under the Dionne Quintuplets’ Guardianship Act, 1935. The Ontario provincial government and those around them began to profit by making them a significant tourist attraction.
In the 1930s, the Dionne girls starred in three Hollywood feature films, which were essentially fictionalized versions of their story. In November 1943, the Dionne parents won back custody of the sisters. The entire family moved into a newly built house. The yellow brick 20-room mansion was paid for out of the quintuplets’ fund. The home had many amenities that were considered luxuries at the time, including telephones, electricity and hot water and was nicknamed “The Big House”.