Rufus Bliss opened the R. Bliss Manufacturing Company in 1832 principally producing screws and clamps for piano and cabinet makers. The company started to produce wooden toys around the 1870s adding dollhouses to their inventory around 1890. Bliss was one of the first American toy companies to make dollhouses.
Bliss houses were prized for their high quality lithography. They used a full four-color spectrum printing process which resulted in bold beautiful colored exteriors. The interiors rarely live up to the extravagant exterior. The dollhouses came in a range of sizes from 9 ½ inches to 26 inches tall. By 1901 most were designed in the Queen Anne style with elaborate “gingerbread” trim with windows made from mica or isinglass and lace curtains.