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Friday, 21 June 2024
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The origin of Golly is shrouded in mystery and has been accredited to several different sources but most now accept two main sources as the inspiration of the great Golly himself. 

The earliest mention of Golly is as the hero in books of verse written by Bertha Upton in the 1890's, which were illustrated by her daughter Florence. Both mother and daughter worked together on twelve illustrated books, all featuring Golly as the central character who with his friends the Dutch Dolls had many adventures around the world.

These books produced in England were released by Longmans, Green and Company a strange thing in its self as Florence lived in New York.  As a result Golly became a firm favorite in the UK & Europe whilst being relativly unheard of in America.  Its here that it is claimed the earliset Gollys or Golliwogs appeared and were claimed to be dolls made by mothers and grandmothers inspired by the books of Florence Upton.  These Golly dolls became quite popular and in 1910 went into production sales were so good that by 1950 they were mass produced in Europe and the US and so the history of Golly was born.

Golly is probably best known in England, appearing during the 1920s In the form of pin badges as the advertising logo for the Robertson's Jam & preserves company.  The badges became so popular that other items of Golly advertising merchandise became available and each year bought new items to add to you collection. 

It is a little known fact that the Robertson's badges and memorabilia became a great strain on the company as nearly all monies raised from sales were donated to the various charities that Robertson's supported.  These charities included Cancer Research, Cystic Fibrosis, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Leukaemia Research and the 2001 Children in need Appeal.
Robertsons were way ahead of their time when they decided to use the Golly badges and merchandise to support several other worthwhile causes, these included The Viota Scheme (promoting healthy eating and baking) their own brand of organic mincemeat, road safety (the green cross code) promoting recycling with the Ali Jamja badge and there was even a badge commisioned for HMS Critchton to thank the sailors for their efforts protecting the nation.

When it came to world events Robertsons were no back number here either, creating badges to commemorate the likes of, Historical events from 1910 to 1990, The Barcelona Olympics 1992, The World Cup 1998,  Euro 2000, and even a special Millenium badge.

Eventually though Golly suffered the fate of the PC brigade as the continual habit of crediting Golly to the word "Golliwog" finally seen him off.  This is almost incomprehensible to fathom as anybody who takes the time to examine the history and paperwork of the Golly sensation will soon realise that even as far back as 1920s the word "Golliwog" was not used, Robertsons simply referred to their beloved iconic logo as Golly.

It is believed that Robertosns were so taken aback that anybody could even think their company brand stood for racist views that they didnt even attempt to defend themselves and instead chose to retire Golly even though several surveys supported the view that Robertsons should ignore the decentors and continue to use their Golly logo.

So one of the greatest ever supporters of charities who stood for healthy eating, recycling, our children's safety whilst promoting sport and fitness, was finally seen off in the name of racism because his face was the wrong color and people continually mispronounced his name as Golliwog.

And as to the PC brigade - show any form of proof that Golly was in fact "Golliwog" a perverse racist or that Robertsons acted in any way, in a racist or disreputable manner or used racist terms throughout the century whilst they served the world with lovely jam and a lovable character called Golly.

Golly was as much a victim of racism as any other, he was a large part of most children's childhood and stood for no more than Jam and the fun of collecting his many friends and bright colored collectables, as such he should have been recognised as the pride of his era!

And if you have any final doubts - which company if any, in this modern racially cleansed world would do as much for charity, respect the environment, support childrens safety, promote  healthy eating and all whilst paying for the privelige.

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