Dollhouses have been around for thousands of years. In fact, early examples have been found in Egyptian tombs. Small, wooden models of servants, furniture, and pets have been excavated from pyramids nearly five thousand years old.
Dollhouses show up again and again throughout the ages. In the 16th century, baby houses (display cases with tiny rooms) were popular in England and Germany. They had detailed architectural elements and were used as decoration by the wealthy.
With the industrial revolution came affordable dollhouses for children. By the 1950's inexpensive sheet metal dollhouses where being mass produced and nearly every little girl in the US had one.
Today the art of building dollhouses is still a popular hobby. And with such a rich history there are some impressive dollhouses to view for inspiration. A great place to start is the Thorne Miniature Rooms. These are 68 impeccably furnished miniature rooms spanning the 13th century through the 1930s. They are on display at art museums in Chicago, Phoenix, and Knoxville. Another dazzling dollhouse example is Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. These showcased works are a great way to excite both budding young dollhouse project makers and seasoned hobbyists alike.