March 9th, 1959, the Barbie doll makes her debut at the American International Toy Fair. Barbie was developed by Ruth Handler, the wife of the co-founder of Mattel Toys, Elliot Handler.
Ruth noticed that her daughter, Barbara, enjoyed giving her dolls adult roles when she was playing and came up with the idea of an adult bodied doll.
While Elliot and the directors of Mattel were unenthusiastic about Barbie, over 350,000 were sold in the first year of production. Mattel is unsure how may Barbie dolls have been produced over the years but they report a Barbie doll is sold somewhere in the world every 3 seconds.