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All of the circumstances that contributed to the scarcity of these purses today might never be known.
However, one factor that undoubtedly had a major impact is the controversy that surrounded and shortened Betty’s cinematic career.
The daily strip ended after less than a year and the Sunday strip lasted only until November 1937.
Originally drawn as a humanlike French poodle caricature of singer Helen Kane, Fleischer’s character was changed to a completely human form in 1932.
However, the National Legion of Decency and the Production Code of 1934, commonly known as the Hays Code, significantly impacted the content of her films.
The Hays Code imposed detailed restrictions on the type of content films could reference with sexual innuendo, and its implementation put an end to flouting of the largely unenforced rules adopted in 1930.
It was revealed that a few years earlier Kane had attended a performance by Baby Esther, an African American singer that employed a similar vocal style.
Even more crucial to the final verdict was the rejection of Kane’s claim regarding the uniqueness of her singing style.
Betty Boop’s early cartoons were aimed at adults and are considered her best due to her combination of girlishness, maturity and innocent sexuality.
She was the flapper personified to many motion picture fans.
However, the cartoon character, Betty Boop, was an even bigger box office draw than many of the flesh and blood actors. And she was so popular that her likeness became one of the most frequently used images in mass merchandising during the Depression era.
Betty’s image was licensed for a wide range of products including nail polish, cigarette cases, dolls, playing cards, and metal mesh purses.