Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Circle and Dot by Karen Reilly 2011

What is Christmas without a doll? Here's Karen Reilly's lovely interpretation of Circle and Dot by Leon Casimir Bru, c. 1879. You can find this paper doll version in the Nov. 2011 issue of Doll Reader.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa and Me, c. 1960

I was a ragamuffin, pulling on the thread of my knit cap. This was most likely the Santa at Macy's Herald Square, where we always shopped for clothing and toys. I was probably asking for a Tiny Tears doll and the CandyLand game. I tell you this was a great Santa, he's exactly how I imagined him as a child. You can see I was thrilled--shy, but thrilled! I'm surprised the photo (faded as it is) survived in its folder.

Find more Christmas cheer at Sepia Saturday by clicking the logo below:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas postcard, c. 1920s

Not mailed, divided back. Someone did write "Wish you a Merry Christmas," but the pen's line was weak then blurry and blotted. So I'm guessing it seemed too messy, so it was never addressed to anyone. Printed in Germany.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Woman's Day, 1946

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt got me thinking of food and additives people once ate without another thought. Food that today gives us, shall we say, great pause. I plucked a few ads from the Jan. 1946 issue of Woman's Day. The cover features a babe sucking its thumb, perhaps worried about what mom will cook up next. 1946 is also the first year of the Baby Boom generation, which would grow up to start all kinds of interesting things, including the back-to-earth and natural foods movements.

Prem must have been a rival to Spam. It's a meat substance in a can. The era of greater cooking convenience for women had dawned.

Mor is more meat in a can. How did a shopper choose between Prem, Mor and Spam? Flavors no doubt varied.

Ched-O-Bit! Fun name and packaging. Recipe shown calls for 1 tablespoon fat, to saute celery and green pepper. Ah, the days before EVO, extra virgin olive oil. Nice use of illustration to complement photo of the casserole.

 WW2 was just ended, but shortages were still affecting daily life.

Many of these foods and add-ons are still available, of course. I'm sure I have some A-1 Sauce somewhere in my cupboard.

Here is Betty Hutt's suggested meals on a budget. I'll pass on the cheese spoon bread, deviled kidney and sausage casserole, and the bean and bologna bake. Ginger dumplings sound good, but I don't know if I'd follow the recipe that includes dark corn syrup and molasses. Pears baked in grape and orange juices sounds intriguing and simple enough to do.

Jellied tomato ring?! The dessert cheese arrangement is still popular, and I can see the veggie relish bowl holding its own today. The Black and Gold dessert calls for prune juice and stewed prunes in the middle of a round gold cake. Hmm, maybe all these strange eating habits led to problems, as evidenced by these ads...

You'll find other juicy tidbits when you click the logo below...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Paper Doll Art of Gregg Nystrom

 Congratulations to Gregg Nystrom for the excellent profile of his work in Fashion Doll Quarterly, Winter 2011 issue! Two fabulous fashion icons of the 1950s: above, Dovima; below, Suzy Parker.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fluffy Ruffles post card, c. 1909

I spotted this postcard from a distance at the East Hanover show, and immediately recognized the Fluffy Ruffles silhouette. Large hat adorned with flowers, tailored jacket (slightly longer) and full skirt with pleat detail. Ah, and the verse confirms it:
Oh, you kid! How she does it I don't know, / Gets but 10 a week or so /Always dressed in latest styles /"Fluffy Ruffles" wreathed in smiles /Every week a brand new beau/How she does it, /I don't know/Oh, you kid!
This verse is a play on the popular tune of 1909, "I Love My Wife, But Oh You Kid," by Harry Von Tilzer. My earlier blog posts on Fluffy Ruffles can be read by clicking the link in this sentence. I consider Fluffy Ruffles the Carrie Bradshaw of the early 20th century, a career woman/fashion plate bedeviled by the opposite sex.

The card was produced by the Magor Novelty & Post Card Co., 1193 Broadway, N.Y.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Walking paper doll, c. 1924

I've seen this walking doll plenty of times with different advertisements. This one, for the Jolly Juniors at Chautauqua, caught my eye at the Antiquarian and Ephemera show in East Hanover last weekend. 

Chautauqua is a town on a lake of the same name in upstate New York, the site of the famous Chautauqua Institution founded in 1874 as a Christian summer school for adults. But the concept was so popular, it  expanded to include science and the liberal arts. Chautauqua's founding principle was education for everyone, and the proper use of leisure time to expand the intellect, not drink or gamble. 

Chautauquas sprang up around the country, mostly in remote rural areas, drawing top performers and orators, including William Jennings Bryan. FDR and Alf Landon addressed the New York Chautauqua during the presidential campaign of 1936. The Chautauqua movement gave people in small towns another option besides vaudeville and the movies. And Chautauquas are still going strong. You can read more about it here.

Here's a Chautauqua ad from the Livonia (N.Y.) Gazette, Aug. 15, 1924, promoting the Jolly Juniors, programming geared toward the younger set: