Tuesday, February 3, 2009

3 February 1955 "Robots, Retro Dye, Cakes, Cards, and Crazy Neighbor"

Not much news here in 1955, but here are some interesting things, none-the-less:
Here is an advertisment showing a new personal movie camera format. Looks like widescreen to me.

Hubby was telling me he saw a book about robotic technology today (2009) and that the view of robots in japan are of friendlier and often heroic figures. Yet, in U.S. sci-fi etc they often are viewed as attackers/outsiders or turning against their creators. It is a funny and interesting view of our two cultures. I wonder if it is because our own young country has always had a class system in flux we? We have not had thousands of years of servant/master situations to allow us to build up an idea of a friendly and happy servant. Afterall our own country was based on upheaval and turning against those who once helped us, so perhaps we expect it of our machines? And our ideas of Freedom are often tied up with uprising and power struggle. I mean we founded our contry by leaving behind a country that told us what to do. We then were aided by a people who we helped somewhat then turned on them. We brought in people to be our slaves and they had to gain their freedom through war. So, it follows I suppose, that we just assume or friendly robot servants and soldiers will rise up against us, I mean we did it, right?
I thought this was in interesting view of robots from the UK. This is from a 1953 magazine showing yoy how to build this friendly turtle robot that apparently entertains your child. Good thing it isn't an American Robot Turtle, or it might turn on poor little sally there.

Robby the robot from Forbidden Planet, one of my favorite scifi movies, though it does not come out until 1956.

It seems even aliens are out to get us, as seen in the 1950 movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" Also quite good and meant to be one of the early classics of the genre. Although in this case (and perhaps in the case of the robots) we do have to realize the horror of WWII. Outsiders coming onto your soil to destroy you was not that far fetched. The artwork from the Science Fiction world is all quite interesting and rather telling. It certainly, in a more representational way, shows the country and the worlds fears in Post War times. The 'High Art' was doing similiar things in its very abstraction. The denial and upheaval of old ways. A distrust of what had been. But, I digress...

Today I recieved these little darlings in the mail (thanks ebay). This will coincide with my sewing/dress making. I want to get some good sturdy white cotton for dresses and dye the fabric. I can't imagaine a more vintage finished product. They will definitely be Authenitc colors. I was excited, too, by the colors, my favorites Blue and Browns. I will post before and after results of the fabric and of course the eventual dresses made from them. Perhaps I will use some of the left over fabric for curtain ties or pillow accents in one of the room redecorating. If it works out, I will hunt out more of these. It is wonderful how ebay is really a sort of time-machine department store. And think of all the lovely things that would have ended up in landfills can now grace the shelves of such crazy people as myself! Don't you love the graphics? In 1955 money the .20 cent box would have cost $1.57. That is cheaper than the RIT I can still buy at my local grocery store. Again, cheap clothes at Old Navy have made making clothes not as cheap, but in so doing have made generations of people skill-less and helped China to continue to be horrors to their own people. But, I won't get into politics, not now anyway.

Here is another 'new' treat I just received from a friend. It was sitting idle on her shelf, but I can tell you this little book will get a good going over by me! I think I am going to attempt to bake every one of the cakes in this book (it is like a little 40 page pamphlet). This will be the first one and this Sundays cake. Doesn't it look scrumptious!

I found this wonderful old anniversary card that I just adore and had to share with you. When I first looked at it I thought how appropriate to my year! I love that her 'crazy new dish' she tries out is some odd vegetable medly. I know I definitely might sometimes seem like that sad little woman with the yellow dress, though it is less complaining and more "Guess what I did today? I ironed all your shirts!" Of course the novelty has not yet worn off. My hats have certainly never cost $50.00 ( or actually $392.00), but the sweet sentiment at the end definitely tugged at my housewife heart strings.

One last thing I found of interest today in one of my old cookbooks was this entry. It was bittersweet. I am not sure what it is like where any of you live, but around here, neighbors do not drop by and welcome the newcomer. This concept, in fact, seems so foreign to me it might as well be a recipe for prune whip to take on the next Lunar Landing.
However, we have a new house going up on some land sold one house over from us. We have been watching its progress for the past months and when I saw this it hit me. WHY NOT? What is stopping me from throwing together a cake or a casserole and 'popping by'?
I can see it now: There I am tottering up the bumby unfinished drive in my heels. My full skirt swinging with the effort of my casserole dish. My hat, gloves and fur trimmed coat, bright as a new penny. Hair done and lipsticked. What would I look? Who can know? Do any of you think I should give it a try? It could be high summer before it is liveable and anyone has moved in so I could even invite them to a barbque. If you had just built a new house in a neighborhood and this nutcase carrying a casserole in heels and full skirt showed up, would you talk to her? Would you even answer the door, or hide behind the sofa wondering if you had moved into a bad episode of the Twilight Zone?


  1. Why hello! I just found your blog yesterday, so this is my first comment.

    I have to say, on the issue of taking a casserole to your new neighbors, just don't take their reaction personally. I, for one, would be thrilled at having someone welcome me to the neighborhood (and I have actually done this myself with moderate success), but my husband is an extremely private person and feels beset upon if a stranger, even a welcoming one, shows up on our doorstep. It is nothing against the people, it's just his own personality.

    I say, as long as you put on your tough skin that day... just in case... then go for it! What do you really have to lose?

  2. Well, first off welcome MIST and second, good advice! I am somewhat of a private person myself, but am trying to change that. I think I really need to be more out and about in the world and in my own community. Being a 1950s housewife has increased this feeling and need to share. It is funny how the more I can do and the nicer I make my home and my own appearance, the more I want to share with new friends and the community. Maybe there is more connected all of it than we think.

  3. We recently moved to a new state and were thrilled whenever anyone bothered to make us feel welcome. It really does make a difference. So I say, go for it.

    Remember how Bree Vandercamp always greets visitors with a basket of muffins, before reminding them that she wants the basket back, LOL. I love Bree!

    I love your blog too. I wrote about it on mine today.


  4. I think that it is a wonderful idea, why can't I have neighbors like you???

  5. Having moved far too many times in too short a space of time, I can tell you if someone had popped over on moving day with a casserole and disposable plates & cutlery I would've hugged them ~ even a perfect stranger. And I'm the shy one in the family!

    In your case I suppose you might dig out your picnic set. However, there is nothing more welcoming than people who make time to care. The other thing I would've loved is to have know exactly where the kettle was to make myself a cuppa when it all got a bit much. By the time you get to the new house, you're only half way through the ordeal that moving is!

    Go for it. You may need to explain the heels, dress and gloves, but what a grand way to make conversation with people you don't know yet!

  6. 50sgal,
    I think it's a lovely gesture to welcome newcomers to your neighborhood!

    You asked in the comments of your last post about adding an "email me" button to your blog. I don't know how to do that but, you can choose to have your email available on your Blogger profile for people to contact you that way.

  7. What a wonderful thing to do! When we moved in to our current house, not one neighbour came to say hi or welcome. They all muttered amongst themselves, making no attempt to be friendly. It's not as if we have three heads or anything. We were a young family with a tiny premature baby, and it would have been nice to know our neighbours were friendly. Two and a half years later, they're still not friendly, and we can't wait to move!!

    Gemma x x

  8. I think you should do it. Take your casserole over and bring with it disposable plates and forks.

    Also, I wanted you to know that we are watching the entire Twilight Zone series on DVD right now; while the earliest episode first aired in 1959, the clothing is completely wonderful. This particular DVD set includes the Rod Serling speeches before and after each episode, but cuts the original commercials. I would LOVE to see the original commercials!

    50sgal, I am finding your blog to be very thought-provoking, inspiring, and engaging. Keep writing! Keep posting!

  9. Hi 50s gal. I don't know if you know this, but if you take the stool into Sherwin Williams or a Benjamin Moore paint store, they should be able to computer match the red paint on the rest of the stool and custom mix a paint that is very close. When you paint the seat, don't forget to prime first with a metal primer that has been tinted a dark grey. Unless you paint red over a dark grey primer, you won't get the true color. Two more quick comments about your last post: #1. Coke made with cane syrup instead of corn syrup is available during
    Passover at some Kosher delis and grocery stores. And there is a difference in taste. Finally, about portion control in the 1950's, according to O magazine, plate size has increased 3" in diameter from the 60's to today, so apparently, in the 1950s, many meals were eaten off of what we would consider salad plates. Thanks for the blogging.

  10. design junkie, it is funny because my vintage plates I now eat off ARE smaller than my plain white dinner plates I had previously. I still have them in the kitchen, but now use them when I need an extra serving tray. And my salad plates that are part of my vintage service are quite small as well, probaby a modern saucer size and of course the saucer and coffee cup would be about the size of a modern american tea cup and saucer. We have increased everything. Consume, eat, grow bigger and less skilled seems to have become the motto of our current times, but the internet seems to be curbing this. I feel we are all beginning to wake up and look at our lives and eating/spending/living habits. I really now want to try the old coke with cane sugar, I wonder if I could order it online? The lenghts I go to for accuracy, and yet i have to use the computer to do it! Silly, huh? But, I love it! LOVE IT!

  11. 50s gal, I'm pretty sure you can order it online from some new york stores, but I don't know any specifics. I get it here in New Orleans at a kosher deli, Cajun Kosher deli. I do know that some large grocery stores in larger cities carry it, using yellow caps to identify it as kosher. It's only sold for a very short time around passover, so if you're interested, look now. I think they also do cane sugar versions of dr. pepper and sprite.

  12. I've never done it in heels and lipstick, but I do try to greet neighbors with cookies or something. I think it's good to get to know your neighbors.

  13. This is so funny! I told Hubbs that I wanted to put together a little muffin basket for our neighbors and he said it might scare them! I haven't tried it yet.

    You might know the answer to this question since you bake a lot of cakes. Is there something special you have to do to make them stack right on top of each other? My friend told me about some tool that's basically a cheese grater for cakes which gives them that perfectly rounded look. Know anything about it??

  14. I've taken treats to new neighbors in Texas (whose motto is "Friendship" by the way...) and the new folks never said a word to me after that day. In case you are wondering, I have a degree in Home Ec, and yes, I AM a good cook! Home made tea bread, easy peasy!
    Now in Utah, and yes, the new neighbors have all tromped over to say hi! It is just thrilling!

    Laughed at the card: yes, hats have always been expensive, and yes, hand made hats (millinery) is expensive today too...try searching the word millinery on google to see that most hats start at $375 and go up from there. Hats traditionally cost about a weeks salary, ever since the 1700's even. Hence all the jokes about husbands being in shock over a new hat being purchased.

    The smaller plates: Oh yes, all table pieces were always small compared to the ever growing items starting in the late 1980 when houses started to balloon in size too. Rediculous!

    Lusting that cake here at work....oh yum!

  15. Thought you might be intested in a true 1950's kitchen plan:


  16. Oh, yes, the smaller plates. I forgot about that...the mystery deepens...second or third helpings, anyone?

    50sgal, if you showed up at my house dressed as you described, with a casserole, I would be thrilled and feel like I finally found someone that I can relate to, and be thankful that you were in my neighborhood so we could swap recipes, help each other out on days when one of us were sick, and have tea together from time to time when the housework gets done before kids and hubbies get home, etc. I get lonesome a lot since I am the only stay-at-home mom in my neighborhood. Hey, you want to come move to my neighborhood, and I will bring a cake and tea over to you? :)

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Yes, I am using email sporatically, but as people who follow my blog may want to contact me I think it is a good idea. I still have NO idea how to add my email link to this page. I usually am good with computers but maybe I am slowly slinking back into the 1950s as far as technology. I still need to blog today and am just checking now to see if anyone commented while my cake is in the oven and I organize my new spice rack. Well 'new' I should say. I found a nice assortment of milkglass bottle spice shakers with little screw on black tops. I need to decide if I want to paint the tops the blue yellow or red of my future kitchen plan.
    I don't think I could spend a weeks salary on a hat and not feel ashamed. Although I can also find all the lovely hats I need quite resonable, so perhaps that is not a fair comparrison. Back to work.

  19. Yes I would invite you in and be soooo happy that I have a fashionable new neighbor . I think it's a great idea and when we move I hope someone does that for us . If they don't I will go meet them myself . I love the idea of us knowing each other in a neighborhood . I would love to see more photos of you in you wonderful 50s clothing .

  20. I'd throw open the door and WELCOME you in! I'd put the kettle on and make us a pot of tea right off and set out whatever little treats I'd have on hand! I'd LOVE a neighbor like you.
    BTW--I often welcome new neighbors with food. Is that odd? I haven't done it in awhile though and should probably get back on track.

  21. I have that cookbook (the one welcoming the neighbor), too! I laughed and laughed at the entry about having to fix your hubby something for dinner before leaving for the committee meeting lest he starve.

    As for settings you want to look into:
    On the Dashboard, on the left side of the screen, you'll see your profile information. Click on "Edit Profile." You'll then see a line under the Privacy Settings that says "Show My Email Address." Make sure the box is checked. Your address isn't actually shown, but a Contact box will show up on your profile.

    You'll also want to adjust your comments because currently only people with Blogger or Google accounts are being allowed to post and I have a feeling that others are just as frustrated as I am that their comments are being accepted without registering with Blogger/Google... You don't want to lose any of these great comments that your wonderful work is engendering! :)

    Back at the Dashboard, click on "Settings" for your blog. Then on Comments. I'm guessing that you have the "Registered Users" radio button checked. Change that to "Anyone", scroll down to "Moderation" if you want to moderate posts (since you'll now be able to have anonymous comments) and then scroll down and make sure you have "Yes" checked off for comment verification.

  22. PS:
    I hope I'm not coming off as being pushy. I used to have five blogs on Blogger before I finally gave up and went over to using Wordpress. Think of my comments as my version of bringing you a cake and welcoming you to the neighborhood! *very big smile*

  23. i'd love to have met the neighbours... i hardly even know their names.

  24. Hi 50sgal,

    I am a bit of a vintage fan myself and I'm also a radio producer. I'd love to try to arrange an interview with you, probably by phone if that's ok.

    Can you email me and let me know if you would be interested in talking to us? My email address is abcadell@gmail.com

    Hope to hear from you soon.


  25. WOW! Again, thank you everyone. I did not get a change to blog yesterday as I was so busy and then hubby and I had a party to attend last evening. Now, with my morning cup of coffee, I see all these wonderful comments thank you all so much. And, no, no one is ever 'bothering me' so please leave as many comments as you like and now, thanks to Dr. Julie-ann you can email me, which would be great! Off to clean my kitchen and then blog.

  26. You should definitely do the neighborly visit in full vintage attire. Maybe the lady of the new house will also be a full time housewife and a kindred spirit. Your small corner of the neighborhood could end up looking like a little bit of Pleasantville. :)

  27. oh, vintage dame, wouldn't that be loverly? And, of course I will be all out as usual.
    Amanda, I need to think about the interview, I suppose it could be fun.

  28. Hi, you commented on a post of mine so I thought I'd check out your blog. I really like it :-) If anyone had shown up at my door all dressed to the 9's with a caserole I would be ecstatic! Maybe a bit intimidated if I were say having a lazy ponytail sort of day. But thrilled to meet the neighbors and really excited to have another "nut case" so close by. :-)

  29. Of course you should do it! They will be happy. When we moved into our house (13 years ago), the neighbours came to greet us and have a talk and I LOVED it! I had never tried it before, so now we also greet newcomers.
    And I'm sure you'll look lovely. :)

  30. We have moved many times in my married life. My father was very gracious and I learned much from watching him. He always knew our neighbors by name and tried to keep good relations with them. I haven't ever had anyone come introduce themselves when we moved into a new neighborhood, but I have always made it a point to bring goodies over to the neighbors when we move into a new neighborhood and introduce myself. The range of responses have been humorous. One lady looked at me through the peep hole in the door and opened it as far as the chain on the lock would allow her and said "Yes?". I introduced myself through the crack in the door and then she opened the door far enough to take the plate and then shut it. Others have invited me in for a sit-down and chat. I think it is beneficial to have good relations with neighbors. Then if anything goes wrong, it is easier to deal with the issue than if you had been total strangers or worse..enemies.
    As an adult I went back to visit a neighbor hood that I had lived in as a child. My family had moved from there years before. Chatting with a neighbor about the new owner of our old house, she commented "They aren't nearly as good neighbors as your family was. They never come and talk to us or introduce themselves". I commented on this to my mom later and she said "That is because it was Dad who initiated the friendships, it takes someone to make the effort and not wait for the other to do it". Amen! So my advice? Do it! Go introduce yourself, even if they only stare at you through the crack in the door...it'll be good for a laugh later...and maybe touch them more than you know.
    Amy F.

  31. I'd love a neighbour like you! I've found that birds of a feather really do flock together since I first got up the nerve to dress how I currently do and have precisely no friends who like the same things as me and not a single friend in the town in which I live.


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