Tuesday, July 28, 2009

28 July 1955 “Gardening, Cooking Leftovers, and the Home Business”

I haven’t talked about gardening lately, so I thought I would share with you a great article on tomatoes from one of my 1940’s war time House Beautiful magazines.
We all know how many wonderful things can be done with tomatoes. We gardeners today often find we are giving away a surplus come late summer, there always seem to be more than you know what to do with. Now, however, with canning and such, I believe I will keep most of mine, perhaps giving some away only to be neighborly or as a hostess gift to a non-gardening friend.
This article has some things I did not know about growing and storing these lovely mainstay of the garden. Here is the article.
tomatoe article 3  tomatoe article 1 tomatoe article 2 Although it is too late for me this year to train my tomatoes in the manner they discuss in number 4 of this article, I may try it next year. It is almost like an espaliered system, only  instead of training a fruit tree along a wall or fence for years, you diligently train it on a roof-like structure. It obviously gives you more tomato on less plant and it appears you can have them planted closer together. This would also aid in any windy days, which can blow up here along the ocean quite unexpectedly. As this is an article during WWII, the victory garden was not just a fun past time but a serious provider for your family. I am finding many war time garden tips to be great if you want to maximize the space you have.
My entire concept of how I eat, shop, cook, and save has changed with this project and I am now always on the lookout for ways to get as much out of as small a space as possible. This allows you to harvest a greater amount, which in turn means more set aside and stored and thus easier on the food budget, the environment and the very health of your family, as you can control what if any pesticides and fertilizers you will use.
Number 9 in this article about storing was an eye opener for me. I did not know, though I am sure more of you seasoned gardeners did, that an entire plant lifted from the ground and hung upside down before frost will keep for  six weeks! I also did not know that you could wrap the green fruit in paper and store and it would ripen that way, I only knew of the ole’ put it on the window sill. I also love that this part of the article on storing starts out with “you know all about canning them of course) which of course you would have, but I do not. I mean I have been reading up on it and I will be doing it this year, but I have never canned a tomato in my life. So, if there are any of you out there just learning, don’t be intimidated, come along for the ride with me!
I thought I would also share some more garden pictures with you.
I have become mad about berries. I planted only a four blackberry, one raspberry bush, a few grape vines and some strawberries and blueberries, but I am hooked now! It, of course, turned out to be divine providence that I did not overplant, as now these little darlings are going to have to be dug up and moved with me in Sept.
Here are my blackberries ripening up nicely. blackberry1I have not had any trouble with birds yet and they are not netted. Perhaps once they are ripe that will be a different story. Do any of you grow blackberries/raspberries? This is a nice specimen, as well, because it is thorn-less!
Here are some of my white grapes. grapes 1Not all the vines I planted have flowered this year and honestly I didn’t expect any of them to do so. A grape vine needs to be at least three years old before it will fruit, so I believe I was lucky enough to get an older one thrown in with my batch. I have lofty plans for a mini (very mini) vineyard at the ‘new’ house. I want my own wine as well as lovely jams and for the table.strawberriesHere is a close-up of some strawberry blossoms. These, however, seem to disappear with the birds. At the new house next spring they will be grown in a special frame I have been planning that will allow them space and air but not birds to get at them!
Here is a shot of some of my Queen Elizabeth rose and some bee balm in my ‘tea garden’. beebalm and rosesI am hoping that this variety of bee balm is actually bergamont that I love in tea (such as earl grey). I do know that the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love this variety of bee balm. Each of those little red petals are little tubes perfect for the hummingbirds to feed upon.  My Echinacea is doing quite well, and the bees LOVE this plant. At the new house next spring I am getting bees again and I am going to plant this in heaps around their hive, though bees travel as far as two miles to get nectar, but why not give them something they love in their own little back yard? I wonder if it will make the honey have a soothing affect on one’s nerves, as the plant is said to do. This, as well, makes wonderful tea.echinacea Here is another shot of my tea garden with my ‘crow’ standing guard. teagardenAnd of course, my hydrangea, which are so beautiful. The color is so amazing on the cape due to our unique PH in our soil. I adore how each big cluster is made up of so many little flowers.   hydrangea up close
Now, onto food:
We talked a little bit last time about using left overs in the form of bread. The information was from my 1908 homemakers manual. Though, I am always looking and getting ideas and learning, part of being a homemaker is using one’s mind and imagination. So, the other morning for breakfast I opened the ice box and looked at my darling little Pyrex covered dish with last night’s meatloaf and thought, “Today I make Meatloaf Benedict”.
I adore hollandaise sauce. I believe I have given the recipe I use in a previous blog, but this time I tried the ‘mock hollandaise’ in my 1950’s Boston Cooking School book. It starts with the basic white sauce recipe. I have given this before, but here it is again.white sauceDon’t you love what it says about why you should learn to make a white sauce? Good advice, indeed.
Then, with this base you can make any of these variations of sauce.mock hollandaise I did the hollandaise. It makes a good amount and I usually double it, as then I just store the rest in a jar ( a saved glass peanut butter jar this time, waste not want not!) and you can even, as I do for even my homemade cleaning products, make a little label with your own graphics to put on it. It lasts up to a week in the fridge, though I usually use it up in about 4 days.
Don’t be frightened by ‘double boiler’ if you are new to cooking. I still don’t have one, though one day will get a nice vintage one, but rather just take one of my little copper pots and put it into a larger pot that has heating water in it. Though it might seem involved, this recipe is really rather easy and once you make it and jar it, you have it. So, the next day it is easy to just grab it and scoop out what you need and heat it up. Those of you who are lucky enough to live in the ‘modern world’ with microwaves, could probably just stick the whole jar in the micro and heat it and use what you need.
I also add to my hollandaise a little bit of freshly grated sharp Vermont cheddar. Again, I am a New Englander so any chance to use a good sharp cheese or maple syrup, I am taking it!
So, yes, Meatloaf benedict. This would be good with bread, too, perhaps, but I felt it didn’t need it. I merely sliced the cold meatloaf and plated it and let it sit in a warm oven while I made my sauce and poached my eggs. I love my poached eggs. Don’t be intimidated by these either. I do not have an egg poacher. I merely heat water in a sauce pan until it just starts to stem drop in the eggs turning off the heat and in about 3-4 minutes they are perfect.
It was yummy and hubby loved it. The sauce could have been a bit thicker, but it didn’t affect the taste.meatloaf benedictTry it and you will adore it. Really, any leftover meat would make a great Bene in the morning.
Now, I have really begun to consider the Home more like a Business. Since I have begun thinking of my ledger and lining up my purchases and expenditures of the house in neat little penned rows, I have begun to think of the house as a business more and more. I was talking about this at breakfast this morning and hubby said, “Well, that is why they called it ‘Home Economics’” and it just really dawned on me. Of course! I know it is called Home Economics, not that I ever took it, but I again found myself coming to a ‘discovery’ here later in life in something that would normally have been taught in the past.
The idea of treating your household like a business is so very important for EVERYONE. If you are not a homemaker, merely a single person who works, still your household should be thought of in that way. For, we want to make a profit in: a clean home, good food, clean clothes, and money left over for rainy days and ‘fun’.
I am sure this realization seems silly to most of my readers. Those who may be long time homemakers certainly already know this, but I really do feel, in this project , I am a good test case. I truly am coming to it without much fore knowledge and skill. Therefore it is, to me,  an “Oh, now I get it” moment when I come to such a conclusion as “Ah, yes, HOME ECONOMICS”
So, Home Economics, where will I start. I mean, certainly I have already started and have changed to the good in many ways since 1 January 1955, but there is always room for improvement, right? Now, when I find a good pot roast for 5 dollars and get three meals out of it, I know I have done good and stretched the dollar. But, with my ledger and more meticulous records of my home, I can calculate down to the penny the cost of flour and meat and seasonings milk etc in a particular meal and see the cost. Once I have ‘general’ meals figured out for cost based on my average for what I pay for particulars, then I can plan my budget even more efficiently.
Certainly if I were running a restaurant, this would be the norm. My home, among other businesses, is a restaurant. It is also a fine hotel (or trying to get to as close to that as possible, even though my pillow cases get ironed, the sheets don’t always get ironed before putting away, but a gal has to learn doesn’t she?) a laundry, a bed and breakfast and the list goes on.
So, quite honestly, with my upcoming move, I am even more excited to get down to running my ‘new business’ of the home. What sort of things do any of you do know to make your home run more efficiently and effectively? What things do you want to try but have not? I am sure we are going to give some good advice here, so let’s get to it, fire away!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

26 July 1955 “Ledgers and Stale Bread”

ledger 50s 1 This image shows a woman using a ledger. This ledger was used in the 1930s-1950s as a cross-reference to the index to the earnings records of Social Security beneficiaries. No computer here, just careful human knowledge.

I have lately become excited about the idea of getting an old ledger book to keep meticulous records of my household. I picture myself in my ‘new’ old kitchen in our antique house come fall, the old book open to a bright new yellow page with all those lines and promise!

This got me thinking about how much technology can help but also hurt us on a personal level. I know when the calculators became available the ‘old-timers’ thought is horrible that people would not have to learn their sums. Certainly there was much scoffing, but now I think upon it there is a kernel of truth in their criticism.

For instance, hubby and I were talking about the silliness of GPS this morning. They are becoming normal and des rigueur in cars and phones. This not only takes ones eyes of the road (though I am sure it is lauded as a way to keep your eyes on the road and not a map) it is just another onion skin layer of the continuing process of dumb-ing us down. Yes, technology is good and does indeed help us, but if we are not careful it can create idiots as well. Reading a map will become as normal as using a dial home phone. Does it, though, indeed help us?

Well, certainly one could argue less trees to make maps, except that the cost of a map must be cheaper to a consumer than a GPS and it will not break. I think it is another example of American Car Company gimmicks. Here are some more electronics to break and need repair in your car. How about a reliable fuel efficient care without computer chips so the average person could, if they choose, fix it themselves. WE are so far removed from the things that serve us on a daily basis we are truly becoming mindless, I feel.

Now, back to the ledger. Those who know me will wonder at MY being excited for such a thing. I have, for most of my life, certainly been more of an “grasshopper” than an “ant”. Yet, another large change in my life from this year and my project is that desire for accountability and responsibility.

A friend of mine just recently told me how mad and upset she was because the “bank screwed her”. In what way, I asked. “Well,”said she, “I had a check that did not get cashed until a month after I wrote it, so I was overdrawn and got a huge fee”. She went on to tell me how unfair it is and how this and that was not her fault. Normally, I would have just accepted her story and moved on, and on the surface I did, for I do not want any personal battles such as this, as I sometimes feel myself alienating myself from my friends because of my new found ideals. I do not want to be the recovered alcoholic who has to go about telling everyone to stop drinking and having fun because look how good it is for me! But, I digress, back to the story. My friend, very much in her heart, believes that all these outside sources were set up to cause her grief and take advantage of her. When the honest truth was that had she merely wrote down the check and balanced her budget based on it having been cashed, she would not have erred. Yet, it would not be conceivable as her fault. I know to some of you this may sound obvious, but I think there are many people out there who live in such a world. This friend said to me, “well I do my banking online” which came to mean, as I asked, that she looks up her balance for that day and goes on that without accounting for checks she has written. So, here again, I see our reliance on technology making us idiots and harmful to ourselves.

I have made many money errors of my own so I would not be the thrower of stones at glass houses, but lately, this year 1955, has made me realize how to distance myself from too much reliance on technology (other than in a very practical helpful way such as now) and to be more accountable for my daily activities down to my change in my purses bottom to the amount of flour I use a day. These need not be seen as OCD or silly, though I know some would think so, but in fact are part of the control over your own life.

I laugh to myself much more nowadays when I hear people claim that a 195o’s housewife is a woman trapped in a cage, mindless and brain washed, suffered to the whims of her master and family. I have come to find out the actual freedom of a homemaker and the ability and power she wields. Perhaps, I am learning, that over all these years none have stood upon soap boxes brandishing their spatulas and calling all those to hear her plea, was because one was content and busy at home. All that a homemaker must have and use to make her career a success is so all encompassing and can be very fulfilling, that who has time to listen to or complain about how they are viewed. Now, of course, I find myself very easily pulled into the quiet confident contentment of the home, but I must, I tell myself, keep the spirit to rally alive. Because, I really feel now more than ever in history, we need to make it more apparent the joy and reality of being a homemaking for upcoming generations. I am finding it more realistic to be a one income family more now than before. I used to think, “Oh, in the old days things were cheaper” well in some cases they were more expensive, but by not being lead into the idea of buying things already made for you cheap they weren’t lured into the need to have two incomes to keep buying all the things that are less expensive!

I would love that new generations could be made to see the joy and happiness in homemaking. This is the time when many minority groups are being given their voice and being shown as proud individuals, certainly then the time is ripe to proclaim the joy and pride of the homemaker. To gain a certainly respectability to it, though those of old did not cry for such a thing, I feel if we do not now try for it then we may lose many wonderful future homemakers. Do you not agree? Though we can find ourselves, we homemakers, easily lulled into quiet contentment, we do need to make it more apparent to others the joy there in and that they too can do what it is we do. That they do not have to be suffered to the lie of consumerism and the need of two incomes.

We do not make a lot of money. We may be land rich in our two properties, but we have to pay taxes upkeep etc on them. We are very hardworking money saving middle class. There are many out there who most likely make much more than do we who feel the need to have two incomes.

I know I had a comment a while back from someone who with her spouse makes a six figure a year income and wondered if she could leave her job to become a stay at home mother. I was really shocked, for surely someone with such income could quite easily do so. But, I do not know their personal spending habits. Things like going to Starbucks, eating out twice a week, shopping for clothes, buying packaged ready made more expensive foods, these all add up but do not HAVE to be the masters of our lived. We have one income, my husbands and it is not grand by any means. In fact he took a pay cut when he left his job in the city after our move back here to the Cape. You simply adjust and find that many of the things that you ‘need’ to do like go out and eat and shop and spend, you don’t need to do. However, if they are important to you, then by all means keep going in the same vein. But, I really feel there are many people out there in their 20s-40s who spend in a way that hinders them from the freedom of a one income household. The joy and ease of a life that has one person handle the money/housework/food while the other provides the actual capital to pay and buy is such a smoother running engine than two incomes.

Now, if you earn enough with two to have other things done for you and you can still save, by all means. There was a time when my hubby worked and I owned a shop and we had a housekeeper who came in. I even toyed with the idea of hiring someone to cook once or twice a week for the week. If you can afford it at the time, but honestly, even then, had I had the knowledge and skills now, I would have done more of my own and saved more money.

It is all relative how we live. If you need to buy clothes, eat out often, go to bars, and generally spend a lot a week, then the frugality of homemaking may seem like a prison to you. However, if you are of the temperament that enjoys time alone, likes to be creative and use and grow new talents then you may be wasting yourself in that office or career. If you have a spouse who wouldn’t mind keeping the job, you may find his increasing happiness and yours when there is a clean house, clean close hot meals around. When the time together is easy as it depends upon only one persons work schedule. There is a lot of joy in such a set up for both parties even the one working. When one is allowed to just focus on work the stress of the office seems less, that is what we have found at least. Of course, everyone is different.

All of this from thinking about my future ledger book! Honestly, with my friend I just felt, here she is trapped by her own inability to see her own responsibility. She is truly a prisoner of the world in which we live. No accountability may seem easy, but it robs us of our control and dignity and really the joy of MAKING our lives rather than just LIVING it.

betty paige I love betty paige and I am glad we celebrate her free spirit and look as a value of beuaty we would like to recreate, but I think we should also celebrate, in our womanhood, the homemaker.homemaker Certainly, we all love and enjoy the beauty of those in show business or high society and in the pages of glamour magazines, but not all of us will or really want to be them. So, perhaps if we also talk about and celebrate those women who really made up the history of womankind, we can turn others on to their legacy. While it may feel nice to look pretty and movie star like for others to admire us, we must also try to cultivate those things that make us feel strong and proud of ourselves and your size, height, age, hair color doesn’t matter when you are judging yourself upon your skills and ability to learn and grow. Sometimes I feel we women sell ourselves short. I really feel today in the modern world women are doing a disservice to their own history by trying to forget and discount the true value and power the homemaker has always had. Only, she never stood up for herself, because maybe she was having such a good time she never thought to. Only those that felt trapped and sad, the noisy wheel, felt the need to shout and rail against the ‘tyranny of the home’. So, as we go along enjoy and quietly reveling in our homemaking, lets help new generations realize their true woman’s history and to celebrate their skills and mind as much as their fashion and glamour.

In my way I have begun to think how much I would love to take this year and with more research make a book about  that very fact. The honest to goodness woman’s history. It seems the very topic of the strong women which make up our pasts don’t get as much attention as those that were in the spotlight. I have really begun to consider this, only I wonder who would read it? What do any of you think. Do you feel there is a place needed in the world for such a book? Would it be helpful and hopeful?

Now, to the practical side. I have mentioned before that I found an old book that had been in my family from 1908. It is entitles “House Hold Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’ Cook Book.” Certainly old fashioned for a 1955 wife like myself, but it would have been what my fictional mother would have grew up with as a young child in the 1900’s and my fictional grandmother would have used it as sure as I would my 1950s versions of homemaking manuals.

There is an interesting chapter entitled “Stale Bread”. Upon reading it I again find that as I travel further back in time the ideals and practices are all there for one to live a less wasteful and more ‘green’ life.  Here is the opening paragraph:

A careful housewife plans to keep in stock the smallest amount possible of stale bread, and of that stock not a morsel is consigned to the garbage pail. There is economy in adopting the English fashion of bread cutting, placing the loaf on a wooden trencher with a keen knife, and cutting at the table each slice as it is required.

The idea of cutting only as needing. Certainly, not as easy as ‘sliced bread’ but here another example of something being made easier for us turning into something that becomes wasteful and in the end more costly to us and the world.  It goes on:

Look carefully to the stale-bread remains of each day. Keep a wire basket, set in a tin pan in the pantry, to recieve all scraps left on plates, toast crusts,  or morsels from the bread jar. Never put them in a covered pail or jar; they will mold.

There are then following many recipes to use stale bread. No waste.

I am always amazed, as I go on with this project, how much I waste. Now, whenever I am done with a jar or tin foil I stop and think, maybe I should wash it for preserves and fold it up to use again, just because I can buy it for a dollar at the store, I can save a dollar if I reuse it! Simple, I know, but honestly, these thoughts were not there a year ago. Then I come across things like this with stale bread. I usually give our old bread to the chickens and it ends up back in our food with their eggs, but there are some wonderful recipes in here. I wonder, too, if the fictional me would have sampled them from my mother who would have grown up with it and would I still use some of the knowledge now? I don’t know but the real me which is also the fictional me thinks I may start trying.

There is one interesting bit in this chapter about basically a form of breakfast ceral. 1900 cornflakes Now, I know that cornflakes and other things are now available in 1908 for the housewife, but being new they would certianly not just discount what they had been doing and say, “Okay from here on out its only cornflakes for you”. For example they mention this interesting item that I had not heard of called ‘rusk’.

If there are children in the family who like “Rusk”, the old-fashioned New England name for browned crumbs sprinkled into cold milk, reserve the coarser crumbs for this purpose. Sift through a fine sieve, and the crumbs, no larger than cornmeal, may be put away to be used for crumbing purposes. Save the rusk the same way, keeping it always uncovered. If the air is not allowed free circulation into the can the crumbs will spoil. When the rusk is used, heat it slightly in the oven. After croquettes have been crumbed, scrape together all the find crumbs left on the board and sift, returning what is dry to the can.

Somehow this makes me sadkids at mcdonalds

and this happy    kid eating breakfast 30s

You may have seen in an old post I made chicken croquettes and they were so wonderful, and here it is telling you when you ‘crumb’ anything, from fried chicken to what have you, save the crumbs. Simple and yet the concept of keeping an open container of such leftovers has never occurred to me. Of course a year ago I had never made a croquette in my life.

There is another mention of a sort of  ‘cereal’ called “White-Bread Brewis” here is the recipe:

Heat a pint of milk in a double boiler. Stir into it enough bits of stale wheat bread to absorb all the nil,. Season with a little butter and salt. IT should not be pasty or sloppy, but should be a light, dry porridge. It is a favorite with children, especially if served on a small, pretty saucer and dotted with bits of bright jelly. Serve hot.

I have not tried this, but want to. It might make another good dish to introduce to my morning breakfasts. Can you imagine it made from homemade bread with a dollop of homemade jam on it all piping hot? YUM!

Here is a recipe I would like to try:

Bread Croquettes

2 cupfuls stale bread crumbs,

1 cupful hot milk

Grated rind 1 lemon

1/2 cupful currants

1/2 teaspoonful cinnamon,

Yolks 2 eggs

Boil the bread crumbs for two minutes in the hot milk. Add teh lemon, currants, cinnamon, and remove from the fire.Beat in the yolks of the eggs. Cool, form into croquettes, crumb, and fry in hot fat.

Doesn’t it sound good and what a good low cost meal and also good for vegetarians (as long as they eat eggs).

I am going to be sharing more of this book in the future. There is even a chapter entitled, “Cereal Left-Overs”. So, I suppose “waste not want not” should definitely be stitched into the mind of the homemaker. I think these skills would have been called upon by my fictional mother in the depression when I was young to help stretch the food budget and therefore would be very alive in my mind and kitchen, don’t you?

Until later, then, happy homemaking.

Friday, July 24, 2009

24 July 1955 “Fashion, Poetry, and Music”

dior summer 55 I believe I have shown this image before. It is Dior’s Summer 1955 look. You can see it is the beginning of the turn away from the New Look. The skirt is shorter and the cut and fabric is more severe and of men's wear suiting. It is said, this is the where the later 60’s A-line silhouette began.

When I looked at this image again today, having not seen it since back in the beginning of my project, I really felt differently toward it. Back then, in the heightened excitement of the project, the 1950s was all frills and petticoats and fluff. I saw it then, but somehow did not really see it as I now do. It is very modern looking to me now and it has stirred something in me. It has made me feel the need to ‘reach out to the future’ that the inevitability of living in the past will surely do. I am not going to fly back into the 21st century tomorrow, but it makes me somehow feel a need to find a way to make the 1950s somehow become more real and modern in 2010. Though, I am still not sure what time I will actually be living in then?

Perhaps my research will be enough and the past will live in my writing and research and ‘home skills’ but the future will be in my fashion? Who can tell?

shoes 55 Here is a great photo from summer 1955 of shoes by Sir Edward Rayne.  A British shoemaker. This shot is of the workers inspecting the details done on shoes prepared by them for the 55 spring/summer collection. What great shoes and the shot is very grounding in that not all were model/magazine perfect in the 1950s any more than they are today, but I do like the hair and casual cloths of the workers, don’t you?

paris review 1955 Here is the Paris Review from Summer 1955. One of the poets in this issue was Louis Simpson. This poem of his from 1955 makes me think of the woman in the poem as the 1950s woman. She has been it all to me for surely, “…when I think of her, and other faces fade”. Here is the poem:

A Woman Too Well Remembered

Having put on new fashions, she demands

New friends. She trades her beauty and her humor

In anybody’s eyes. If diamonds

Were dark, they’d sparkle so. Her aura is

The glance of scandal and the speed of rumor.

 

One day, as I recall, when we conversed

In kisses, it amused her to transmit

“What hath God wrought!”-the message that was first

Sent under the Atlantic. Nonsense, yet

It pleases me sometimes to think of it.

 

Noli me tangere was not her sign.

Her pilgrim trembled with the softest awe.

She was the only daughter of a line

That sleeps in poetry and silences.

She might have sat upon the Sphinx’s paw.

 

Then is she simply false, and falsely fair?

(The promise she would break she never made)

I cannot say, but truly can compare,

For when the stars move like a steady fire

I think of her, and other faces fade.

 

This is an interesting song that came out this year, 1955, by the Fontane sisters about a seventeen year old girl. Interesting how the teenage concept is becoming an ideal to even sing about. “Sloppy jeans old shirt” sounds like the future is on our heels.

 

I suppose I should stop with the excuses, as I feel my posts have not been very educational lately, but the task of packing up one house and preparing the new one is taking up more time that I had thought. I do hope all of you will bear with me over the next month as I settle into the new place. We have to be packed up and moved out of here by the 1st of Sept, but my house I am moving to will have summer tenants until the 7th, so we have to put things in storage and then take a week long break.

I will keep posting what I can and you keep commenting. I feel like we need to revive our old discussions. Although, I am sure as it is summer for most you, you are also busy as well. Perhaps the computer does not have the same pull as sunny days and beaches?!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

21 July 1955 “Disneyland Opens, A Movie and A Thought”

17 July 1955: Disney Land Opens:
“Back in the early 1950s, Anaheim was a sleepy little town, and the area around it was nothing more than acres and acres of orange groves. Enter Walt Disney, the original Imagineer. Disney's initial idea was to build a park near his Burbank studio for his employees and their families, but those plans changed over time and his dream grew.
disneland areial He bought over 160 acres of those sleepy orange groves around Anaheim and set about, in 1954, building his "Magic Kingdom." Original plans called for a 9 million dollar 45-acre park, but by opening day the park covered 160 acres and had cost 17 million. Opening day was a gala affair: The ceremonies were broadcast live on ABC with Art Linkletter and Robert (Bob) Cummings as hosts, with celebrities like Ronald Reagan, and VIPs like the Governor of California also in attendance.
giant_squid_1955a The park was turning a profit by its second year of operation, and new rides were soon planned. The Viewliner train in 1957 whisked visitors between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, and the Monorail opened in 1959.
Today Disney Inc. is global, with theme parks in Florida, Paris, and Tokyo, a cruise line in the Bahamas, a cable and network TV presence.”

july life This life cover features the young Susan Strasburg who stars in the movie Picnic with William Holden and Kim Novak that comes out this summer, 1955.
I really liked the movie. It was a different way, for me, to see Kim Novak. I always loved her in Bell, Book, and Candle (that doesn't come  out for another three years I think).
I don’t want to appear a prude nor to wish stifling on any art form or restrictions placed upon the creative arts, but with that said, I love that a movie, such as this, can convey so much passion, anger, love, lust etc. The human condition is all here in this film without illicit sex scenes or gory fights or even swearing. As I said, I am not a prude and I would not want to restrict creativity, what I want is for the newer generations to want to break from the easy way now to simply swear, show sex, and cut off a head graphically, to the more pure representational way to represent the human condition. I don’t want to stifle but to encourage a new growth of expressionism in film that leads away from the flagrant obvious photographic and pornographic showing of the obvious. It would be stunning to see how it could be done. It would be a great study in a film class to put to the students to make a horror film, a love story, a film exposing the illicit and bad qualities of the human animal without the obvious use of couple having sex, man with head chopped off etc.
It is almost easy now to just show everything. I think some of the art is lost in needing to veil it in a way. I know I find more beauty and joy in things that can be subtle and leave me thinking and wondering, but it seems we need everything just handed to us today. Another example of our lazy society. It is as if we are saying to the viewers, “You don’t have to wonder or imagine if the couple making love did so, or if the monster is eating its victim or any subtle ideas whatsoever”  Again, I am not a prude, but maybe I am just a romantic or a crazy time-traveler. I think we have broken everything down and revealed all, that has been done. Now, the real challenge: to hold the attention of our generations of mindless TV watchers who take entertainment as a oxygen, it is always there. We are always plugged in, tuned on etc. We have a sort of numb approach to all of it and I really think a new movement of subtlety and more artful expression really could be well received. Perhaps we could even allow new generations to get a bit of their own imagination and wonder back. I know, I am from the cynical and ironic generations. Nothing can be too serious or too real, or we cannot trust it and scoff at it. There is something envious in me when I look to these simpler more naive generations. I want to look at a simple love story and this, “oh how sweet”, but we are the ironic crowds. Perhaps, because we cannot or do not want to feel to intently, we cannot let anything be serious, I am not sure.
I realize this rant is not very vintage, but it feels very much how I am beginning to react in my own skin to the modern world, one in which I felt very much a part, and am now wondering where my place in it could be? If it can be changed? Should it be changed? And can we change it? Do any of you out there feel this way or does what I have said make any sense? I feel, sometimes, I am merely becoming a walking anachronism.
I promise, next post will have recipes, cleaning tips and tangible ideas, but today, perhaps due to the rain, I am introspective. Now, I have a pile of ironing calling my name and I have to do more packing and labeling of boxes for my move.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

18 July 1955 “The Fashion Journey Continues:What Lies Beneath and My Decision Revealed”

I talked about fashion from 1905-1955 in my last post and I thought to look deeper at what was going on underneath that would be enlightening and interesting.corset cartoonObviously, this characterization from the early 19th century sort of represents what most of us do think of corsetry, but really the underpinnings of garments still exist today.   The ‘girdle’ of the mid 20th century is making a comeback in the guise of Spanx. Call it what you will, if it pulls you in and smoothes you out, you are dealing in corsetry of some sort.
1905: “The S Curve”:
Here we see what is going on underneath the women of fashion of the day to make their lovely shape. Obviously if you were a middleclass wife you may have a more paired down version of this for day wear, but certainly on your ‘at home’ days or your afternoon teas with the ladies, you would need to cut as close a figure to this as possible.
corset 1905 1905 corset2 One of the reasons behind this new “S-Curve” silhouette was health and naturalness. There had been much debate since early in the Victorian period about the health and restrictive qualities of the corsets, but fashion and modesty (for one to be ‘straight-laced’ comes from this very act of wearing a corset like a lady) won out.
Yet the world is changing and women are asking for the vote and attending university, so fashion must follow suit. Thus, at this time, the best health benefits in a corset was the “S” curve. This image shows how the new corsets followed the more natural line of a woman's form than the older style of lacing as seen on the left figure. s curve corsetFollowing this natural curve, however, fashion then needed to take it to the next step with padding out and exaggerating that “S” shape and making the finished look of a lady of high  fashion more exaggerated. 1905 high fashionHere you see the fuller area over the stomach. It is as if there are no breasts or they are one great lump. Padding and such were used to fill out this area and the focus was on the natural line of the waist from this low point up to its natural position at the back. This would have been a great time to have a chubby tummy and got away with it, I think, as the front is so forgiving.
One wonders, in the restriction of these clothes is there  a certain ‘comfort’ in hiding not your best assets? Today one has nothing to hide in only to reveal and if you do not do Pilates seven days a week and sculpt your body into that of a straight hip-less form of a 12 year old boy, you are not fashionable. So, though I am sure we do not want to wear tight corsets, why can we not have fashion that does create a sort of safe haven, a portable home to carry about with you that you can feel safe in?
We expose so much now it is also not very sanitary. I would rather my skirt hem get the germs from the subway than my ankles as I can was the clothes when I get home and they protect me until that time. In this period to have many clothes clean was mainly for the wealthy, but today we COULD really wear more things for sanitary protection and create a sort ‘hide all’ safe feeling that one could embellish and feel fanciful and fashionable and still have the modern means to care for them. Could there be a modern silhouette that is fashionable and ladylike but comfortable with room for embellishment and felling pretty? Could yardage of material mix with ease of its care into a new 21st century silhouette that would be more 19th century? I do wonder.
I find myself more and more realizing that some of the the old things, including such fashion, could be practical when applied to our lives now with the conveniences of washing machines, sewing machines and inexpensive fabrics. What say you, am I just slipping more crazily into my ‘past living’?
Well, onto 1915. War time. Changes in fashion Because of the war is inevitable as now wars are very much fought by women as well on the home front. The shape of a woman needs to be more practical and less decorative. The corset still exits, but the waist has risen and the low front of the “S” curve has been pulled up but sill is very full, almost fat by today's standards.1915 corset Again a comfortable yet lovely look. Men certainly still found women beautiful even if they did not have to have 6 pack abs showing over their low-rise jeans. I think these last days of the corsets were probably the longest they have been, as they need to smooth out to almost the knees. 
 1915 corsets2 A
An odd movement in 1915 that would seem contrary to the war effort was the ‘war crinoline trend’.1915 war crinolin trend This look is almost a blend of the 1850s and the future 1950s. I wonder how much this odd wartime look inspired Dior’s new look? Here is something I found on this odd 1915 wartime trend:
In the spring of 1915, however, fashion changed radically with the introduction of an outline known at the time as the 'war crinoline.' Hemlines crept upward and the skirt was now very full and bell-shaped, with wide collars and sloping shoulders.
Isn’t it strange that before this sudden appearance of full skirts, women had embraced the hobble skirt which restricted movement, but certainly saved on fabric. The hobble skirt would have made more sense in fabric savings for the war effort, but less sense in woman's movement as she began to take over male roles. We were not to see the severity of line and shortness of skirt that would represent fashion and fabric saving in WWII. It almost feels, in some respect, the last ditch effort to hold onto the full frilly femininity that had reigned so long before the inevitable was to happen after WWI and the world was to change forever. It has an odd ominous feel to it.
So, 1925, the reign of the flapper.1925 corset1925 corset2 Certainly we think of the freedom from the corset during this time, but think of today’s body baring fashions and the stick women we are shown in today's fashion magazines. I imagine that is much what the women of 1925 felt if they were not blessed with a thin rail of a body. So, to achieve this ‘free look’ one needed a corset to flatten the hips and many even bound their breasts to create the straight silhouette. It seems we are moving to the freedom of fashion but only to lead us to needing to restrict our bodies more.
This was really, I think, the first time that fashion became about being young. I know young women were always the desirable, but the fashions did not necessarily embrace their underdeveloped figures, but the 1920’s seems to be very modern in that sense. Today even women in their fsixties will wear torn jeans and ‘cool clothes’ that might really only be appropriate for teens. I am sad to think that we are all forced to dress and aspire to a small point in all our lives, our teens, and not celebrate age, which we have more of as our life progresses.
I do think that now after this project it really speaks to me about how our country and our world view “us” as a demographic ripe for consumerism. “Hit them while they are young, mold them and they will keep on buying and the older people will need to fit in, thus they need even MORE to appear young.” But, I digress.
We now view the 1920’s probably the most relatable as a whole today, as it is a time whose attitude of ‘in your face’ poo pooing societies norms and the celebration of youth, fast cars, booze and illegal fun seem more modern in their bent. I don’t want to sound an old fuddy duddy, but how many people really got to experience this lifestyle? Even today, we celebrate the celebrity and the uncouth rich, but how many of us could really strive for such a life? Does that invalidate all the other options we have for living? Does it mean only fashion and fun can be in their hands  while we the masses must be happy with just living vicariously through them by watching them on TV and computer and caring what they have to say? Why is it that we cannot celebrate our own simple lives?
Fashion and fun can be had for all and I just feel today many people feel they don’t deserve to be fashionable or to dictate to themselves and those around them what fashion can be for them! Why can’t they wear a petticoat and full dress and hat and gloves to the grocery store or the local mall? Is their life or their actions not important? Do only red carpet events and Hollywood parties DESERVE nice clothes and happy people? Again, I think the apron revolution needs to be about taking back our lives for ourselves and celebrating fashion, skill, happiness within the sphere of what is deemed ordinary or hum-drum. Don’t settle for scraps, live your life, be it small by comparison to societies norms, to the fullest!
Now, I don’t want to seem to say that I don’t like the fashions of the 1920’s and indeed I adore much of it. And in some sense, one could have a feeling of happy hiding with a dropped waist, but it is not always flattering on a fuller figured person. I just really think it was the first time that very deliberate pre-pubescent bodies were celebrated. This, most likely, was in large part due to the feeling of enjoying and celebrating youth considering all who were lost during the War.
It is interesting, then, that after WWII the female form became very mature and very motherly. Even the swing coats of the fifties served the purpose as practicality to a woman who may find herself pregnant more often than not. That shape did in a way represent the beauty of the pregnant woman. Fuller bosoms and fuller hips were celebrated in a very ‘child bearing’ look. It is very interesting how fashion, much like art, mirrors societies wishes or aims. That is why we can look to it as a definition or explanation of our own society. When we view what we have today, does it show what we all would like to aspire to and become or is it for just a few? I wonder. Could this be the time when we say fashion for the masses doesn't have to only be the liberating tshirt and jeans, but the self made or local made embellished dress that is fun to wear? I think the masses should take fashion back from the over producing tshirted jean and jersyknit clothes sewn by children in communist countries. It serves only a few and gives us the false sense that to be slovenly and lazy is to be free and happy.
I will leave off here and continue with undergarments into the 30s-50s next. I fear if I get too far gone, I may not post and I am trying to be more diligent in posting more regularly.
I found it easier as time went on to make posting a part of my busy day. I do not think I have lost that, only I have had another larger element thrown into my life. I have been as yet silent about it as I was not certain of its outcome.
I have mentioned before that my husband and I own another home that we rent out. It is an antique house built in 1718. It has had a love/hate relationship with us. I have mentioned, as well, in previous posts, how it has haunted me at times when I was left sitting in its empty rooms recalling my mother in her Alzheimer state and my family being there and their sudden departure. It has proved hard to rent sometimes due to its age and the upkeep required. It has served for countless happy holidays of laughter and fun. We had our best Christmas there a few years back in the Victorian style and we dressed in full costume and ate a true Victorian meal from the goose down to the plum pudding.
I have of late come to think upon this house as a member of my family. In my love hate with the house it has proven itself to be very like a dear friend or a family member. Sometimes you are enamored with it and it makes you smile or feel safe. At other times, it makes you feel so angry you could slap it across the face or turn tail on it never to see it again. But, the main element it always has had for me was that emotion.
Perhaps when a thing has been around for so long it does sort of take on a sort of life. I know the house does not breath and feel, but it has seen so much through the years. It was built strong against nature before our country even was a country. It saw so much pass its little red door over centuries and so much of what was good and bad about my own life it has viewed.
We have been trying to find tenants for it lately. At the beginning of summer we lost our tenant who left in a bad state. The house sat empty, sadly for our pocketbooks, for a month or so. I was unable to find anyone suitable as a tenant and if I did find someone, they would inexorably suddenly back out at the last minute. So, I made the decision to let it as a summer rental.
This only set the problem aside and did not solve it. Here on Cape Cod, people do flock in the summer. Our small island connected by a bridge triples in size during the summer months, so finding people to take your house for the summer months is not hard to do, so I did it. That left me with the chore and decision of what was to be the fate of our little house come fall.
Well, after much soul searching and thought and discussion, we have decided to pack up our little family (hubby Gussie and I ) and move back there ourselves come fall. There is a little cottage on the property that will serve Gussies needs. The main house is small but the oldest part and hold so much joy and grief sometimes I am struck by it as I enter the little kitchen door. I really feel it is where we need to be. We have had endless discussions and have changed our mind many times, but now we are set upon the plan. So, come September, we shall reinstate ourselves into the house.
This, of course, means much of my decorating and gardening has had to be set aside and I apologize for not covering it more in the last month or so, but I did know then we may be moving and I didn’t like to say anything as of yet.
I really feel this move is really a move towards my future and this project. I have become enamored with the past and its study both intellectually as well as in the very practice of my living. I think the remainder of my year going to this almost 300 year old house is very fitting. Where will it lead me in the coming year, I do not know. But, I do feel as if I want it to become a part of my project and to take all of you along with me. I honestly feel as if I am packing all of you up and taking you along for the move. I hope that you will enjoy it along with me.
So, now in the future endeavors of homemaking I can add the element of real history. The style and consideration of our American colonial period to decisions in furnishings and fabrics and how we live. I shall be a 1955 homemaker in a 1700’s homemakers dwelling. I shall actually feel rather modern.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

16 July 1955 “A time travel experiment from 1905-1955”

Since beginning this project I have found myself slipping in and out of time. Though the original intention was and still is to focus on the day to day of 1955, I have of late begun to stop in the middle of a 1955 decision and think ten years back, twenty and so on. It has left me, though focusing on 1955, beginning to really feel the elasticity of time. The past can be a living thing in which we can, on some level, hone and make malleable. There is a lesson in it. The past is a sort of free university waiting for our attendance. We can go into it as deeply as we choose and there are a myriad of ‘subjects’ to study, but whatever that choice may be you come out the wiser, I think.
A big part of understanding the specific role of a middle class woman in the role of homemaker in 1955 America has led me down a path I could not have understood at the beginning of the journey. There are forks in the road and hidden foot paths to take or glens in which to peer and wonder or a soft sun-dappled glade to rest your weary modern eyes for a moment. I know I am not, in any way, close to what a true and honest 1955 homemaker truly was. I do not even claim to have their strength or complete understanding of the framework of their time, but I have tried to give my year 1955 a solid framework.
As I have mentioned before, I did not want to feel as if I was just dropped into 1955 straight out of 2008. I also did not want to wander in “Hollywood Movie” style, as if I travelled, Alice in Wonderland style, into a 1950’s sitcom. I did not want it to be a joke. I thought it to be fun and maybe a but silly of a project, but I never went in with any intention to make fun and I hope I have not done so.
The relevance of who I would be in 1955 at my current age could only truly be felt if I also took moments of my day or weeks to ‘look back’ to my fictional past of childhood and teens in the 1920’s and 30’s, my war-time bride era of the 1940’s to really understand what I am doing here, a stay at home homemaker in 1955. That relevance was to come about with trying (and still to try) may hand at skills and ideas that I would have had before the conveniences of 1955. Much of what I, a staunchly middle class woman in 1955 America, would have in the way of conveniences is not that dissimilar to today. I would not be sitting here on my computer, but I would most certainly be washing and drying my clothes in automatic machines, my dishes would be washed in their dishwasher, there would be endless prepared food items available for me to ‘save time’ and endless gadgets from toasters, blenders, waffle irons, steam irons. These things would be new to me. There would be days, no doubt, when I would look at my life and recall my early married days in the war time era or my own ‘help at home’ life in the Depression and wonder and be thankful. I would also worry about my family’s safety, with the cold war and threat of the ‘A-Bomb’, but this fear would not be new to me. I would have grown up on it. It would have been the very fabric of my rearing, the wonder of food and money in the Depression, the worry of safety of life and death, they would have been a constant companion, so I would have dealt with them with a quiet confidence and strong shoulders to carry it off. These realizations have come to make me appreciate this generation to such a great extent.
When I think of how I pictured the 1950’s, and how much of it is now portrayed, before I started this project I cringe. We would look with the lazy casual snobbery of the modern world at the sad little woman in the puffy dress holding the martini and slippers for her domineering husband. Certainly, this may have existed and may still today, but I think when we view the past with only the eyes of the present, we learn nothing and scoff at a great learning opportunity. When we realize that ‘woman at home’ most likely ran the world while the men were away protecting it seems in a different light. To know that that same woman probably worked along her ailing family through the Depression to eek out a life and still smiled and dressed up prettily when she could, laughed and danced and cried, it no longer becomes a funny iconic image to either put neatly up as high art on a wall or as silly magnets upon the fridge. The very strength of character of these people could serve us today if we only took the chance to learn and listen.
Sadly, many of this generation is gone. Those who remain are probably quietly set aside in nursing homes. They can use their strength there as well. They labored and struggled through a life and raised children so that their children could have the freedom to ‘rebel’ and ‘experiment’ with their lives. To selfishly use up the worlds resources for their fun and amusement and constant need to be entertained and feed and satiated to only set aside those who made it all possible in the cold sterile hand that is the nursing home world. This might sound harsh, but it really hits me some days that when I think of those who would have done what I am trying to recreate now are gone and may have been easily shuffled away, hidden, rather than treasured, it makes me sad. But, I digress.
The point of this post was the malleability of time and the past. Its power as a learning and entertaining tool.
I figured in this post I would, with some images and video, show a little cross section of ten year leaps starting in 1905 through to 1955. I hope you enjoy it:
Let’s start with fashion, as it is fun and great to see in a timeline.
1905: the Gibson Girl hair and the flowing skirt. The d├ęcolletage on the bolero tops. The “S” curve of the woman's overall shape. The very end of the ‘flamboyant times’ and certainly the Belle Epoch. Of course these are most likely upper class or upper middle class women.
1905 fashion3 1905 fashion1 1905 fashion2 There were also those who were at the bottom of the class ladder immigrants 1905such as these in Stieglitz photo “steerage”stieglitz_steerage and of course, the growing middle classes as these women out shopping1905 middle class
Now 1915: Here you can see a pattern for a ‘well-cut chemise’ that would have served the middle class woman. The next would also be more middle class fashion while the last drawing, which I live the life and style of, certainly shows a more modish turned out upper class woman. These are the First World War years and you can see the raised hemline and more functionality of the clothes, though still very similar in one defined line to which fashion would be interpreted through fabric and various accessories.
1915 fashion3 1915 fashion1 1915 fashion2 That seems to hold true until probably the late 1960’s early 1970s that fashion seemed to dictate a certain silhouette and then was interpreted in different fabrics and accessories, while today, really, anything goes. There is no ‘specific hemline’ nor ‘style’ that the clothes for that year fall into. I think once the complete care free attitude of jeans and t-shirts arrived, it seems to change our way of thinking in how we look. It certainly opened up the world to mass production. It is cheaper to print out dozens of t-shirts with a picture on it and sell it for a fast buck then to have a well made shirt waist.
Now onto 1925:1925 fashion2 1925 fashion1
There certainly for many 1925 was probably indistinguishable from 1905 in terms of women's freedom and even clothing freedom, particularly in rural America where even electricity and plumbing did not arrive until FDR’s New Deal plans, this cartoon certainly shows the great divide beginning to form between the generations.flapper Again, though, after WWI a sort of world party and celebration wanted to start but then after WWII a more staid almost Victorian rule of home and roles returned, as we were not sure of our futures anymore.
The 1925 older upper classes as seen here in Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, still had a bit of 19th century about them.1925 calvin coolidge While the youth were more ‘free’ in their attire, though still more dressier than we see today, for sure, they seem to have an almost childlike quality to them for the first time. 1925 cople
1935: The skirt is getting longer, but we really begin to see what was most like today’s model body type, not unlike the Twiggy body of the 1960s.
1935 fashioin1935 fashion21935 uppermiddle class This photo of this young couple looks SO modern as opposed to say a 1955 photo. It also has a very 1970s YSL look to it. This pair were certainly upper or upper middle class. Some young ladies out shopping, most likely middle class 1935 middle class women and of course we cannot address the image of 1935 without the famous Dorothea Lange’s photograph, “Migrant Mother” that spoke volumes about the Great Depression.stieglitz 'steerage' Certainly amongst the happy Hollywood days and the bright young things flying about in sports cars, the worse economic depression rocked our country. You certainly couldn’t, unless you were unfeeling, not feel it somehow. As I had said before, my Maternal Grandfather still bought a new car every year during the Depression, but my mother had told me how they used to buy fruit and things for local poor and let kids have ‘fun rides’ on the running boards of the cars. You could not, perhaps more so if you were staunchly middle class, not feel for the wretched poor. For certainly, you were but a few missed payments away from slipping down your class rung to the lowers starving masses.
1945:1945 simplicity pattern you can see the skirt is higher than it has been. It was to this height in 1925 and then quickly dropped as the 20’s lead into the 30’s. Much of this fashion was based on utility and amount of available fabric as well as fashion. There was a definite military feel as the shoulder pad appeared on women. Here some young ladies, could be either middle or upper classes in a city, appear to be ‘knitting for the cause’.1945 middle class
and finally 1955:
1955 fashin And of course the role of mother was even important in the fashion world. 1955 fashion mother daughter And in many ways the silhouette 1955 fashion of 1955 was not unlike that of 1855.1855 fashion As I said, after WWI there was a sort of free for all party atmosphere with the ‘war to end all wars’, while WWII left us reeling and returning to home to rebuild and re-grow. But, the genie had been let out of the bottle and the children of this generation would not have it.
There are so many other aspects of this fashion timeline that I will address it more in my next blogs, I think I might do bathing costumes next.
Now, onto film:
Yes, there was film in 1905. This little French piece I think really shows a sort of lighthearted theatre perfect for the time that was the Edwardian Period. The last big party before the world was to change for ever in the remainder of the 20th century.
1905 film
1915 film “The Tramp” was a piece of art. There was another film to come out this year about the Civil War that made quite a stir. Though many felt it was unpatriotic, dealt with the civil war in its very real sense of death and destruction. The use of cinema had a moment of seriousness as the world was torn apart in WWI
1925 film. Rudolph Valentino was the first great leading man in the modern sense, I believe. He was such a legend that woman actually killed themselves when he died in 1926. So begins the great ‘fictional mystery’ of film and its power over the masses. Little did they know to what extent ‘celebrities’ and ‘movie stars’ were to play in the future world.
Here is a bit about the introduction of sound to film:
The first commercial screening of movies with fully synchronized sound took place in New York City in April 1923. In the early years after the introduction of sound, films incorporating synchronized dialogue were known as "talking pictures," or "talkies." The first feature-length movie originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927.
By the early 1930s, the talkies were a global phenomenon. In the United States, they helped secure Hollywood's position as one of the world's most powerful cultural/commercial systems. In Europe (and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere) the new development was treated with suspicion by many filmmakers and critics, who worried that a focus on dialogue would subvert the unique aesthetic virtues of soundless cinema.
So, 1935: I think Shirley Temple really represents an escape needed during the days of the Depression. Often overcoming obstacles and hard times and ending up wealthy. Her plucky youth gave a promise to a very scary time. She also really is the first white female to have as close to an African-American co-star as was possible at the time.
1945: I think this clip from the film “Twice Blessed” really typifies what we think of as the 1940’s as well as showing a light hearted need during the tough war years.
1955: James Dean first film “East of Eden” based on Steinbeck's book comes out.
And of course you can’t mention the 1950s with out the musical. Here is Guys and Dolls.
So, by looking at things this way, from 1905-1955, has been very interesting. I will share more of these findings in the next blogs. It is really an interesting way to ‘time-travel’.
Let me know if you would be interested to see more posts like this showing such a cross section. I think showing the kitchen from 1905-1955 is rather interesting as well. Of course, I am still going to post my home-buying economic post, but I just needed a light break. I hope you enjoy.
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