Monday, November 9, 2009

9 November 1955 “Some News and bits and bobs”

1 November-A time bomb explodes in the cargo hold of United Airlines Flight 629, a Douglas DC-6B airliner flying above Longmont, Colorado, killing all 39 passengers and 5 crew members on board.


I found this bit about the crash. It sort of tugs at your heart.

Captain Hall announced flying time of about three hours and simultaneously advised the passengers that weather was clear and calm. As the modern aircraft flew over the small city of Longmont, Colorado, just 30 miles from Wyoming, Captain Hall switched on the autopilot and asked one of the stewardesses for a cup of coffee. He checked the instrumentation panel, which showed all indicators were normal and aircraft systems functioning properly.

His first inkling that something had gone wrong was a loud bang that seemed to emanate from somewhere under and behind the aircraft. Captain Hall heard the noise and then felt a deep shudder that lasted a fraction of a second. Then his seat suddenly came up off the floor of the plane and crashed into the metal ceiling of the cockpit. Below him, traveling at several hundred miles per hour, the aircraft erupted into one gigantic blast that ripped the fuselage apart into a thousand pieces sending debris, luggage and passengers tumbling into space. Since the fuel tanks were almost filled to capacity, an immense fireball detonated, beginning in the lower section of the plane, which momentarily enveloped the entire aircraft.

Both engines separated from the wings and the propellers continued to turn as they began their long, spinning descent to the ground below. As the fiery debris plummeted to Earth, several other smaller explosions shattered the remaining parts of the aircraft. Tiny, white-hot bits of metal, similar to the pattern of fireworks, cascaded into the cool November air. These pieces, along with the passengers and their belongings, scattered across several square miles of Weld County in northern Colorado.        

There would be no survivors of United Airlines flight 629.

I wonder if there will be a point in our future when we no longer rely on fossil fuels such as gas and have air travel that uses solar or some other form of safer energy. Will those people look back at us hurtling ourselves down roads and through the air in metal objects filled with flammable gas as insane! It is, honestly, sort of scary when you think of it in that terms.

3 November- The five-and-one-half-mile long Rimutaka Railroad tunnel opens in New Zealand.

5 November- Racial segregation is outlawed on trains and buses in Interstate Commerce in the United States. This is a precursor to the incident to come in December, when Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white person. This outlawing of segregation was on interstate bus lines. It is a beginning to the change that is about to come to our country. I think what so sad, is the majority of Americans, particularly at this post war time, were probably against segregation and ill treatment of blacks, yet the laws spoke for the whites as a whole. Many unfortunate raids and riots ensue that hurt both white and black poor and middle class all because of laws not truly supported by the people. I suppose it is another example of how dangerous it is to just allow the government to ‘speak for us’.

toys cartoon I found this cartoon in one of my vintage magazines. I think it really speaks to the movement towards our over consuming and accumulation of stuff. Really, this is a BRAND NEW phenomenon. The post war middle class is growing and separating into the nuclear family we are now familiar with. While the parents of this time, someone my age in 1955, would have had a few toys, mostly wood or porcelain dolls, and certainly hand me downs from relatives, possibly a grandparent or more relatives living in one house, sharing childcare etc, we begin to separate the family unit and therefore less sharing is possible. The need for more toys is there. Cheap plastic things are coming out of Japan as it now comes out of China. So, this concept of your child having SO many toys that he carelessly just leaves them in driveways was a new concept. And, while it seems funny, in some ways it almost gives me a little chill.

I think, as I go through my 1955 day I realize it is not truly 1955, yet there are moments when it seems real. I will be home alone, vintage ‘radio program’ on, sipping tea in my vintage clothes, reading my vintage magazines, completely immersed in the moment. It will have a unique reality to it. Then I will come across something like this and for a moment it is as if I am suddenly a clairvoyant in 1955 getting a flash into the future! It sort of scares me, as I see through the innocence of 1955 to where we actually are now, here in 2009!

 cooking boy This was a sweet little advert in the back of one of my vintage magazines for yeast. What I found so interesting is that it shows a mother teaching her son to bake. We are so often lead to believe how strict the gender roles were in the 1950s. Yet, here is a mother teaching her son to cook and a son so proud of it that he wins a ribbon at the fair and gets into a magazine. Another example of how important homemaking skills are to ALL of us. Cute, don’t you think? I wonder if this boy, now an old man, ever still cooks/bakes?

And to end this random post on a happy ending, I found this picture on someone's blog and fell in love with it. I just love ALL these dresses. What I like is how they are very similar in length and overall style, yet look at all the individuality amongst them! I adore the brown one with the horses and the two tone blue striped one, is just darling. This is from 1955 and not sure what they are doing, but whatever it is, it sure is in style.

ladies in pretty dresses

Yesterday, at the fabric store, Gussie and I were both in vintage clothes, hats, gloves etc. A woman came up to us and looked at us. Then she stood there a moment and said, “Okay, can I ask?” We both looked at her and said, “sure” and she said nothing. She just kept looking at us. Then she said, “What is the occasion?” I told her I always dress like that and she said she felt, when she walked in, like she was ‘in a movie’ and smiled and walked away. I also had a nice lady walk up to me when I was trying tulle over my hat to consider it for a future hat and she asked my opinion on hat making. Again, most of the response I get from people is happy and positive. It is amazing what fashion can do for other people, just imagine how they would feel if they actually wore vintage themselves! A powerful force, fashion.


  1. Those dresses really are gorgeous, and I love the array of colors! The spread of blue shades is very artful. Love this!

  2. Dear 50s Gal, I was thinking that the ladies int he picture very much reminded me of my sorority days, so I thought perhaps it was a club initiation? Just a thought....

    Have a wonderful day! ~Mrs.J~

  3. My grandmother, born in 1892, told me that she received a new wig for her doll every Christmas. My grandmother's family could be considered "middle class." In the autobiography of Agatha Chrisite, born 1890 in England, she mentions buying new hat polish and ribbon for their hats every year, but they still had maids; her father did not "have to" work.

    My parents grew up in the thirties during the height of the Great Depression. On top of this, they each lost a parent, that caused greater financial hardships. They received well thought out of gifts for Christmas every year.

    My parents purchased more gifts for us than they each had, but according to today's standards, they were modest.

    Although having too much is a problem. The quality of those items matter as well. For our own children, we wanted to purchase gifts that encouraged skill, creativity, education, and family. We did not purchase gifts that needed batteries, computer based toys, or fads. They were not deprived.

    No Idle Hands

  4. That picture of the girls is great. =) I love all of the dresses.

    If we ever did have children, my husband and I have decided there will not be overloads of toys and "stuff". =)


  5. I remember my sister's had dresses just like this.They wore what we called girdles to hold up their hose(stockings) . My sisters(I have 4 sisters) were too skinny to ever need real girdles. I was to young and could not wait till I was old enough to wear hose, by the time I was old enough ,everyone wore pantie hose. ( I think thigh highs are much more comfortable)
    I wonder if the girls in the picture are home Ec. or FHA We used to have a candle lighting, as a change of officers in FHA. We wore dresses we made ,or our best dresses and our mothers were present. (as we promised to be good homemakers)

  6. I am guessing there still is FHA... Future Homemakers of America

  7. Mrs. Tailleur-believe you me I know ALL ABOUT girdles!My girdle and I are old friends now. Also, they wore garter belts if they didn't 'need' girdles, but the underwear, I believe was still pretty supportive comared to todays underpants.
    I too prefer hose as I am fairly tall pantyhose never fit right, always sag at the ankles and feel as if they are about my knees. Stockings are more comfortable and much prettier to look at. Many of mine have a nice lacy top where it attaches to the garter. It is nice to have such delicate pretty things that are genuinely for you as know one sees them under your clothes (excepting your husband of course, but some things are better left unsaid, right gals)
    lpm-Well I know if we ever had a child they would not have an overabundance of junk. I would also want things that could age with them and possibly be passed down to their children or failing that, if consider of value, could always be sold later on for their money needs as opposed to mass produced plastic garbage that is worth nothing the second it is sold.
    No idle hands- I like the idea of toys that make you think or are not just passive.

  8. Mrs. Tailleur,

    I just had to google FHA and found out that they changed their name to "Family, Career and Community Leaders of America":

    Apparently, they changed their name in 1999 in Boston in order to reflect their new mission. I'm guessing it's not really about homemaking anymore, sad.

  9. The pictures of the girls in the pretty dresses reminded me of my soroity candle lighting ceremonies too. The dress style is flattering on all of their figures. I once wore a Similar dress I'd found in a vintage store to one of those ceremonies when I was in school.

    It's hard to avoid the junky toys as my kids get older and are exposed to more. I've been trying to teach them that the pleasure they get from playing is more important than the toys themselves.


  10. Mrs. Tailleur-that is sad. There should be two organizations then, so that one may focus on homemaking skills. Again, I feel we are brushing under the rug the history of women in a sad way.
    Sarah-I can't imgaine how hard it must be with tv and kids today. My hubby said if we were to have kids he would want NO tv even in the house, to which I agreed, but of course, once they are with other children and see all of their toys, they of course might want those as well. Although, my hubby as a child was mostly given old toys (family herilooms) or interesting wooden blocks and puzzles. For instance, they have in his family a wonderful old wooden hobby horse with a real horses tail. It is beautifuly displayed, now, in a guest room in my MIL house and both my hubby and his sister have fond memories of playing on it for hours. It is so well built that my hubby can still sit on it now and it will hold him. That is the kind of toy I like. Most of his other stuffed toys were either made or again antique such as steiff bears/toys. He did not miss it. His only gripe was he wanted a Nintendo and his mother did not want him to have one. He was unable to get it until he started doing odd jobs and saved the money to buy it himself. Even though his family could have afforded it, his mother had him earn it on his own. I have to say, though I am biased, I think my hubby has turned out very well rounded, he is confident, intelligent, smart, a great saver. I look at much of what his mother did in raising him and realize how well her methods worked. I honestly don't know, however, if it would be fair for me to raise a child in a 'vintage' vein, yet there are probably many children being raised in worse ways.

  11. Great post. In 1955, I had a doll house, a giant stuffed panda, a couple of "plastic" baby dolls and clothes for the dolls. I had a rocking horse, too, and probably other toys. By 1958, there were so many toys. My grandparents were guilty ones for spoiling us.

    The advantage of wearing stockings in the early days was that the stockings actually came sized. They would still sometimes bag/sag, tho. We lived in the West so panty hose were really hard to find and very expensive. One school year, because the skirts had gotten so short, almost every girl went around with their garters or the lace on their panty girdles showing. Why we were wearing hose to school, I have no idea - other than it was the fashion of the day.

  12. I love the picture with the girls. I can't help but notice the depth of the hem on the dresses. (particularly the white one) It must be about 4 inches. That extra fabric goes a long way in making the skirt hang well and speaks to the overall quality of the garment. So much of the teen girl's clothing has that deconstructed look or just little serged edges-even on dress clothes. Ugly! One other thing is proper undergarments. Some garments today would be vastly improved by the use of a slip. Good clothing can be preserved longer by using good undergarments.

    Michele in MN

  13. Packrat-It is true, I am sure, that the grandparents were so happy to spoil the children. Particularly when you consider what they had for toys when they were children in the 19th century. Unfortunately, much like today, good intentions often are behind the bad moves we have made. The idea that you can buy alot of toys cheaply for someone might make you feel as if you are being kind to someone, while really you are simply instilling the need to overspend, want things that you could not always use all of and to not care as much for the things as there are so many and you can get so many more cheaply. Kind heart but now we are faced with so much waste and an insatiable need to spend and buy and consume. Hopefully, we are moving away from that. It is funny how the skirts became so short you could see your garters! How incredible that must have seemed in a matter of 10 years girls with full skirts past their knees to short skirts showing their lacy garters! It even sounds shocking for today!
    Michele-you are so right, a good solid hem relly helps pull off a good vintage or really any good quality look. I recently make a dress in a patterned cottong and to 'hem' it I cut a 4" strip on the fold and attached to the bottom of the dress. IT was cute and a great finsihed look. I hate how all new modern clothes are jersey and have that cheap little hem or no hem at all, just cut! Very unfinished and does not move or hang in a pleasing way. I also agree, the right undergarment really helps. Two years ago while still living in Boston, I had a wedding to go to and went out shopping on Newbury street and could not find a slip anywhere! I was very surprised, now I find vintage slips easy to come buy and really sturdy.

  14. 50s gal: In the early 70s, housewives formed a league to defend homemaking:

    I searched for it, but I think it doesn't exist anymore...

    I don't think your child would have difficulty being raised in a vintage way if that's all he or she knows. I see many kids today and although I am childless at the moment and don't know how it is to be a parent, I can still honestly say that I do not like the way they are being raised in general. They are not eating well and exercising enough, they put on tantrums and parents think it's "cute"...My DH works in the food industry and he sees many kids just say, "Give me a spoon" firmly and never say please. He has never observed politeness in all his recent working years...Parents fight with their kids' teachers if they do something wrong, it's never the kid's fault...Parents are also becoming a bit too narcissistic in my opinion.

    I just see kids having the freedom to rule their parents: either the parents think everything they do is cute or they just yell at their kids without any consequences, it's really sad. It sounds like your husband grew up with manners and discipline, something we hardly see anymore. It was about the same for me: God forbid I disobeyed my mom, I would have plenty of consequences so that I'd never try it again!!! She would never say yes after saying no too.

    The more I read your blog, the more I realize how people dress nowadays. It must be nice to have so much positive feedback when you go out with your pretty dresses! :)

    I just think sexy images are really bad for young girls' self esteem. My husband can't help but smile and kiss me when I wear a dress!! I haven't tackled sewing yet so I'm wearing cute, over the knees cocktail dresses, but I definitely want to wear vintage dresses and skirts in the near future!!

  15. housewife07-I will have to check that out and see when that was disbanned.
    I agree with what I see of children in public. It seems almost more work to constantly reprimand without consequences so that the children keep testing boundaries but never learn any. It must also be a very 'unsafe' feelilng for the kids, because I think they thrive on perimeters and boundaries that make sense and are enforced. Once you try sewing, you will love it! Sometimes I do get an odd stare or snigger, but for the most part I don't care, or if it is from a youth in say pants crotch down to his knees yet the pants do not cover his bare legs, large unlaced tennis shoes, underpants completely exposed and jackes 19 x's too large with ridiculous upside down tennis visor on, I tend to merely snigger back to myself. I wonder, too, we are each expressing ourselves in fashion, yet because his is the current 'excepted' norm he reacts just as many people in the 1950's were accused of acting to those that were 'different'. A lot of things still exist but are simply disguised by 'expression' while it merely is just following another fad.

  16. Raising your child in a vintage vein would be a wholesome, pleasant, happy way to nuture a child, giving it a wonderful childhood. You wouldn't be the only one by any means because they have been and are many families instilling healthy ideals of a simpler time in their children. Go with your intuition. In a loving, caring family a child will feel happy and secure. Linda

  17. So true. Another instance of tradition and also a 'green' experience with children, my hubby's mother also has now displayed in the same room as the antique rocking horse an old baby pram (carriage/perambulator) that his great grandfather was even pushed in. It was used for my hubby as a child. I would feel pretty proud to use this for a child, though I know it not a practical 'fold down' for the car. But, most likely, I would use a vintage 50's steel and cloth version. Perhaps, I am not being realistic, but I feel like were I to have a baby to care for in my current mind set, I wouldn't not need to 'dash off' to the mall or anything, so where ever my baby pram would fit, would be where we would walk. I heard that some fancy foldout modern baby pram has been recalled because where it snaps togeteher it cut childrens fingers off or something, scary stuff. I guess I just like the idea of tradition and meaning more than convineance or 'newness'. The more I think about this the more I see I would probably be the 'crazy mother' so perhaps it is better there is no little 50's baby for 50s gal!

  18. you wouldn't be a crazy mother at all. you would be heartened to know that among the homeschool set, your values are actually quite "normal". many of those in our co-op, us included, do not buy our children plastic junk advertised on tv (mostly b/c they never see it!!but even if they did....), and they play outdoors with each other, and have nice toys like dolls, blocks and good quality BOOKS!! our guys are allowed a video as a treat sometimes, but most often it's an "old" movie. last week they watched "international velvet" and before that, "misty" and "lassie"

  19. 50s gal: I agree that kids want boundaries. When I was a kid, I only loved one of my doll because me and my sister would invent so many stories around our dolls (she had another similar doll), that I didn't care for all the million dolls I got as gifts. That 's what happens when you place a sentimental value to something, even when my doll looked really old (many people made fun of it for looking awful at some point from overuse, lol!!).

    You have given me a lot of food for thought when it comes to child rearing! I plan on buying a lot of things in yard sales, thrift stores and antique stores. I also want my kids not to watch too much tv (one hour max, watching shows I approve, probably older shows) and to play a lot outside. If they ever get a video game, it will have to be Wii Fit to get them moving or really good learning games. As I imagine our future first house, I now picture no tv in the living room and perhaps a small space in the basement for it...I want them to read and play board games. My nephew received so many toys at his first birthdays that he felt really overwhelmed and did not have any time to play with all of them that day and for a while after! I think that less is more when it comes to playing as you can develop your own imagination with one or two special objects.

  20. kelly: That sounds so wonderful! I started to research homeschooling 7 years ago and I knew right away that that's what I would do with my future children. I don't really wish to follow mainstream...

  21. It looks like we 'childless mothers' feel the same way, although I am sure there are some actual mothers rolling their eyes at us, but honestly, if I were to have a child, I feel the things I have learned this year and what will hopefully continue to be added to my repetoire, that to raise a child would be a priveledge and a very serious CAREER, much like homemaking. The idea that I would be molding a future adult would be uppermost in my mind, I think.

  22. I am one of those mothers... MY son wanted an xbox seven years ago. I told him he had tvs computer and everything else. If he wanted one he had to earn it.( Yes I could have gone out and bought it.) He mowed lawns to earn the money to buy it. THis tought him to work for something he wanted rather than everything being given to him. My other son worked for a special skate board. ( he has at least 3)I am proud they didn't expect me to just hand over the money.
    I fill we really have a mission now if groups like FHA and home ec. are not important to people today.

  23. hooray for you, mrs. tailleur!! i am sure your children have a great idea now about what matters, and how much "wants" cost! xo to you, housewife07. it actually is quite wonderful. like '50's gal said, she would think raising children a privilege~and it is!! it gives one such a vision for the future, as well as a sober spirit when thinking of all the things there are to teach, and to NOT teach, if you will. but it is a fabulous job. and i think our kids are pretty happy, on the whole. they are great friends with each other, enjoy nature, have respect for people and things, and don't mind working for what they want, or for the good of others. that's not to say they are made of gold, or anything!! they fight, they whine, they slack. just like we do sometimes. but they don't do it ALL THE TIME, as if THAT were their career!! so, if you want to raise your children in a vintage world, more power to you! it seems a great idea.

  24. When I saw the cartoon I had a little different take on it.....well, first I laughed out loud. My husband is constantly cursing under his breath when he gets home because he has had to clear a path through the rubble in the driveway. I printed the cartoon out and posted it on the fridge. I pointed out to DH that even 50's dads had to contend with kid rubble. He said, "Well, I guess that was the last time kids were at home enough to make a mess."

    In our calmer moments, my husband and I regard our children's messes (we homeschool, don't have a TV and allow very minimal computer time) as proof of their creative, home-centered life. It is possible to do even in 2009.

    Thanks, 50's Gal, for the reminders of why we do what we do.


  25. Thanks, Kelly! That's wonderful to hear! There are so many fabulous reasons to homeschool! :)

  26. That's inspiring, Rebecca! :)

  27. Yep I recommend homeschooling!! I loved every minute of homeschooling our now grown and married children. Linda

  28. I am not sure if I ever mentioned it, but I, 50's gal, was homeschooled. Though, my parents did not do the teaching, my tutor was a lovely lady who became a friend of the family. I loved it and did not find myself in anyway not 'socially' ready for university. In fact, I made quite a few friends when I started school. I often wondered, were I to have a kid, if homeschooling in the beginning would be good. Perhaps up to a certain grade and then a good private school, I would not suffer a kid to public school. (I know in the uk public schools are equivalent to our private, but you get my meaning). I think we are suppose to have good public schools around here, but I think the ratio of student to teacher too large and the depth of subject not deep or varied enough. Again, what a tough road of decisions to become a parent. My hats off to all of you! I am sure your homeschooled children are very happy and will thank you when older (if they don't already thank you!)

  29. Dear 50s Gal,

    As a homeschooling mother of four blessings, I can tell from your writing and how you express your feelings that you will be a wonderful mother. I only hope that you and your darling will have as much fun parenting as my Beloved and I have :-)


  30. Oh! I forgot I found a Homemakers Club through my local State Extension Office! There are several chapters of the club throughout my community and I am having lunch with one set on Monday of next week. I will "comment" all the details :-)

  31. I love the pictures of the girls, all the dresses are beutiful!

  32. Wow, YOU were homeschooled! If you ever mentioned it, I haven't read it. Your family, tutor and yourself have done a wonderful job to develop indepth thinking and tremendous creative talents in which you excel. What a treasure to be able to pass on to your children one day. Linda

  33. Sorry no post today gals, was busy with my aprons for the craft fair. I will post tomorrow.
    Yes, I really enjoyed my homeschooling. I think it really fostered the 'self-education' and ability to research and study on my own. In fact, my very approach to life is one in which I like to find the 'study of things' and evaluate my place in it. I am definitely going to look for homemaking organizations in my area and as I said, will most likely try to start a vintage club. I am going to find out about the Junior League in my area, as I know that is a very good ladies organization. Are any of you in any of your local Junior Leagues?

  34. Dear 50s Gal,
    My local Junior League is really geared towards ladies who work outside the home. The meetings are in the evenings, held in a HUGE city about an hour from my home. I also noticed that the topics covered in their talks were very much centered around the workplace and the way to achieve in the workplace. This being said perhaps, it is just the chapter that is closest to me, and not true for the other chapters.


  35. Oh, that is too bad. I have not found out, as of yet, about my local chapter. If it is similiar, then again a Vintage Junior League needs to be formed. I would like it to be geared towards those who are at home, but not exclusive to it. For those who like home history and crafts and skills rather they work outside the home or not.

  36. my girls are in a club called "keepers at home",run by the moms,as a mentorship and learning group. we purchased the curriculum book online, as well as the badges etc. it is specifically geared toward christian themes, but if that is not your sphere of reference, could be modified. in our group, the moms take turns teaching various skills such as quilting, weaving, watercolor, cooking/baking, flower pressing, etc. we also focus on various ideas like organization, modesty, service to others, hospitality, and finances. so far it has been really fun for the girls and such a learning experience. maybe that would help you all in getting ideas for your own vintage league..?

  37. Hi sweet dear, excellent and very thought provoking post for sure. You're right, it will be amazing to knwo what those in a few hunred years will think of our modes of transportation? Will they think them as slow as we now view horse travel or will they focus instead on how immensely harmful to the environment many were? Whatever the case may be, it would be incredible to be able to peer into the years ahead and know.

    Thank you ever so much for your lovely comments, it's always a joy when you visit my blog.

    Oodles of hugs,


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