Tuesday, November 9, 2010

9 November 1956 “Early American and Realizations”

earlyamericanglass I came across this advertisement for Big Top Peanut butter and thought it fun to share. As you can see it comes in a reusable glass. Such promotions as these were becoming common in the 1950’s as it would encourage you to buy their brand, as you intended to collect up the glasses. I rather liked it because it describes the Sherbets and Goblets in the ‘Early American’ design.
I have spoken of this little known movement before. While many think 1950’s was all Eames chairs and wall to wall carpeting, the movement and look towards ‘Early America’ or Colonial was happening. Though, in true 1950’s fashion, they were not trying to fool you into thinking they had actual antiques, but rather pieces inspired by the early days.
earlyamericanimage3This dining room set is an example of this. It is certainly Early American, even by the definition of the description in the magazine. Yet, the piece is obviously modern and look at the clever ‘pass through’ from the kitchen that appears to be part of the hutch. Those chairs, many people propbably recall, as they lasted well into 1970’s design.
I have been becoming increasingly partial to this mid-century movement, as my own house, which is in fact actual Early American, that is built in the American Colonial Days, is quite happy with these pieces.
earlyamericanimage5This is a great shot of a lovely hall in Colonial/Early American. Here they show the wallpaper is meant to appear antique and certainly the grandfather clock is old. Yet the little hall piece with the ivy could be Drexel Heritage. The wood floors and rag rug show that it wasn’t all orange shag carpet and plastic floors back then.
 earlyamericanimage4Though even in a more modern kitchen such as this you see the Early American influence. This wallpaper, which is quite bold and graphic, is Early American in its scene. The old wood cook stove and the vignette of the ‘early days’ becomes modern in its use of color, scale, and how it is placed on the feature wall in this bright modern kitchen.
I love that about the movement: that is didn’t take itself too seriously. I think in modern design there can be a bit too much seriousness. I mean, we are meant to live in and enjoy our homes. I like a formal/colonial style, but I will have an old bust on my mantle wearing one of my vintage hats or a strand of old shell bead necklaces that were once in a keepsake box of an old relative. I think the introduction of the personal with style and humor is really important. I think that is also important in life as well.
I think in some aspects I was beginning to lose that this past year. My realization as time went on to how our country has changed and in what way it has changed has hardened me in a way. It sort of took my humor and made me a bit dour and sad. I couldn’t really help it, as I felt almost lied to by our country from what we once had and could have made into what sad state of affairs we have got. Yet, I am one little sad voice in a sea of much more powerful voices, so I think I have sort of come from those ashes, phoenix style, ready to just be happy again.
I cannot change the world. I have only just, in the past two years, learned how to change myself for the better. So, I had better stick to that and be happy in it. Be content in my little house, puttering about my garden and messing about with my chickens. Enjoying my further research and study into the past. Sometimes we need a break from our ideas before they become so heavy we can move for them.
I hope you enjoy the Early American style. I do have a Flickr Group dedicated to trying to gather these images together if you would like a look or to join. I shall add these images to it as well.
I hope all are having a lovely day and Happy Homemaking. Now, I am off to make candy. I have promised a friend to do a craft/food fair with her this weekend and there is brittle and toffee to be made. I will share recipes and pictures after it has happened.
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