Sunday, February 5, 2012

5 February 1933 “Fun Things for a Sunday”

Girl Scout Cookie box. © GSUSA. All rights reserved.

“In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city's gas and electric company windows. Just 23 cents per box of 44 cookies, or six boxes for $1.24 helped girls develop their marketing and business potential and raise funds for their local Girl Scout council program. In 1934, Greater Philadelphia became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies.”

hairdye Though hair dye had been around for quite some time, such as this 1840’s ad, it was not really considered something a lady or certainly a good middle class girl would have done. What is interesting in this old advert is the name, Circassian. This was a myth that the women of Circassian Mountains near the Black sea were the most purest Caucasians ever and that in the white slave trade sultans would pay the highest price.

The great marketing genius P.T. Barnum made the myth a ‘reality’ in the 1860’s when he had such a pure Caucasian beauty on display in his famous side-shows. It is interesting to note here that the ad informs one that light or red hair (not at all desirable at the time) could be transformed to lovely dark shades. Hair color, like all fashion, follows such trends. Though the popularity of the blonde seems ageless to us, as it has remained a beauty ideal for most of the last century, it was not always so.

This made me think of the wonderful scene in the movie adaptation of the Anne of Green Gables book when Anne, Played wonderfully by Megan Follows in 1985. Anne wishes to dye her unloved red hair (called ‘carrots’ by Gilbert Blythe)  to be like the raven black locks of her ‘bosom friend’, Dianna Barry. The resulting color, however, is green and she exclaims, “The peddler assured me it would turn my hair a beautiful raven black”.

But, by the 1930’s a new color was des rigueur. harlow1In 1930 Jean Harlow appeared in Hells Angels with her almost white platinum blonde hair and caused a stir. It was so popular that the following year, 1931, she appeared in a movie entitled Platinum Blonde. It’s original title had been Gallagher, but Howard Hughes convinced the the producers  to change the title to better support Harlow's career.

 hairtint And the rush was on for light and blonde hair.

flapper evening shoes These are the 1933 Gold even shoes that inspired me to get my own less expensive afternoon version in blue suede. shoes2 The original gold lame shoes are for sale and are rather expensive. They and some other antique clothing can be found HERE. It is a fun site to look through as the few pieces they have for sale are all authentic antiques from Victorian onward. A fun site to ‘window shop’. If you scroll to the bottom you can choose the time period. Have fun there.

I hope all are having a lovely Sunday. Happy Homemaking.


  1. I like that you mentioned scouting. My son is a cub scout, and I have to say that I love the simple fun of scouting. It is a real "vintage" activity in many ways. The whole family participates, the boys play games, learn about exercise, conservation, community, and of course spend time outdoors. Love it!
    Also you've created shoe-envy here. I promised no new shoes in 2012, and look at me, drooling over the photos online :-) Happy Sunday!

  2. Well, Shannon, it doesn't cost a think to 'window shop' that is for certain. The one aspect I love about dressing vintage (even though this year I am wearing 30's styles) is that when one is comfortable with a certain style one can begin to Build a collection of clothing. With that in mind and just simply being willing to mend and patch, one can begin to collect up a wardrobe for all times. Even my 1930's peices I will add this year will still fit in and compliment my 1950's. There are many similar style clothes and when one trains the eye to the period they love, they find modern pieces with vintage sensibilities. I wore a hat today (still to blog about it) that got many raves and wondered where I found such a lovely vintage hat. In fact it is a new hat from a national retail chain that I found at the local Good will (Could see from the tag it was new and form large chain). But with my current style and also new and old pieces the whole look has a uniqueness quite easy to come by. And when I realize I may have these shoes forever, then I can itemize the cost over a longer period and also not worry that I have to buy so many pairs of shoes.
    Scouts are a great 'modern' way to live a 'vintage' life, you are quite right.

  3. Oh I do love vintage textiles - it's nice to dream! I am trying to build a 40s wardrobe, while 'making do and mending' and as you say, many pieces do cross over decades. Think I'll go tint my hair now - hopefully it won't go green!

  4. Bravo Girl Scouts! Still relevant in girl's lives after 100 years.

  5. I have a good laugh over reading this article to find a reference to Anne of Green Gables (all time favourite here in Canada even been to the home on PEI), and having her hair turn green, believe it or not it happened to my poor mother in law when she was younger. Luckily it has not happened to me :) although one time I did dye my hair what was supposed to be a blonde colour and I ended up looking like Lucille O`Ball lol, bright red which eventually faded to a strawberry blonde.

    Love those shoes as well, sadly could not wear them, i stick primarily to flats, I also respect the fact that you build a wardrobe, I keep my favourite pieces over many years often more than a decade, my wardrobe is basic but why give away anything that still fits.

    I love the old term ``Make it do, or do without.`` It truly speaks volumes on a generation that did not throw out anything and especially in these hard times of the Great Recession we all face, it is something we can learn from.

    I try to do this with my children, a hole in a jean leg, well iron patches on the inside turns a torn piece of clothing into a fashion trend lol, hey why spend 30 dollars on a kids pair of jeans that has holes brand new, when they will eventually put holes in it anyways. Even my mom mends my boys winter coats for me, trying to be frugal is the best recipe and a little saves alot :)

    Mom in Canada


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