Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22 January 1954 “Spanx? No Thanks! Beautifully Housed Media? Yes Please! What’s old and cherished might be new again.

girdle Many of we modern women know what spanx are. And quiet literally they are simply girdles. But, why are they so flat and ugly? Why are they not as pretty as these undergarments? Though many a lady kept her Lingerie catalogue tucked away from curious little eyes, today these images are quite tame compared to what little Johnny might see on TV, Computer, or really walking down the street or through the mall. Enjoy them today, however, without any need to tuck them away on the china cabinet top shelf behind Grandmother’s silver. They can be found at My Vintage Vogue.

tvcabinetIt is also of interest that in the past while ones undergarments were also prettily decorated, so too was the entertainment gadgets. While today we may see endless ‘upgrades’ to the actual viewing, then technology added maybe then promise of better sound or clearer picture. Of equal importance was how this was to be housed. The way in which it was to be used in the decor of you home. This also blatantly points out that one was investing in a TV, Radio, HiFi for the long haul. The price was high (very little credit about) and one expected to keep it for their lifetime. The history of items had told consumers then that one could buy a thing and keep it for future generations. But, now the increase in technology and ever advancing need to sell more was brushing up against these old ideals. That is why the 1950’s is such an example of the crest of that wave of old ideals of longevity and quality with the impending movement towards ever changing and throw away.

I don’t need to go into a long tirade on the throw away consumer culture in which we all dwell. WE all now well and good how we live in a society that buys buys buys and then tosses away. Thus,  I suppose it makes sense that one’s firming undergarments snag easily and are tossed, Why bother making them pretty? Its not as if they will be lovingly washed, bows ironed and then placed in a sweet smelling lingerie drawer lined with scented papers.Found decades later in antique shops and thrift shops by new generations of girls who think, “Wow these are great’. Nor are we to expect to keep whatever TV or Computer we buy for longer than 6 months to a year. So lets just incase it all in ugly plastic and toss it on the pile when we are done. What will fill our Thrift shops and Antique stores in 100 years? I honestly don’t know.

There is a definite loss of general beauty to today. Some may find the idea of a large cabinet with your TV and HiFi in too much like Grandma. but I say, we would care more for things, spend less and have more money in the bank (though we get no interest today on our savings like they did in the 1950s) if we were a bit more like Granny. Of course today many readers may have a Granny who was simply a child in the 1950’s. I won’t disparage the baby boomers, but I must admit when I look about today and see the ‘new’ old people are the Baby Boomers, I long for the sensibility, control of purse strings, strength of character of the ‘old people’ when I was younger. A time when one could look at Granny and think, “Wow, she made it through the Depression” Or “She valiantly stood the hardships of war while her hubby/brother/son/father was off to war (when we spoke about the wars we were involved in.)

It’s odd that I often feel older than the ‘older generations’ today. The sensibilities that came to me over my project make me not only sometimes seem the oddball to my own generation but the Baby Boomers with their ‘cool James Dean’ ways and ME attitude can be a bit scary. But, I digress, and I should not lump an entire generation into one view.

Back to the beauty of the past. I like the looks of these old TV/Media cabinets. They were designed to go with your old furniture which you got from your Granny and lovingly rubbed lemon oil and beeswax into.

tvcabinet2 If you love the look of these wonderful cabinets and the beauty of old TV then check out the TV History Page for more wonderful views.

steampunkcomputer There is a lovely movement however to house computers in wonderfully wooden Victorian style cabinetry. This is a modern computer in all this lovely wood with the typewriter as keyboard. You can view more of these lovely wooden dream computers HERE.

Or a more modern use keyboard made with wood and typewriter keys such as these: woodcompkeyboard Or if one cares to have a more 1950’s look simply the screen as paper in your vintage typewriter: typecomp This can be bought Here.

I try to hold onto things as long as possible but sometimes with things like computers they simply won’t work any longer. Though the computer I am using for this post is over 6 years old.

There has to be a way for we modern people to add more lasting beauty to the fleeting reality of our modern lives? Have you any suggestions?


  1. I'm so glad you are posting again. I really enjoy your point of view. I saw some interesting items in the Restoration Hardware catalog this holiday season for technology including speakers for iphones or ipods that have a vintage twist and are aesthetically pleasing in the home.

  2. I always wonder about that when I'm thrifting. If craftmanship and the arts of production are irrelevant at all but the least accessible price points, and most products are designed to last just long enough for you not to demand a refund, what in the world will we pass down? Full landfills? I see so many almost new clothes (those in thrift shops or those that I have barely worn) that already have pilling and other signs of cheap construction, while even my most bargain vintage pieces barely do. Furniture is the same in terms of wearing out. So, you raise some really amazing issues with our material culture, as well as our cultural shift away from our grandmother's virtues that worked so much better than our current throwaway culture. Good to know there are others out there who consider this!

  3. While I am classified as a Baby Boomer, I was raised by grandparents who taught me the value of good things, and the music of Rudy Vallee.

  4. I love to write letters and have an active correspondence with several friends. I use good ivory colored paper from Crane. I acquired a manual typewriter back in the fall. It's about 45 years old (my age). I do use it to type my letters on my Crane paper. My handwriting is rather scrawlish and I prefer to use my typewriter for legibility. The letters force me to slow down.

    While the vintage things are lovely to have, I believe it is more of a mindset. Being frugal, using things until they cannot be used anymore, buying the best quality you can, not being caught up in the latest and greatest. My hobbies would be the same if I was the same 45 year old woman in the 1950s - reading, church activities, singing in my church choir, having a wide circle of friends. Even though I love my jeans and comfortable clothes (as in not needing a girdle), I'm still pretty old-fashioned. I think some things are timeless, regardless of time period.


 Search The Apron Revolution