Category Archives: 1950s

Girl Group, 1955

This photograph calls out for a story, and here is mine. The most dressed up woman in the photo, the one wearing a white hat and big beads, is a small town girl who went to New York to work … Continue reading

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Advice on Aging from Glinda the Good

The 1959 advice book, With Powder on my Nose, was written by Billie Burke (1884-1970), the actress who played the Good Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz.  Although Burke never refers to the famous role, her tone … Continue reading

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Judy’s—A California Store for Young (and a few Older) Women

Inspired by Jen Orsini of the blog Pintucks, I checked out the memoir of Marcia Israel-Curly (1920-2004), founder of a chain of California fashion stores called Judy’s. Her book, Defying the Odds: Sharing the Lessons I learned as a Pioneer … Continue reading

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Mrs. Exeter in the Vogue Pattern Catalog

The stylish Mrs. Exeter never had her own pattern line—more’s the pity, I say.  But for older women who wanted a quick reference guide to patterns that might flatter their figures, Vogue pattern catalogs started to include a “Mrs. Exeter” … Continue reading

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Mrs. Exeter in Sews with Vogue Patterns

Since I am interested in all things Mrs. Exeter, I recently contacted Vogue Patterns for permission to track her down in their collection of pattern magazines and catalogs.  Editor Gillian Conahan was nothing but gracious, and I got to spend … Continue reading

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The Cheerful Granny Keeps Cool, 1956

Since the weather is still hot, it’s a good time to share this ad for the Frigidaire “full house” air conditioning system featuring a cheerful granny. The text sells the central forced air system as a boon for family life, … Continue reading

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Ella at the Summer House, 1955

Some of us throw all of our family photos into a drawer and forget to label them (or whatever the digital equivalent would be.)  Others scribble down basic information, often illegibly.  It is the truly rare individual who offers as … Continue reading

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Hijinks at the Bowling Alley, 1950s

Although their silly outfits don’t advertise the location, these women’s shoes and the flooring they stand on indicate that the photo was taken at a bowling alley.  Because of their costumes, it wasn’t easy to date the picture. But the … Continue reading

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On the Porch, June 1951

Written on the back of this large eight by ten inch photo is “Lottie and Mother, June 1 1951.”  I’m guessing that this is a birthday party or family reunion in honor of the old woman, center front.  She is … Continue reading

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Three Generations at the Wedding

Often I wish that all photos came not only with dates, but also a list of names and relationships. This one came with nothing. Obviously that is the bride in the middle, but I’m not entirely sure that the young … Continue reading

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