Category Archives: 1950s

Window Shopping in Mobile, Alabama, 1956

If the Facebook page “Mid Century in Color” is any indication, most amateur photographers using color film in the US in the mid twentieth century were white—and they created an image of an all-white America.  Luckily, professional photographers of color … Continue reading

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Learning from the Facebook Group “Mid Century in Color”

Sometimes I wonder just who Facebook thinks I am, sending me links to sites about farms and baby animals.  But recently the mysterious algorithm provided something I treasure—a link to the wonderful resource Mid Century in Color: Amateur Photographic Slides … Continue reading

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Maree’s Fashion Cycle

Many sociologists who study fashion try to determine when and for what reason people buy clothes. For a long time, the assumption was that older people tended to slow down consumption as they aged. Why? Often they have a smaller … Continue reading

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Summer at Martha’s Vineyard, 1950s

It is the wrong season for this picture, but I couldn’t resist since it contains some of my favorite elements—the many kinds of pants and shorts worn in the 1950s and a stark generational contrast between the old and young. … Continue reading

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Mae Reeves, Queen of Hats

You might know the names of famous black fashion designers—Ann Lowe is having a moment on sewing sites right now.  But how about black milliners?  One the biggest names in that field is Mae Reeves (1912-2016), who ran an extremely … Continue reading

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Portrait of a Woman with Butterfly

In honor of Black History Month, I’ve been searching for collections of photographs of African Americans that might include older women.  One rich source I discovered is the private collection of Mike Cochran, given to the Portal of Texas History.  … Continue reading

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Holiday Greetings from Ida Arneson, 1957

Is anyone named Ida anymore?  It might be due for a comeback. This card was a lucky eBay find combing two favorite elements—an unlikely Christmas greeting and a sewing theme.  I suspect Mrs. Ida Arneson is a widow, since there … Continue reading

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Say It With Flowers, 1958

Standing out like a canary among the pigeons, the woman in the yellow dress catches our eye.  With her light colored hair, bare arms, and fit and flair dress, she looks a lot younger than her companions to the left.  … Continue reading

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Hiking in Pearls, Late Fifties or Early Sixties

From the recent showing of The Crown, I know that some older women (Queen Elizabeth, for example) hiked wearing skirts well into the 1980s.  However, Elizabeth’s outdoor outfits looked considerably more rough and ready than the sheath dress worn by … Continue reading

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Getting Out the Vote, 1956

The current election has reminded us once again that African American women are the bedrock of the Democratic Party.  They also did a lot of the hard work of turning California from red (as it was when I was growing … Continue reading

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