Tag Archives: 1950s

Hats, Old and New


On New Year’s Eve, Joe and I shopped for a bit in Lone Star Antique Mall and I decided to focus my picture taking on hats.


After writing the post at the end of December about Hats and Tea Parties, I was still in a hat mood.

Isn’t it charming? This little number reminds me of one that Lucy might’ve worn; maybe with that navy blue dotted suit of hers.


Didn’t care for the sign this one was sitting on, because I thought it was pretty, and not silly at all. However, since the booth owner didn’t ask me to redecorate, I left it alone.

With little organza flowers covering it, this one reminds me of ones that ladies wore to Sheridan Road Baptist Church in Tulsa in the early 1960’s.

Although most of them were vintage, one booth featured new hats.

Some of them were quite lovely.

How perfect for a wedding or a Sunday morning church service in the spring. It needs a white linen suit and a turquoise rhinestone brooch on the shoulder.

6 Comments

Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Fashion, Hats, Local Shopping, Shopping, Texas

Vintage Christmas Cards, III

Christmas 1957

Every year my family sent out lots of cards at Christmas time and received many in return. In the photo above, there are over 90 cards on our living room wall. Mama always like to display them festively, doing something different with them annually.

Candles and bells were my parents’ favorite illustrations on Christmas cards. Those seemed to have been among the most popular depictions in the 1940s and 1950s.

I associate them with my parents and because of the fond memories of happy and simpler times, candles and bells are some of my favorites symbols of Christmas, too.

The fondness for this tradition is evident is this passage from Chapter 3 of Miss Read’s cozy tale, A Christmas Mouse:

“Mary sat down thankfully and drew the packet of tags towards her. The presents were destined for neighbours, and the tags seemed remarkably juvenile for the elderly couples who were going to receive the baskets. Father Christmas waved from a chimney pot, a golliwog danced a jig, two pixies bore a Christmas tree, and a cat carried a Christmas pudding. Only two tags measured up to Mary’s requirements, a row of bells on one and a red candle on the other. Ah well, she told herself, someone must make do with the pixies or the cat, and when you came to think of it the tags would be on the back of the fire this time tomorrow, so why worry? She wrote diligently.”

This post is linked to Vintage Christmas Monday ~5 at Anything Goes Here.

8 Comments

Filed under 1950s, Books, Christmas, Cozy, Ephemera, Family, Internet links, Using What You Have, Vintage Christmas, Vintage Christmas Cards

Christmas Then, It Was Different


Growing up in 1950s and 1960s America -it was a different world. My sons don’t really believe that. Like many other young people, they think that things have always been like they are now – for instance, crime and deviancy and government control, selfishness and a lack of self control, victimology,etc.

Life was palpably different. It was simpler. It was harder. It was better. (Right here is where one always has to insert the politically correct caveat about the things which actually have improved. That has become tiresome and I’ll resist it this time.)

A common complaint/observation about modern life is the commercialism, greed and joylessness at Christmas, which I believe is pretty accurate.

How has it changed? Well, for starters, it was a joyous season.

Born in the mid-1950s and raised in Mingo, a working class neighborhood, my friends and I looked forward to Christmas for lots of reasons, presents being only one of the many elements. Among them were the art projects and the yearly religious Christmas program at our public school, a program at church, shared secrets about gifts, helping my mother stamp the Christmas cards, receiving cards in the mail and hearing from friends and relatives, the family gathering to open presents on Christmas Eve (we had to wait until the sun was down and it seemed like it took forever). The big dinner at noon on Christmas day and the drive around Tulsa looking at lights on Christmas night. Daddy and Mama enjoyed it all as much as the children did.

One of my fondest memories is of the time I made marshmallow snowmen with toothpicks. That was a really simple thing but I remember how much fun it was.

Christmas wish lists were only in the cartoons. I never wrote one and if my friends did, they never told me about it. It never even occured to me.

None of the children in my neighborhood demanded particular gifts. Certainly there were things we wanted and told our parents about, but our world wasn’t centered around what we didn’t have or didn’t get. Christmas and birthdays were about the only times during the year when we got new toys but even then it was with restraint. I never had my own hula hoop or twirling baton or baby buggy or dollhouse, but some of my friends did and they shared nicely. It seems that I was the only one with Tinker Toys and I shared. My friend, Joy, had her mother’s original Shirley Temple doll and wicker doll buggy; we were allowed to play with it together.

My mother made all the females new Christmas dresses every year – everything else came from the store or catalog but even so it wasn’t as commercial as it is now. Retailers are only partly to blame for what has happened; we have become a very greedy, demanding society. There are gift registries for brides and babies and probably every other occasion; goodness, someone wouldn’t want a gift that they haven’t chosen for themselves!

We were not princesses and we certainly weren’t treated as such.

As for the decorating, we always had a cut tree and the big lights and a star on top of the tree. Each year my parent sent out lots of cards. Mama decorated with the ones we received and we enjoyed looking at them on display during December. She had a few other decorations sitting around, but it wasn’t the overwhelming obsession with more and more. I enjoy beautifully decorated houses at Christmas, but honestly, it is a little tiring just to even look at them.

This year Christmas is simpler at our house. Fewer decorations and I’m enjoying that. The perfect gift is not my goal; I am considering what each member of my family would enjoy and I’m also complying with what we can afford.

It is absolutely no coincidence that Christmas has lost a lot of joy in modern times. Leftist leaders have stripped as much meaning out of everything as they can.

If we can’t acknowledge the birth of our Saviour, how can we celebrate? Silly, manufactured “holidays” like kwanzaa and winter solstice are empty and hollow pathetic attempts at counterfeit substitutions for Jesus.

What is there to celebrate? God’s gift of His Son to a lost and dying world.

7 Comments

Filed under 1950s, 1960's, America, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Current Events, Faith, Family, Mingo, Oklahoma, Tulsa

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls

In 1951 McCall’s magazine began a feature for girls: a paper doll named Betsy McCall. Looking at the page through the years until the last time it was included (I think it was 1995) is a mini-tutorial in late 20th century childrens’ fashions.

But to start, here are a few Christmas pages.

McCall's Magazine, December 1951

McCall's Magazine, December 1960

McCall's Magazine, December 1962

This site features Betsy McCall paper dolls from the first 10 years, 1951- 1961. You can get a printable size by clicking on the doll. Then select a page – this time click on High Quality Image. To enlarge for printing, click on the image again. This will print out about the same size as it was originally in the magazine.

Crunchy Monkey is a great site with a brief history of McCall’s magazine and lots of Betsy McCall paper doll pages from 1975 to 1995.

This page shows several old advertisements and sewing patterns for doll clothes.

.

3 Comments

Filed under 1950s, 1960's, Childhood pastimes, Christmas, Fashion, Paper Dolls, Vintage Magazines