Ephemera is a broad term used to describe items of paper that were created for use in a short time span and meant to be thrown away after one or two uses. Items generally put into the ephemera category of collecting would be sheet music, posters, stock certificates, post cards, cigarette cards, magazines, catalogs, and the like.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Look" Magazine, January 9, 1945

I like magazines--maybe a little too much.  I subscribe to about half a dozen and usually pick up another one at the store each month.  But I have a hard and fast rule about magazines:  I can only keep the current and past month copies, unless it is a speciality magazine.  (Those I can as long as I like--hey, it's my rule!)  Madeline, bless her soul, did not have a "magazine rule".  Even in her later years when macular degeneration kept her from seeing clearly, she still kept her beloved magazine subscriptions to "Good Housekeeping" and "Oprah".  When we came to visit I usually went to bed early the first evening with a stack of magazines and catalogs.  She has quite a collection of "Life" magazines from the 1940s.  I thought I would start this discussion with this copy of "Look".  It is not as thick as "Life", but it is a fascinating insight into what people were thinking in 1945.  The cover is by Douglas Crockwell who was famous for his magazine art of the day.  Learn more about him and see his work here

The back cover.  Smoking while dancing?  I wouldn't attempt it.

These pictures were side by side in the magazine as part of an article titled:  "How You'll Live in 1945.  This Year's Houses Won't Be Magic".  Can you imagine telling people today that lumber is very scarce and supply restricted due to the war?!  They wouldn't stand for it.  These drawings were attributed to Erik Nitsche.  I thought that name was familiar so I googled him and learned he was a very famous illustrator.  You can read about him here and here.

An ad for castor oil.  Nosy neighbors!

This column is interesting and sweet.

A free bar of soap to every baby born in 1945!  The babies are adorable.

Fashions inspired by South America.  (Imagine the images lined up next to each other.  Bear with me while I learn how to scan with my new Canon printer.)  This is resort wear for the fortunate few who could escape to a warm climate and the beach in the middle of January.  I've noticed that catalogs and magazines don't show resort wear these days.  Sign of OUR times?

This is kind of a crazy diet.  Why not skip the Ry-Krisp and save yourself an extra 23 calories at each meal.  They tasted awful and anyone who tries to lose weight knows the first thing to cut out is bread.  And they recommend you eat dessert? 

A movie review of "Guest in the House".  Makes me want to look this up on Turner Classic Movies to see when it's playing next.  The review says "it emerges as a taut, gripping film which ranks high among pathological chillers".

Look's Movie Guide

Hope you enjoyed this peek into January 1945.  Click on the images to enlarge.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Updates on New Photos and "The King's Speech"

I have added information on the recent "Ladies Who Lunch" post.  My sister-in-law remembered the event and sent me some comments. 

This weekend we saw the new film "The King's Speech".  (It was fantastic!)  It reminded me that I had posted an old magazine from that time period on the royal scandal.  You can revisit it here.

Also this weekend TCM showed the movie "Since You Went Away".  You can see the program from that movie here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch

I just came across these three photos.  The date on the back is May 19, 1963.  What a story they tell! 

That's Madeline in the dark dress and spike heels.  They kept their hats on!  I don't remember that beautiful coffee urn.  The women are standing at the end of the kitchen.  The galley kitchen is behind them.  I hope the new owners take down that wall and open the place up.

This photo deserves a good caption!  Please note the gloves laid on top of the clutch purse.  Not everyone is wearing a corsage--wonder what that means?  They are sitting in the living room.  I like the window boxes but they were gone by 1977 when I appeared on the scene.

I like this photo the best because we have some of the furniture in our home today.  The leather chair with the ottoman was a pale blue here, but recovered in a very dark red in 1980 and given to us as a wedding present.  I played lots of "peek-a-boo" in that chair with my boys when they were babies.  The pull down desk behind the lady with the cape is in our guest room right now.  It has lots of secret compartments inside.  It was one of the latest items we acquired.  Also the side table by the leather chair is part of a pair that we also received as wedding gifts.  They are in our family room today. 

It was fun to go back to another era for a few minutes!

For those who are really curious, my sister-in-law emailed me the following information about these photos:

"I noticed the 3 recent pictures on Madeline's Memories, and they were taken at a Mother's Day luncheon or tea which the sorority that she belonged to for years used to have yearly for a while, and then discontinued. The women wearing corsages were mothers of the members, and the silver coffee urn was not ours, but belonged to another member.

I can remember cleaning the house for this, for days and days and days!! I also recall helping out with the serving, and having to clean up after it was done.

My mother's dress was a vivid royal blue, and her spike heels were a matching blue. She wore this dress for quite a while, as well as those shoes, which may explain her foot problems later in life! I can remember trying the shoes on and never being able to walk in them. They had very pointy toes, and were so uncomfortable."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

People Who Collect Tin Doll Houses

A few weeks ago I posted pictures of the old tin doll house we found in Madeline's attic.  Last night I was flipping through the February issue of "Martha Stewart Living" and found this:

What a fun collection!  I had to google them to learn more and learned they have a shop called "Something's Hiding in Here" in Philadelphia.  Here's a link to another photo of their houses.  And here's where you can read more about them.  I think they are pretty cool!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Madeline Would Recommend . . .

Back in August I posted an entry about Madeline's grandmother Annie's school autograph book.  (You can revisit it here.)  Recently my friend Susan from "A Sip of Sarsaparilla" posted an entry on her blog about a similar old school autograph book.  Go over to her blog right now and check it out!  And while you're there take some time to enjoy all the vintage goodies that she discovers.  Madeline would approve.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Madeline's Diaries

Madeline kept a diary almost her entire life.  Even the last few years when she suffered from macular degeneration, she attempted to use a tape recorder to record her daily activities.  Although our family enjoyed flipping through the older ones and reading a few entries, most of them are really boring.  I don't want to lose any readers, so I'm doing this one post on this part of her life.  I'm posting the entry for June 6, 1944 as well as one other page from an earlier diary.  She had several souvenir items stuck in the diary pages (you know every bit of paper was a souvenir to her!) and I'm posting a few of the more interesting ones.  (Click on the image to enlarge.)

She had turned 21 just the day before on June 5, 1944.

A typical diary page.

Do we still celebrate Sweetest Day?  You would think I would know if it involves candy.

Everyone did what they could do for the war effort.

I was pleased and amazed to find this in one of the books.  I love the simplicity of it!  Madeline, however, was not a seamstress or a crafty person in any way.  I'm sure all proper young ladies had to produce at least one piece of needlework.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Doll House

Remember this photo?

A box with pieces of an old metal doll house that were bent and dirty.  My youngest son put it together for me the other day and here it is:

It's not very stable because some of the metal tabs were missing, but you get the idea.  Let's take a tour!

The nursery, of course.  I believe the house was Marx's "Disney Colonial".

The bathroom, with the lovely 1950's pink tiles.

Dining room?

Living room, with view of front door.

Another view of living room, with fireplace.  Cozy!


Garage, but no car.

Outside patio.  (I am not a photographer, sorry.)

View of upstairs patio.  I know there was a plastic table with chairs and umbrellas that came with the house.

Side view.  I believe I may be missing a piece of the chimney that would attach to the roof.  I was afraid to move the house to take a pic of the front.

The doll house actually belonged to my sisters-in-law.  One of them was there when we found it and she remembered playing with it.  I offered it to her for her granddaughters, but she wisely said no thanks! 

Here's what the front looks like:

This photo from an ebay listing also shows the furniture that came with the house.  Now I'll be on a mission when I hit the antique shops to look for the furniture.  But for now I think I'll drag out the Play Mobil furniture and little items that I have stashed away for my imaginary grandchildren.  I'm going to have some fun with the doll house because I always wanted a house like this when I was little.  Santa brought a cardboard doll house one year which was about as sturdy as this one.  What I would really like is an old wooden doll house, maybe a split level to match our lovely home.  But for now I'll find a little corner of my room and enjoy this one.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mademoiselle Magazine, March 1942

In a box of goodies from our last haul of Madeline's Memories, I discovered 3 very old copies of  "Mademoiselle" magazine.  The magazine was first published in 1935 as a sister publication to "Glamour".  The magazine was known for publishing short stories by authors who later became quite famous (Truman Capote, Jane Smiley, Sue Miller, Sylvia Plath) and for their internships. Sylvia Plath wrote of her experiences during the summer of 1953 as a guest editor at Mademoiselle in her novel, The Bell Jar.  The final issue was published in November 2001.  I always preferred Mademoiselle to Glamour.  (I wonder what that means!)

This is the cover of the March 1942 issue.  She wrote her name on the cover as I'm sure the magazine was coveted at the University of New Hampshire.   From looking at this cover, you would never know that World War II was about to happen in just a few months.  (Click on photos to enlarge and enjoy.)

Shoe advert could be in "Vogue" today!

"We're going to be a sterling family."  I think you'll find stainless steel much easier to clean, lady.

I draw your attention to the ad on the bottom left, "For Smoking Drivers".  Touch a button and a lit cigarette can be yours!  Love that it touts "Makes for safety while driving"!  Only $2.95.

Wonder why this never caught on?!  I think in theory it is a good idea, but ever since Oprah proclaimed that women did not need to wear slips, I threw all mine away. 

What they were thinking in 1942.

Pretty dresses.  Classics always stay in style.

Pants!  When they were just an option. (Sort of like skirts are today.)

I found this article interesting.  I was an Army wife for 22 years and lived in a few temporary places, but I just sucked it up and counted the days (usually just a few months) before we moved into a more permanent home (permanent for a few years, anyway).  The pic below is the reverse side of the page; the boxes match up.  Take a minute to read them, especially if you need a laugh.

So she's only engaged because she uses Ponds?  I've used Ponds since I was a teenager and didn't get engaged until I was 26.  Guess it doesn't work on everyone!

Lady in Waiting maternity slip.  I didn't even need Oprah to tell me I wasn't going to wear a slip when I was pregnant.

Funny article about the den.  We call them man-caves now.  Not much has changed.

I really enjoy looking through old magazines.  This was a 234 page tome!  There are many more ads from this magazine to share as well as two more magazines to go through.  Sometimes I imagine someone in 2025 picking up a copy of the January "Martha Stewart Living" and laughing about us and our notions.