Sunday, May 21, 2017

1950 Homes

A look back at Living rooms of the '50s

          The 1950s were the glory days of modern design. It lacked unnecessary ornamentation, focusing on the function, “Form follows Function.” And, there is an artistic side to things, such as referencing nature and organic shape.

          Furniture was bulky with rounded edges, a carryover from the pre-war Streamline era, like a Streamliner train.  The style was meant to look like was moving, even when was standing still. In a way, this is not really 1950s style but 1940s. But, when World War II was on, manufacturing of discretionary items like furniture almost came to a complete halt. Immediately after  the war, it seemed that manufacturers pulled out their designs from before the war and started producing them to meet immediate demands. It took a while for new design looks to be introduced. The streamline look was popular from around 1946-1953.

          One wall of exposed brick or stone was popular in 1950s living rooms. You wouldn't see a lot of wooden furniture or fixings as it was very much the fashion in the 50s to have many of the items in your home were made of plastic. Surfaces like the coffee tables were much easier to clean made of plastics. Pastels were integral to the 1950s living room color scheme. Sofas and armchairs tended to be in deep or bold colors like red and orange.

          New technology added to the new homes. Introduced during the 1950s, popcorn ceilings became the norm in home decor. Along with this textured look came new colors, green, gold, orange, and yellow were all popular colors. The invention of no-wax flooring was popular.
          Ranch style architecture was the still the most popular, but split level homes came in a close second.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Vintage 1950s Cars

1955 Chevrolet

The 1955 Chevrolet (sometimes referred to as '55 Chevy) It is considered a huge turning point for the manufacturer and a major success. It was available in three models: the 150, 210, and Bel Air.

The 1955 model was the first successful Chevrolet with an optional V8 engine. Chevrolet had produced an earlier car with a V8 in 1918 (Chevrolet Series D) but it remained in production for only a year. In 1955, Chevrolet decided to fit its new car with an overhead valve V8 engine design, which was similar to the 1949 Oldsmobile "Rocket 88" V8 engine. The new V8 was designed to be smaller, lighter, and more powerful than previous V8s in the auto industry.

          The new "small block" in the '55 Chevy had its problems, however. It had no oil filter, and the factory could only add one externally.  Those who did not order the engine with the "oil filter option" had dirty oil in a short amount of time. This was corrected the next year. The new small block V8 had an easy maintenance, and it had a built-in ability to be upgraded. The small block Chevy V8 became so popular that Chevrolet still sells a version of it today. Although there have been various changes made to the motor to modernize it, the basic design of the original 265 remains.

          Chevrolet offered a wide array of colors for 1955. One solid color, which was standard for the 150, could be had for the 210 or Bel Air...or nineteen different two-tone color combinations were also available. Most popular colors:  solid was Harvest gold, two tone was Sea Mint Green/Neptune Green. Although most everything was new in 1955 for Chevrolet, the reliable Powerglide transmission was mostly unchanged from '54.

Vintage 1950s Appetizers

Hot- Cheese Balls

4 oz. soft Camembert cheese
1 3-oz. pkg. soft cream cheese
2 tablesp. soft butter or margarine
1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teasp. salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1/4 teasp. monosodium glutamate
3/4 cup milk
I egg
2 teasp. water
Packaged dried bread crumbs

About 2 weeks ahead: Rub cheeses through sieve into saucepan. Stir in butter, flour, salt, cayenne, mono- sodium glutamate, milk; blend until smooth. Heat, stirring, until thickened.

Pour into shallow plate. Cool; then refrigerate until mixture can be easily handled. Beat egg with water. Form cheese mixture into small balls; roll in dried crumbs; dip into egg mixture; then roll in crumbs again. Fry, 3 or 4 at a time, in deep fat heated to 375°F. until golden and crisp ——about 50 sec.
Drain. Cool; freezer-wrap; freeze.
To serve: Unwrap frozen balls; place on baking sheet. Bake at 400°F. 10 to 12
min., or until hot. Makes about 4 doz.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

1950s Men's Fashion

1955 Men's Suit Jackets

          In the world of men’s fashion, suits in the 1950s are classic. Loose and in shape and cut they varied in textured fabrics- wool, tweed, flannel, and corduroy as well as patterned – big checks and plaid.
          Unlike suits from the previous decades, suit jackets from the 1950s had a noticeable waistline. Shoulders remained slightly padded and wide. The collar was wider and short, so you could see more of the shirt collar 
underneath. The closing button was located just below the natural waistline.

          Double breasted jackets were clearly outnumbered by single breasted styles. However, they were worn by some men and featured wide pocket flaps and a low buttoning point, exposing a lot of the shirt front.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

1950 Mystery

Korla Pandit
          Turning on the TV on 1950s Los Angeles, you could have come face-to-face with a young man in a jeweled turban with a dreamy gaze accentuated by dark eye shadow. Korla Pandit played the piano and the organ, usually simultaneously, creating exotic music.

          Pandit was born in New Delhi, India, the son of a Brahmin government worker and a French opera singer. He studied music in England and later moved to the US, where he mastered the organ at the University of Chicago. Not once in the 900 performances did he speak on camera, preferring to communicate with viewers with hypnotic gazes.

          He became one of the first TV stars, with friends like Errol Flynn,  and Bob Hope. Because of a contract dispute he ceded his TV performances to the young pianist, Liberace. And the way Pandt came to fame is a "only-in-America fable" where the audience and the performer are both invested in the illusion.
          So, who was the mysteriously mystic Korla Pandit?
          Korla Pandit was really born John Roland Redd on September 16, 1921 in an African-American family from St Louis Missouri. In the 1940’s he played for a few years under the name "Juan Rolando" to some success.

          In 1944, he married Disney artist Beryl June DeBeeson, and the two reinvented his image, replacing "Juan Rolando" with "Korla Pandit" and fabricating the romantic history. They had two children.

          Pandit died in Petaluma, California of a myocardio infaction. Two years after his death, it was revealed he was John Roland Redd from Missouri.

          Those who knew Pandit described him as a gentle soul. He was a musician, composer, pianist, organist and television pioneer and known as the Godfather of Exotica.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

1950s Television Shows

The Bob Cummings Show

TV series

          The Bob Cummings Show (also known as Love That Bob) was an American sitcom starring Robert "Bob" Cummings, aired from January 2, 1955 to September 15, 1959. The Bob Cummings Show was the first-ever series to debut as a midseason replacement.

The show featured the romantic misadventures of Bob Collins, a sophisticated bachelor and photographer operating in Hollywood, California. The show centered around his womanizing with his models, and his sister's consistent attempt to get him to settle down.

          Regulars in the show were Bob Cummings as Bob Collins, Rosemary DeCamp as Margaret MacDonald – Bob's sister who tried her best to raise her brother's morality, Dwayne Hickman as Chuck MacDonald – Margaret's son and Bob's nephew, a crazy teenager try to get some of his uncle's action, and Ann B. Davis as Charmaine "Schultzy" Schultz – Bob's hilarious young secretary who pined for him and occasionally screwed up his love schemes. Ann B. Davis won two Emmy's for playing "Schultzy".
          It was originally aired on NBC in 1955 then CBS 1955 thru 1957, back to NBC from 1957 to 1959. It was retitled Love That Bob and appeared on ABC's daytime line up from October 12, 1959 to December 1, 1961

Saturday, April 8, 2017

1950s Ladies Handbags

1950s Ladies Fashion

Ladies Handbags

          The 1950s were a groundbreaking decade for handbags. It’s not that women were using them more than before or for different purposes, but designers went out of their way to be different and it showed.

          Today almost every woman has a purse with her. But until the 1950s, few women carried one. It was considered too much to coordinate handbags, gloves and hats. Only matching shoes and belts were necessary.

          Then it became important for women to maintain a well "put together" appearance. Handbags and purses were very much thought of as an integral accessory with which to complete the overall "look". Hats, shoes, belts, scarves, bags and gloves, were all expected to coordinate.

          Women preferred short-strapped handbags that stayed close to the body. Duffel bags weren’t unheard of, but didn’t provide the slender, graceful look that women wanted.

          The materials used for purses in the 1950s were varied. In the early 1950s, most purses were made from crocodile, alligator, turtle or snake skin. Some fashion designers used lucite (a transparent material similar to Bakelite, or plastic) boxes that functioned as purses.

          Women also bought wicker purses, leather purses and straw. Popular high fashion purse designers of the 50's included Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Hermes, Wilardy and others.

          Just like the little black dress, every lady had to have a black leather purse by her side.

Tell us about your memories of purses back in the 50s?