Saturday, February 17, 2018

Vintage 1950s Cars

Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle – officially the Volkswagen Type 1, is a two-door, four passenger, rear-engine economy car manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.
          The need for this kind of car and its functional objectives was formulated by Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for his country's new road network. Hitler contracted Ferdinand Porsche in 1934 to design and build it. Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalize the design.

          Although designed in the 1930s, the Beetle was only produced in significant numbers from 1945 on (mass production had been put on hold during the Second World War).
          From 1950 to 1959, changes were made throughout the vehicle beginning with hydraulic brakes and a folding fabric sunroof in 1950. The rear window of the VW Beetle evolved from a divided or "split" oval to a singular oval.

          In 1953 models received a redesigned instrument panel. The one-piece “Pope's Nose” combination license plate/brake light was replaced with a smaller flat-bottomed license plate light. The brake light function was transferred to new heart-shaped lamps located in the top of the taillight housings. 

          In 1955, the separate brake lights were discontinued and were combined into a new larger taillight housing. The traditional VW semaphore turn signals were replaced by conventional flashing.

          In 1956, the Beetle received a set of twin chrome tailpipes. Models for North America gained taller bumper guards and tubular override bars.

          In 1958, the Beetle received a revised instrument panel, and a larger rectangular rear window replaced the previous oval design.
          The Volkswagen had many names. In the US the VW had many names, "Beetle" "Super Beetle" "Bug" and "Superbug".
In Germany the K√§fer "beetle" and in France the Coccinelle "ladybug" to name a few.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Vintage 1950s Food

Instead of chicken soup, this was the staple in my house for when we got sick. Our neighbor gave this recipe to my mother when she was a new mother and she was sick. Since it worked, she made tons of it at the beginning of winter (in New York) and froze it in individual servings. I still make it today for a cold winter night with cornbread.

Split Pea Soup
1 c dried green split peas                         1-1/2 quarts water
Beef knuckle, cracked or ham bone       1 bay leaf
1 No. 2 can (2-1/2 c) tomatoes               1 t salt
1 med. onion, peeled and chopped                 dash pepper

Wash and pick over peas. Add remaining ingredients. Cover, simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the soup thickens too much, add additional boiling water. Remove bone. Press soup through a sieve. Serve hot with croutons. makes 6 servings.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Vintage 1950s Toys

Hula Hoop
          The modern Hula Hoop was invented in 1958 by Arthur K. "Spud" Melin and Richard Knerr. Children and adults around the world have played with hoops, twirling, rolling and throwing them. Traditional materials for hoops include willow, rattan (a flexible and strong vine), grapevines and stiff grasses. Today, they are usually made of plastic tubing, Marlex.

          Native American Hoop Dance is a form of storytelling dance incorporating anywhere from one to thirty hoops as props. These hoops are used to create both static and dynamic shapes, which represent various animals, symbols, and storytelling elements. The dance is generally performed by a solo dancer with multiple hoops. It is said that the name "hula" came from the Hawaiian dance in the 18th century, due to the similar hip movements.
Wham-O was the manufacturers and distributors.

Tid Bit- In the last season of M*A*S*H there is an episode called "Who Knew?" where Sergeant Klinger sees kids playing with barrel rings and fashions a hula hoop-like toy made of metal tubing. He then tries to get Major Winchester to fund putting them into production but is unable to because the major thinks they are silly because he was laughed at while trying to play with one. If he only knew!