Friday, November 8, 2019

Vintage 1950s Cars

Vintage 1950s Cars

Dodge Coronet, 1956

          The Coronet was an automobile that was marketed by Dodge as a full-size car in the 1950s, initially the division's highest trim line but, starting in 1955, the lowest trim line. From the 1965 to 1975 model years the name was on intermediate-sized models. A coronet is a small crown consisting of ornaments fixed on a metal ring

          The 1955 Coronet dropped to the lower end of the Dodge vehicle lineup, with the Wayfarer and Meadowbrook names no longer used and the Custom Royal added above the RoyalLancer, and La Femme. Bodies were restyled with help from newly hired Virgil Exner to be lower, wider, and longer than the lumpy prewar style, which in turn generated a healthy boost in sales over 1954.

          1956 was the last year of this body style before the change in 1957, the only differences offered in 1956 from the previous year were trim packages and the new Dodge D-500. suspension. Under the hood, the engine received larger valves, a full-race camshaft, and a double log intake manifold that used two four-barrel Carter WCFB carburetors and a shaved deck for 8.25:1 compression. This all added up to 285 bhp. It was the fastest car from the factory that year.

          1976 was the final model year for the Dodge Coronet, at least so far as the name Coronet was concerned. There were two body styles offered,  only two four-door models, the four-door wagon. and the four-door sedan. The former Dodge Coronet 2-door model was replaced by the Dodge Charger Sport 2-door model.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Vintage 1950s Men's Fashion

Vintage 1950s
Men’s Plain Dress Shirts

          In the early years, men’s dress shirts were dull and plain just like the grey flannel suits. White, blue, light pink, mustard yellow, light green, light grey colors in smooth finishes complemented the suits. They fit rather wide and baggy (no modern trim fits yet) with a single cuff. Cufflinks were optional but generally too fussy for this simple look. Most men’s dress shirts had a single breast pocket.

          The most popular shirt collars started out as straight pointed collars with or without buttons. As tie widths and knot shapes moved from narrow to wide to ultra-skinny over the decade, so too did the collars. A straight spread collar accommodated most of the 1950s ties that had a wide tie knot. Narrow straight collars went with standard 3 inch or ultra-skinny 2-inch ties.

          There were also a few years when the round collar or “club” collar tie came back in fashion from the turn of the century.  Collar pins also came back in style for more conservative dressers and added a nice upscale touch to point collars.  Almost all collars shortened during the decade. Most of today’s men’s shirts resemble those from the 1950s.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Vintage 1950s Movies

Vintage 1950s
African Queen
The African Queen was released December 23, 1951. It is a British-American adventure film adapted from a 1935 novel by C.S. Forester. It was photographed in Technicolor. The film stars Humphrey Bogart (who won the Academy Award for Best Actor – his only Oscar), and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel.
          The African Queen was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1994, with the Library of Congress deeming it "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".
          In 1951, two of the world's most beloved — and highest-paid — movie stars, Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart filmed in sweltering jungles around the Belgian Congo (today is known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo) spending seven weeks filming a WWI-era romantic-comedy-adventure film about a hard-drinking riverboat captain, Charlie Allnut (Bogart), and his burgeoning love affair with a prim Christian missionary, Rose Sayer (Hepburn).

The shoot was often a grueling experience for the crew, particularly 
Hepburn, who suffered from dysentery caused by contaminated water. She refused to let it affect her work and never missed a day of filming. Unlike Hepburn and much of the crew, both Bogart and Huston remained healthy throughout the shoot.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Vintage 1950s Toys

Vintage 1950s
Pogo Stick
          The modern pogo stick was invented by Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall, from Germany. A German patent was registered in Hanover on March 1920 for a device they called a "spring end hopping stilt". It is thought that the beginning two letters in these men's last names is where the word "pogo" comes from.
          The two-handle pogo stick design was patented by George B. Hansburg in 1957. Hansburg described the origins of the Pogo name colloquially in a story of a young Burmese girl with the aforementioned name whose father had created a crude version of the device so that the daughter could travel to the local temple for prayers. An earlier design with a single upright vertical handle patented in 1955 posed something of a risk to the user's chin. Later, improvements to the pogo stick have been made, including the VurtegoFlybar, and the BowGo, which allow operators to jump much higher than with a simple coil spring pogo stick. Backflips and other tricks are now possible on some of these newer sticks, which has contributed to the growth of the new sport of Extreme Pogo ("Xpogo").
          Whatever improvements or different types are made, the basic design idea of a person riding on a spring remains the same.
          Extreme Pogo, or Xpogo, is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks on extreme pogo sticks, defined by their durability and potential for height. Today's Xpogo sticks have the potential for over 10 ft. of height (measured from the ground to the bottom of the tip). Extreme pogo is a relatively new extreme sport and is currently emerging into popular culture as evidenced by the growing number of Xpogo athletes around the globe.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Vintage 1950s Music

Vintage 1950s Music
Standing on the Corner
         Standing on the Corner is a popular song written by Frank Loesser

 published in 1956. It was introduced by Shorty Long, Alan Gilbert, John Henson, and Roy Lazarus in the Broadway musicalThe Most Happy Fella.
         The song was made popular by the Four Lads recorded March 1, 1956. The recording was released by Columbia Records.  It first reached the Billboard charts on April 28, 1956. It peaked at #3 on each of the various charts at the time: the Disk Jockey chart, the Best Seller chart, the Juke Box chart, as well as the composite chart of the top 100 songs. The flip side was My Little AngelJimmy Arnold, was the lead tenor for The Four Lads in 1956. Arnold is sometimes erroneously listed as the song's co-author.  A version by The King Brothers became popular in the United Kingdom in 1960 when the musical was staged in London's West End.
          On February 9, 2010, the Irish group Celtic Thunder released their 4th album entitled It's Entertainment. This album, meant to pay homage to past musical styles, features their youngest member Damian McGinty singing Standing on the Corner. Celtic Thunder's DVD of the same name features McGinty dressed in a sweater and cabbie performing the number.

To hear this catchy tune  go to: 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Vintage 1950s Food Molded Spring Veg. Salad

Molded Spring Vegetable Salad


1 pk. lemon-flavored gelatin                                1 cup sliced radishes
2 cups water                                                        1 cup diced cucumbers
1 t salt                                                                  1/2 c sliced green onions
1t vinegar                                                             Crisp salad greens


Dissolve gelatin in water as directed on package. Add salt and vinegar. Chill until the consistency of unbeaten egg whites. Arrange a few sliced radishes on the bottom of an oiled 5-cup ring mold. Pour in a little gelatin to "anchor" the radishes. Chill until set Fold remaining radishes, cucumbers, and onions into remaining gelatin. Pour into mold. Chill until set. Unmold on to a large serving platter. Garnish with salad greens. Serve with Mayonnaise. Makes 8 servings

Friday, September 6, 2019

Vintage 1950s Lost Buildings

Vintage 1950s Lost Buildings

The Ambassador Hotel
formally 3400 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles
          The Ambassador Hotel was popular for celebrities, some of whom resided there. From 1930 to 1943, six Academy Awards ceremonies were performed at the hotel. Seven U.S. presidents were guests at the Ambassador, from Hoover to Nixon, along with chiefs of state from around the world.  For decades, the hotel's famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub hosted well-known entertainers.

          In the pantry area of the hotel's main kitchen, soon after midnight on June 5, 1968, and after a brief victory speech in the Embassy Room ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel, the winner of the California  Democratic presidential primary election, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot along with five other people who survived their injuries.
          The death of Robert F. Kennedy coincided with the beginning of the hotel's decline, hastened by the decline of the surrounding neighborhood. By the 1970s, gangs and illegal drug problems in the area near the hotel worsened.
          The Ambassador Hotel was closed to guests in 1989 but remained open for filming and private events. A liquidation sale of the hotel's contents was conducted in 1991.
          The hotel was a popular filming location and backdrop for movies and television programs, starting with Jean Harlow's 1933 film Bombshell to the
2003 film SWAT recreated the shots at the hotel.
          From 2004 to 2005, the Ambassador Hotel was closed completely and became the topic of a legal struggle between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which wanted to clear the site and build a school.  Sirhan Sirhan, who, through his lawyer the late Lawrence Teeter, wanted to conduct more testing in the pantry where Robert F. Kennedy was shot; and the Los Angeles Conservancy and Art Deco Society preservationists, who wanted the hotel and its various elements saved and integrated into the future school.

           After a great deal of litigation, a settlement was attained at the end of August 2005, allowing the demolition to begin in exchange for the establishment of a $4.9 million fund, reserved for saving historic school buildings in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

         On September 10, 2005, a final public auction was held for the remaining hotel fittings and work soon began on demolition of the Ambassador Hotel.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Vintage 1950s Foos Aspic Canapes

My Aunt use to make this for Easter every year, but spread cream cheese and sun-dried tomatoes  before placing the aspic on the toast, then she cut them in squares to fit square pieces of toast.

Aspic Canapés

2 envelopes of Know unflavored gelatin
2 cans (10-1/2 oz each)  condensed beef broth
1 cup Madeira wine
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Sprinkle gelatin on 1 cup of the consommé to soften. Place over low heat and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in remaining consommé, wine, and Tabasco. Pour half the mixture into a 15x10x1 inch or two 8 inch square pans. Chill mixture in the refrigerator until almost firm. Arrange egg slices 1 inch apart in jelly. Spoon on remaining jelly, keeping egg slices in place and covered with aspic. Chill until firm
If you want to be fancy, cut into rounds, leaving an aspic edge on each slice. Place on toast rounds cut to the same size and serve.

Variety Canapés: Before placing aspic rounds on toast rounds, spread with anchovy paste, sardine, shrimp, ham or lobster paste.
Ham or Liver Canapés: Substitute liver or ham spread for the egg slices in the above recipe. Drop a teaspoonful onto almost firm jelly about an inch apart.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Vintage 1950s Food: Ice Cream

Vintage 1950s Food

Ice Cream
Every summer in the hot sticky New York summers, my family would buy gallon tubs of ice cream (we were a family of 7) and we would decorate our scoop of ice cream into one of these. We had a theme each time we had ice cream. Loads of laughs!!

Little Pink Wigwam
Place pretzel sticks on  a scoop of ice cream

Snow on Mountain
Maraschino cherry and marshmallow sauce on
chocolate ice cream

Red Wing Sundae
Crushed strawberries on vanilla ice cream

Happy Hunting Ground
Strawberry ice cream with animal cookies and candy

Black Cloud
Scoop if chocolate ice cream in chocolate milk

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Vintage 1950s TV Shows

Vintage 1950s TV

Private Secretary

          Private Secretary (also known as Susie MacNamara) was a sitcom that aired from February 1, 1953, to September 10, 1957, on CBS.  The series stars Ann Sothern as "Susie" MacNamara, devoted secretary to handsome talent agent Peter Sands, played by Don Porter.
          Susie is a former stage actress, a WAC veteran of World War II and single woman who works as the private secretary for theatrical agent Peter Sands at a New York theatrical agency, International Artists Inc. Susie's honest, good-natured attempts to help Mr. Sands, especially in romantic matters, always leads to comedic complications.
          Susie is assisted by her best friend, Violet "Vi" Praskins (Ann Tyrrell), the office's nervous and bumbling receptionist. In guest appearances, Jesse White played Mickey "Cagey" Calhoun, a chief competitor and loudmouthed agent business rival to Susie's boss. One of the show's trademarks was the set decoration which portrayed a 1950s state-of-the-art executive office, with stylish furniture, IBM typewriters and the latest office telephone gear from Western Electric. There are occasional references to a young actress, never seen, who was a client of Mr. Sands, named Harriet Lake.
          In an unusual move, Private Secretary also had two brief runs on another network. During the summers of 1953 and 1954, reruns from the recent season were shown on NBC as a summer replacement for Your Hit Parade, with the series resuming new shows on CBS each fall.] Private Secretary, Your Hit Parade and The Jack Benny Program were all sponsored by Lucky Strike Cigarettes. Its parent company American Tobacco Company had some financial interest in all three programs and their respective network time-slots.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Vintage 1950s Toys Electric Football

Vintage 1950s Toys
Electric Football

          Electric Football can be traced back to 1929 when Elmer Sas incorporated Tudor Metal Products in New York City. The company survived the Depression and in the late '40s, Elmer's son Norman became president of Tudor and invented the game, Electric Football.

Norman Sas based the game on a vibrating car race game that Tudor already made. The early #500 Electric Football models were crude to the modern eye but were the first tabletop football game which featured actual moving players as they reacted to the vibrations created by the electromagnet motor under the metal field. Actual passing and kicking was also a unique feature of this first of its kind design.
          Electric Football was an immediate hit and became one of the hottest items at Christmas time from the late '50s and '60s and to date has sold 70 million games. Tudor did so well with the game that other companies also entered the market; Coleco, Munro and Gotham. Over the coming years, some of Electric Football's greatest innovations would come out of the competition between the companies.
          The Electric Football  today features many local, regional, national and even international leagues and tournaments with hundreds of coaches participating and  a World Championship tournament and convention.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Vintage 1950s Women's Wallets

Vintage 1950s Ladies Fashion

Women’s Wallets

          Women’s wallets were much more interesting in design than men’s wallets. A woman could get a wallet in any color to match her outfit or handbag. Wallets came in pink, light blue, red, white, black and every other color in the rainbow. Some wallets came with matching cigarette lighters.

          During this time, a woman’s wallet began to include a coin pocket. They usually had a snap-tight latch or zipper. Wallets also came in matching sets, in case she needed a separate coin purse.

          A common trend seen in 1950s women’s wallets was gold trim or thick white striped trim.