Saturday, May 15, 2021

Vintage 1960s Electronics The Entertainment Console

 



The Entertainment Console

There was once a time when tablets, smartphones, and 4K flat-screen televisions did not exist, but many American homes had what were called, “entertainment centers.


At the beginning of the 1960s, the suburban livingroom was often filled with Danish modern, French or Italian provincial furniture, and used only by adults on special occasions. But the whole family utilized the den or “rec room,” and the centerpiece was the family entertainment console.

They were usually equipped with a stereo record turntable for playing vinyl LPs, an AM/FM radio, and of course, a television. The big draw was the television. In 1960, it may still have been black & white, but more affluent families went for the color set. They were rather expensive—even in the prosperous time of the space race.

From compact units with the turntable and AM/FM radio accessed from a hinged lid to gigantic credenzas measuring ten feet wide including stereo speaker cabinets at the ends, each as wide as a clothes dryer. For audiophiles of the time, stereo LPs demonstrated how one’s home could sound like a concert hall or movie theater. Popular albums of the time included soundtracks from Broadway productions and movies like The Sound of Music, Camelot, Exodus, West Side Story, and Blue Hawaii. Another popular genre was comedy. Listeners loved The First Family (which was a spoof of the Kennedy family) and My Son, the Folk Singer with Allan Sherman.

Sometimes the entertainment center spanned the width of the available wall, but that didn’t matter to the generation of kids watching The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bob Cummings, or The Joey Bishop Show.

These gigantic vacuum tube systems gradually gave way to solid-state (transistorized) Stereos, AM/FM radio, and even televisions.

Another new fad was the “component” system which allowed customized mixing and matching of tuners, amplifiers, TV sets, and started to include reel-to-reel tape recorders and 4 track tape players.

Thus, by the end of the 1960s, the massive entertainment center was a dinosaur.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Vintage 1960s Cars Plymouth Valiant


Plymouth Valiant

In May 1957, Chrysler president Tex Colbert set up a committee to come up with a competitor for the increasingly popular small imports.     

          Plymouth had actually been experimenting with small cars for many years, including a 100” wheelbase Airflow model in 1937 and several small Cadets through the late 1940s and 1950s.

          The Chrysler "Falcon" project was the code name for what became the compact Valiant. It was named after the 1955 Chrysler Falcon two-seater, aimed at competing with the Thunderbird and Corvette. History will show it ended up competing with Ford Falcon, Chevrolet Corvair, and Rambler American.

        Just before it was to be introduced as the Falcon the crack Chrysler Marketing Group found out Ford had registered that name for their compact car. There was a wild last-minute scramble, and a contest was held among Chrysler employees to come up with a new name. It was a secretary who won the prize with "Valiant."

          As an Introduction Day promotion, someone in the crack Chrysler Marketing Group came up with what seemed like a great idea at the time. Why not show off the new Valiant on the streets of New York City as taxicabs?

          The Plymouth Valiant had been tested in every conceivable manner, and nothing bad ever happened to the test cars. They were truly bulletproof. However, they were never tested in the one thing taxis do a lot; they sit and idle. No initial production Valiant could idle 15 minutes. Within an hour of starting, all the Valiant taxis had died at curbside, and could not be restarted. They were sheepishly towed away and shipped back to Highland Park Engineering.

          The folks in the engine lab figured out the problem in about two weeks, a near-record response time. As for the original production cars, well, hopefully, no one used them for taxis. The Valiant ceased production in 1976.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Vintage 1960s Women's Fashion Jewelry

 


Jewelry

A major change in jewelry for women came in the 60s making a departure from the previous decade. Not only did jewelry become readily available to everyone at many different prices (from expensive designer jewelry to inexpensive copies) but every woman could be in fashion. It was the era of “more is more,” large colorful, striking necklaces and huge earrings were commonplace.

        During the decade there were 6 basic types of jewelry that were most popular:


The art influence of Pop Art and Op Art.

        Though Pop art and Op art were separate art movements  people

        mixed them to their liking.

Jewelry designs were produced by mass production thanks to new Plastics and Perspex (Resin) during this decade.

Early plastics such as Bakelite and Catalin were developed at the beginning of the century. By the 1960s, technology produced new plastics. Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn popularized the material as jewelry.

Floral designs ( better known as Flower Power) were popular towards the end of the 60s. Especially daisies.

Resin and vinyl paper, PVC, Lucite, and leather were used. To create new ‘pop’ colors such as "hot"  pink, turquoise, orange and yellow.

 

1960s jewelry was designed to make a visual statement. Jewelry was designed often with lurid man-made combinations paired together using bold colors.

Patterns and color combinations were designed to create shock.


Geometric Shapes

The Space Age influenced jewelry. Very popular were metal designs in geometric shapes were very popular.


        The counter-culture of the decade (the baby boomers of the 1960s) wanted to detach themselves from the ideals and attitudes of the prior decade. They wanted to create their own style and statements, ignoring the influences of their parents and the older generation.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Vintage 1960s Television Bewitched



Bewitched was an American television sitcom fantasy series, originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC  from September 17, 1964, to March 25, 1972. It was about a witch who marries an ordinary mortal man. She vows to lead the life of a typical suburban housewife. The show enjoyed great popularity, finishing as the number two-rated show in America during its debut season, staying in the top ten for its first three seasons, and just missing this mark with an eleventh-place ranking for both seasons four and five. The show continues to be seen throughout the world in syndication and on recorded media. Bewitched was created by Sol Saks under executive director Harry Akerman.



          In 2002, Bewitched was ranked #50 on "TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Tim". In 1997, the same magazine ranked the season 2 episode "Divided He Falls" #48 on their list of the"100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". 

          The show had won three Emmy Awards. William Asher won the Primetime Emmy Award of Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series in 1966. Alice Pearce posthumously won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comey Series for her portrayal of Gladys Kravitz and Marion Lorne won the same award posthumously in 1968 for her portrayal of Aunt Clara.

Dick Sargent replaced an ailing York for the final three seasons (1969–1972). In 1966 Sandra Gould, took over the part of Gladys Kravitz (1966–1971) when Alice Pearce died.

 

Added Note:

York suffered severe back pain for years. When his back pain became debilitating,  York requested to be released in his contract and was replaced by Sargent. York died of complications from emphysema  on February 20, 1992 at age 63.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Vintage 1960s The Billie Sol Estes Scandal


 

Vintage 1960s

Scandals

The Billie Sol Estes Scandal

 

Billie Sol Estes ( born January 10, 1925, in Clyde, Texas)  was a flamboyant  Texan  who became one of the most notorious men in America. He was best known for his involvement in a business fraud scandal that complicated his ties to friend and future U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. 

 

Estes demonstrated a natural talent for business at an early age. At 13 he received a lamb as a gift, sold its wool for $5, bought another lamb, and went into business. At 15, he sold 100 sheep for $3,000. He borrowed $3,500 more from a bank, bought government surplus grain, and sold it for a big profit. By 18, he had $38,000. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

 

Billie Sol Estes married Patsy "Mimi" on July,1 946.

 

In the late 1950s, Estes was heavily involved in the Texas anhydrous ammonia business. He made mortgages on nonexistent ammonia tanks by convincing local farmers to purchase them on credit, sight unseen, and leasing them from the farmers for the same amount as the mortgage payments. He used the fraudulent mortgage holdings to obtain loans from banks outside Texas who were unable to easily check on the tanks.

 

He worked out a method to purchase large numbers of cotton allotments, by dealing with farmers who had been dispossessed of land through eminent domain. Estes had purchased the cotton allotments with the lease fees. However, because the original sale and mortgage were a pretext rather than a genuine sale, it was illegal to transfer the cotton allotments this way. Estes, a smooth talker, convinced many of his fellow members of the Church of Christ to join in.

 

In 1962, word got out that Estes had paid off four Agriculture officials for grain storage contracts. President Kennedy  ordered the Justice Department and FBI to open investigations into Estes' activities and determine if Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman had been "compromised" (Freeman was cleared). Congress conducted hearings on Estes' business dealings, including some that led to Vice President Johnson, a long-time associate of Estes.

 

In 1963 Estes was tried and convicted on charges related to the fraudulent ammonia tank mortgages on both federal and state charges and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. His state conviction was overturned in 1965. His federal appeal hinged upon the alleged impossibility of a fair trial due to the presence of television cameras and broadcast journalists in the courtroom. Estes was paroled in 1971. Eight years later, he was again convicted on other fraud charges and served four more years.

 

Oscar Griffin, Jr. the journalist who uncovered the storage tank scandal, later received the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for his articles for a weekly newspaper in Pecos, Texas.

New charges were brought against him in 1979, he was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to conceal assets from the Internal Revenue Service. He was freed a second time in 1983.

One of the stranger episodes involved the death of an Agriculture Department official who was investigating Estes just before he was accused in the fertilizer tank case. The 1961 death of Henry Marshall was initially ruled a suicide even though he had five bullet wounds. But in 1984, Estes told a grand jury that Johnson had ordered the official killed to prevent him from exposing Estes’ fraudulent business dealings and ties with the vice president. The prosecutor who conducted the grand jury investigation said there was no corroboration of Estes’ allegations.

In 2003, Estes co-wrote a book published in France that linked Johnson to Kennedy’s assassination, an allegation rejected by prominent historians, Johnson aides, and family members.

While he admitted to being a swindler, Estes also portrayed himself as a “kind of Robin Hood” and hoped to be remembered for using his money to feed and educate the poor. He was an advocate of school integration in Texas long before it was fashionable.

Estes died in his sleep at his home in DeCordova, Texas on May 14, 2013, at the age of 88. Estes’ wife Patsy died in 2000.

Friday, April 9, 2021




 

Chiffon Cake

 

1-1/8 cup sifted cake flour           3/8 cup water

   (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp)                        (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp)

3/4 cup sugar                                  2 egg yolks

1-1/2 Tsp double-acting                 1/2 tsp each, vanilla and

   baking powder                                  lemon extract

1/2 tsp salt                                       1/4 tsp cream of tarter

1/4 cup Mazola  salad oil               1/2 cup egg white (about 4)

 

Mix and sift first flour ingredients. Make a well and add Mazola, water, egg yolks, and flavoring. Beat until smooth. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat until egg whites form very stiff peaks. Gently fold the first mixture into egg whites until well blended. Fold, do not stir. Turn batter to an ungreased 9 -inch tube pan. Bake in moderate oven (325F) for about 1 hour or until cake springs back when touched lightly with a finger. Immediately turn the pan upside down, placing a tube over the neck of a bottle. Let hang, free of the tube until cold. To remove from the pan, loosen with a spatula.

 

Strawberry Icing: To 2 cups of confectioner's sugar add 1/8 tsp salt and 3-12 Tbsp juice from crushed berries. Mix until smooth. Spread over top and sides of cake.

Orange Icing:  Substitute orange juice for berry juice in the above recipe.  Add 1 tsp grated orange rind

         

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Vintage 1960s Petite Fours

 

What is spring without Petite Fours!!!

Petite Fours

Cake

2-3/4 cups sifted Kitchen Craft Flour

1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoons salt

5/8 cups butter or margarine

1-7/8 cups sugar

2 large eggs

1-1/4 cups buttermilk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla or lemon extract

 

Icing

2 pounds confectioners' sugar

7/8 cups boiling water

2 teaspoons corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Directions for the cake

Line bottom of a shallow pan (10-1/2- by 15-1/2-inch) with waxed paper, and grease sides.

Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

Cream butter and sugar.

Beat in eggs.

Mix liquid and flavor; add alternately with dry ingredients, mixing well.

Bake 30 minutes in a moderate oven (350 F).

Invert cake; remove waxed paper.

Cool.

Cut triangles.

Arrange on a rack set in pan.

 

Directions for icing

sift 2 pounds confectioners' sugar.

Combine with 7/8 cup boiling water, corn syrup and vanilla.

Add color.

Pour icing on cakes; re-use dripped icing.

Allow to set; decorate.