Saturday, March 27, 2021

Vintage 1960 Men's Fashions Nehru Jackets


Nehru Jackets

A Nehru Jacket is a hip-length coat or jacket, mostly worn by men. It has a Mandarin collar and a button placket resembling the typical Indian Achkan, Sherwani or Bandhgala designs. This Nehru coat or jacket is named after India’s first Prime Minister ‘Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who used to wear a Western-style Achkan.

          The Western-style Nehru jacket is similar to a tailored suit jacket, but with a difference. The collar and lapels are replaced by a front-button closure rising to a high, round neckline surmounted by a narrow stand-up collar. The stand-up collar is often cut with a slight curve to differentiate it from the Indian men's collar from which it is derived. When popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Nehru jacket was paired with trousers and one of several choices for shirts-turtleneck, mock turtleneck, or tunic. The design of the jacket made it easy to wear bead or pendant necklaces which were also a mark of that period.

Popularization of Nehru Style

          In 1962 China attacked newly independent India. U.S. leaders courted Nehru and Pakistani leaders as allies against the spread of communism. Nehru visited Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy in 1949, 1956, and 1961, respectively. Jacqueline Kennedy visited Nehru in 1962. As Americans watched the first lady's dress, they also learned what Nehru wore.

          Movie and TV stars, such as Marlon Brando, Eddy Byrnes, and Sal Mineo appeared in T-shirts and leather jackets. This style helped popularize “non-suit” dress for men.

          Inspired by advances in space travel, Pierre Cardin offered his Space Age line in 1964. The most influential piece was his collarless, lapel-free suit jacket. It buttoned all the way up the front ending in an unadorned round neckline that revealed the collar of a dress shirt. Cardin's garment found favor with the Beatles and other early 1960s British rock groups who wished to remain respectable through suit dressing but wanted to cut an independent image. The use of non-traditional fabrics like denim and velvet, or bright colors and prints cemented the styles. A general narrowing of the entire men's suit-leg, torso, sleeve, lapel, and its accompanying necktie-also occurred. Formal dressing in tunics à la Yves Saint Laurent and others provided more non-traditional suit alternatives for formal male attire.

The Beatles, India and Popular Culture

          The Nehru jacket appeared as one of these brief fads after George Harrison and the Beatles went to India in 1966 to learn meditation and music. They brought into fashion not only Ravi Shankar's sitar music and incense but also paisley prints, bead necklaces (originally Indian meditation beads) for both men and women,

          The Nehru jacket crossed the Atlantic and was briefly worn in the United States, too. Several entertainers, including Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis, Jr., made it a regular part of their wardrobe.

          Though considered a short-lived fad on both sides of the Atlantic, the Nehru jacket has achieved classic status. Some tuxedo-rental agencies now routinely provide Nehru jackets with matching suit trousers as one of their options for formal attire. The humbler versions of these garments also continue in use in the regions of rural India whence they originated.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Vintage 1960s Television The Flintstones

The Flintstones


The Flintstones is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera. The series takes place in a romanticized Stone Age setting and follows the activities of the Flintstones a suburban family, and their next-door neighbors, the Rubbles (who are also their best friends). It was originally broadcast on ABC from September 30, 1960, until April 1, 1966, as the first animated series to hold a prime time slot.

          The continuing popularity of The Flintstones rests heavily on its portrayal of modern everyday concerns in the Stone Age setting. The Flintstones was the most financially successful and longest-running network animated television series for three decades until The Simpsons debuted in late 1989. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Flintstones the second-greatest TV cartoon of all time (after The Simpsons).

          The opening and closing credits theme during the first two seasons was called "Rise and Shine", a lively instrumental underscore accompanying Fred on his drive home from work. Starting in season 3, the opening and closing credits theme were the familiar vocal "Meet the Flintstones". This version was recorded with a 22-piece big band, and the Randy Van Horne Singers.  The "Meet the Flintstones" opening was later added to the first two seasons for syndication. The musical underscores were credited to Hoyt Curtin for the show's first five seasons; Ted Nichols took over in 1965 for the final season. 


Added Note

The night after The Flintstones premiered, Variety magazine called it "a pen and ink disaster", and the series was among many that debuted in a "vast wasteland" of a 1960-61season, considered one of the worst in television history up to that point.  As late as the 1980s, highbrow critics derided the show's limited animation and derivative plots. Despite the mixed critical reviews at first, The Flintstones has generally been considered a television classic and was rerun continuously for five decades after its end. In 1961, The Flintstones became the first animated series to be nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comey Series, but lost out to The Jack Benny Program



My Italian mother made this bread every St Patrick's Day for my
Scotch/Irish father. It was delicious then and now. It takes some time to make but it is delicious



Irish-American Soda Bread with Currants and Orange Zest


1 lb (3 cups) all-purpose flour, plus 1 tbsp

5 oz (1 cup) whole wheat flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced

2 cups cold buttermilk, shaken

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Finely grated zest of 1 med orange

1 cup dried currants or raisins


Position the rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 375F. Generously butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 2- to 2 1/2-inch-high sides (you can also bake it on a baking sheet, but it will flatten more).

In a bowl, whisk together the 3 cups all-purpose flour, wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Sprinkle the butter over the top and cut in with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.

In another bowl or container, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest. Add to the dough, stirring with a wooden spoon just until well incorporated. Combine the currants with the 1 tablespoon of flour and stir into the dough. It will be sticky.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf into the prepared skillet and cut an "X" into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan, and let cool on the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with plenty of unsalted butter. (Though I hear some people eat this with cream cheese).

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Vintage 1960s Electronics Transistor Radios

 Transistor Radios

In the 1960s, small, portable, and convenient, transistor radios did not offer excellence in sound quality, but they did provide another important feature—privacy. In the late 1950s and through the 1960s, American teenagers saw pocket radios as a way to listen to the driving beat of rock and roll away from the judgments of their parents.


          The first transistor radio (the Regency TR-1) was produced by Regency Electronics in cooperation with Texas Instruments.

          The transistor radios to the United States by 1959. By the 1960s, transistor radios were even more popular as people became accustomed to hearing their favorite music, sports, and news wherever they went.


          The transistor radio might not have had the sound quality of larger table-top models but it were portable and much cheaper. It was especially appealing to the young, and became a necessary part of teenage culture in the late 1950s and on through the 1960s.

          Now that it was no longer necessary to sit still at home to enjoy music, many young people heard popular songs first on transistor AM radios. Transistor radio became the major outlet for rock & roll and R&B, and by the 1960s successful record companies like Motown, and hit-makers like Phil Spector, were actually mixing their records to suit the low fidelity of these machines and thereby maximize their appeal to the kids.

Background on the transistor

The Space program was a major reason for the development of the transistor. This small device, about the size of a pencil eraser, replaced heavy, bulky, and unreliable vacuum tubes. This, in turn, reduced the size and weight of electronic components used in rockets, satellites, and aircraft.


The invention of the transistor paved the way for small, mass-produced pocket radios. Transistors also had significantly lower power usage which meant that batteries became an option as a power source. The first transistors were used in calculators but were very quickly applied to radios.