Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pour Votre Bouche Immonde

I found these slightly bawdy cocktail napkins at an estate sale a few weeks ago.  They're similar to the Chuckle Naps I blogged about here.  

They are called "Fractured French" and are actually reprints from a book of the same name written by Fred Pearson 2nd and illustrated by New Yorker magazine artist Richard Taylor.  They are from 1950.

Each gag is a silly re-interpretation of a French phrase.  You have to sound them out phonetically to get the joke.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day... 13?

Think of it as a "baker's dozen".  Here's a bonus Santa Claus I found at the same sale as yesterday's.  I believe this is also a Harold Gale Santa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

And to All, a Good Night!

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 12

Good day and welcome to day 12.  It's Christmas Eve and I hope everyone's been a good boy or girl.  If not, it's too late.  Better luck next year.

This past fall, I attended the annual Gramond Street neighborhood garage sale.  The size and participants in the sale have declined in the past few years, but it's an old neighborhood and I almost always manage to score at least one good item.  This year was no exception.

While working my way through a long line at a sale, I could see what was clearly a vintage Santa Claus  across the table from me.  It looked homemade, but I liked it and my anxiety increased as each person in front of me stopped to look at it.  Fortunately, everyone passed on it and I was able to grab it.  It was priced at $5.  When I picked it up, Santa moved and seeing an electric cord, I knew it was mechanical.  And he's very large, standing at 2 foot tall and 2 foot wide.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

March of the Toy Soldiers

I don't know why toy soldiers have long been associated with Christmas and apparently the internet doesn't know either.  The closest guess anyone comes to is their link to "The Nutcracker" and it's "March of Toy Soldiers".

At any rate, Christmas is what I thought of when I saw these plastic blow mold soldiers.

The cannon can (or used to be) fired by slamming your fist down on the back of it, or squeezing the sides of it, which launched the yellow plastic "cannonball".  I would guess the object was to line up the soldiers and knock them down by shooting them with their own cannon.  Seems unsporting.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 11

Today's Day of Santa features record albums sporting Santa in his many guises from Bing Crosby to Colonel Sanders to The Pink Panther.  I have a fairly large record collection from sales over the years and Christmas is probably the biggest genre in it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas from Vandervoort's

I found this promotional Christmas record for Vandervoort's Department store at a sale this past summer.  It promises music and a Greeting from the Jolly Man himself.

Trimming Time Christmas Card Holders

There has been a distinct, if not drastic, drop in the number of Christmas cards sent over the past decade.  People are keeping in touch via social media, emails and texting.  I guess a Christmas card via snail mail seems a bit old fashioned and redundant, but I still enjoy receiving them; it harkens back to a slower lifestyle.

Anyway, back when you received so many cards you didn't know what to do with them, there were Christmas card holders like these produced by Trimmin Time for Walt Disney Productions.  I found these for $1 each at a garage sale this summer, still in their original packaging.  They're made in Japan and probably date from the 1960's.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 10

This metal tray made in Hong Kong measures about 12 inches in diameter and features a smooching Mr. and Mrs. Claus under the mistletoe. It was sold by the Bradford Novelty Company of  Boston.

Merry Cheers to You!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Women's Day, December 1970

Time for another Christmas edition of Woman's Day magazine.  This time, it's from 1970.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 9

This vintage plastic "disposable" table cloth is still sealed in the original bag.  I'm torn (no pun intended) about opening it.  I'd really like to see the other graphics.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

What was on TV December 15th through 21st, 1979

This is another re-post from last year with a few enhancements.  With everyone's favorite hood gracing the cover, it's the December 15th through 21st, 1979 issue of TV Guide.


The Art of Gift Wrapping

I'm so-so when it comes to wrapping presents.  I make an effort, but ultimately, I'm happy if it just stays closed.

In case you haven't finished your Christmas wrapping and really want to impress the recipient, I give you "the art of Gift Wrapping" published by Hallmark in the 1960's.

From: Me To: You

This is a repost from last year, but I thought some new readers might enjoy.

I found these tags in a Christmas card box at an estate sale a few weekends ago.  I love the graphics on these.  The style just can't be replicated despite the best efforts of repro artists; I wonder why that is.  Anyway, I thought now would be a good time to publish them in case anyone is looking for some vintage tags with which to festoon their Christmas gifts.  Is everyone's gifts wrapped?

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 8

These winking Santa Salt & Pepper shakers were an estate sale find for $1.  They're marked 1960 and were sold by the Holt-Howard company, importers of pottery pieces from 1949 to 1969.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jitters the Elf

I found this caffeinated elf at a garage sale this summer.  At $5, he was a little more than I normally would spend on something like this, but it was larger that usual and the subject matter won me over. Marked simply "Japan" on the bottom, I'm not sure who the manufacturer was.

Odds are, after that coffee, this is one elf who won't be sitting on a shelf.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 7

This is a smaller piece measuring about 6 inches tall.  It's an advertisement for The American Exchange National Bank and demonstrates how much you can save for Christmas by contributing various amounts throughout the year.  It probably dates from the 1940's or 50's.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

After two fairly heavy snows in November, the month of December has been virtually snowless here in Missouri. It was starting to look like a green Christmas, but this morning we woke up to a blanket of whiteness.

It just so happened that today I also decorated our living room windows using some vintage Aero Snow stencils I bought at a garage sale years ago.

Women's Day, December 1971

In a mad dash toward Christmas, I present more vintage Christmas magazine scans.  Some comments given, humor not guaranteed.  I give you Woman's Day, December 1971.

Notes on Christmas

While phonographs have been available to the public for home entertainment for over 100 years,  within those years you were just as likely to find a family making their own music on piano or organ.  My grandmother would always tell of her father playing "O Tannenbaum" on the pump organ on Christmas Eve while they all gathered around and sang.

Because of this, sheet music is fairly common and I see it at estate sales frequently.  It's not worth a lot, but I still pick it up if I like the subject or cover.  Here are some Christmas related music sheets I bought at the church tag sale a while back.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 6

This somewhat stoic looking Santa probably dates from the 1940's or '50's.  He's surprisingly clean and in good condition.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What was on TV December 12th through 18th, 1981

This will probably be the lone December issue of TV Guide for this year. I know, I've been slacking. Christmas season and all that.

Anyway, hopefully the content of this one will make up for the lack of others.  Friend John returns for an assist on the commentary.  From the fat years, as I call them, this 1981 issue includes "A Shopper's Guide to 1981'S Best Video Games" written in a font meant to induce seizures.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 5

This ginormous Styrofoam Santa head wall hanging measures 18 inches tall by 12 inches wide.  The gold beard is an odd touch.

***Update.  Based on this Santa's incidental inclusion in this picture from the Rankin/Bass Historian, the gold beard is no manufacturer's fluke nor owner customization.

***Update #2. Additional confirmation in this random picture from 1970.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 4

I found this Santa figure at a recent sale.

He looks kinda ticked.  Either because he lost his reindeer or the Double Dutch contest.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ding Dong, It's 1974 Calling

It's been a while since I've posted one of these (in fact, almost a year).  I'm a sucker for old magazines and catalogs, even if they're Avon.  I never understood Avon beyond a specialty makeup company.  The themed cologne jars, the soap on a rope, the strange children's bath toys... Just weird.  But enjoy nonetheless.  From 1974 (also known as Campaign 23), Christmas is in the air and joy is everywhere.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 3

In keeping with yesterday's Day of Santa, we find Santa once again with his, er, ash on the chimney.

This ashtray is marked Japan on the bottom.  As smoking has decreased over the years, an art form has been lost: the decorative ashtray.  Although I've never smoked and am actually allergic to cigarette smoke, I collect ashtrays.  Despite their intended use, I've found those from the 50's and 60's to be a lot of fun.  Looking at those currently available, they're all quite utilitarian and lacking in style.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day 2

Welcome to the Second Day of Santa.  I hope you weren't expecting two turtle doves, more like two turdle doves (sorry, I couldn't resist).  Today's offering is not pretty.  Who says "tacky" is a new phenomena.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mad About Christmas

From the same find that included this Halloween Mad magazine comes the December 1967 issue of Mad Magazine featuring another Norman Mingo cover.

The Twelve Days of Santa - Day One

Looking at the accumulation of Santa-related items I've picked up, I decided to do a feature I call "The Twelve Days of Santa" in which I will showcase one per day leading up to Christmas.  The Twelve Days of Christmas, contrary to a lot of peoples' understanding, are actually the twelve days after Christmas: The day after Christmas until The Epiphany which is January 6th.  Of course, most people are over Christmas by the day after, so I'm going to lead up to Christmas.  And afterall, this is the Twelve Days of Santa, not Christmas; we all know Santa kicks off his boots and settles in for a well-deserved snooze immediately after Christmas Eve.

My first submission is this die cut I bought this past year.  It's fairly large at 21 inches tall and 15 inches wide and probably dates from the 1940's or 50's.  It was a devil to scan.

The red is velvet flocking and the silver highlights are glitter.  If you're having trouble reading "Jimmy's" list, I've transcribed it below complete with misspellings.

Dear Santa:

Please bring me lots of new toys.  I want
1. Train
2. Books? (It could be "Looks", maybe Jimmy is really vain)
19.  airplane that flys  (We can't see the back side of the list so we have to skip 3 through 18, one can only imagine Jimmy's demands.)
20. games
21. bicycle
22. a collar for Bruce (he is my dog).  Bruce?  Bruce??
23. candy.  I like chocklits.  Hey, no one said Jimmy was a genius.
and don't forget my Mom and Dad.

I have been a good boy.

Jimmy (at least that's what I'm assuming is obscured by Santa's thumb).

Don't forget to join me tomorrow for Day 2.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hope Your Holiday Season is Measuring Up!

Pete and Clara Mealer opened Mealer's Cafe in Washington, Missouri in 1930 specializing in home-style cooking.  At some point, they must have changed the name to "Restaurant".  It's hard to tell when this metal ruler dates from.  Most likely the 1950's or 60's.  The restaurant was sold in 1972 and again in 1973.  It has since done business as "Cowan's Restaurant", home of the "Mile-High Pie".  

In 2005, they were featured in an episode of TLC's "Town Haul" in which small towns are given a "face lift" similar to other "overhaul" TV shows.  I recall at the time, many of the townspeople felt it ruined the hometown feel of the restaurant.

Hang This on Your Tree

My last post inspired me to get some shots of some of the ornaments I've picked up this past year at various sales.

Shiny Brite

I found this box of ornaments at a garage sale a few years ago.  The ornaments, simple small green ones, didn't interest me as much as the box.

I love that Uncle Sam is shaking Santa's hand.  I believe he's thanking him for making the ornaments in the USA instead of Herr Schicklgruber's fahzerland.  The $1.20 price tag seems a little high for the time.

Interestingly, it looks like you could buy the ornaments individually based on the "10 ea" note.  "1 Dozen" total, so no discount for buying in bulk.

Max Echardt began importing ornaments from Germany in 1907.  In 1937, he created the Shiny Brite line and began producing them in America in anticipation of what he knew was a coming war.  Although the company no longer exists, some Shiny Brite ornaments are reproduced by Christopher Radko.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Made in Hong Kong

Most collectors tend to turn their collective noses up at Christmas decorations made in Hong Kong during the 1970's.  These would have been found for sale in Woolworth's and other dime and drug stores.  Granted the quality and detail are lacking compared to their Japanese counterparts from the 1960's, but I never pass them up, especially since they're rarely priced over a dollar at sales and usually even less.  Here are few decorations made in Hong Kong I've picked up in the past couple years.  You may have seen some of these in the Posts of Christmas Past.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The American Home, December 1965

It's time for this month's American Home magazine.  Actually, there will probably be several as I have quite a collection.  It just depends on how good I am about scanning them.  These things are huge and those double-paged ads are the worst.

Anyway, not too much to comment on in this issue which is fairly light in content but rich in advertisements, so enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

On Styrofoam, on Polystyrene! Away!

I found this Santa, his sleigh and 4 not so tiny reindeer at an estate sale this past fall.  They're made of Styrofoam which I just learned is actually Dow Chemical's trademarked name for polystyrene foam.  Kind of like everyone calls gelatin Jello, bandages Band-aids and paper tissues Kleenex.  Santa has a plastic overlay while the deer are painted. 

Santa and his sleigh measures about a foot long by 8 inches tall.

The deer are 6 inches tall and 12 inches long.

The price stickers on the backs are marked "F. W. Woolworths" and 39 cents for each deer and 69 cents for Santa and his sleigh.  I believe Woolworth's dropped the "F. W." by the '60's so these may pre-date that.
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