Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mid Century Home Builders Calendar, 1954

This is the other calendar I found at the same sale as this calendar I blogged way back in April.  This one dates 10 years prior to that one but features some great looking homes.  I'm partial to September with March a close second.  The way the days line up, I could have used this calendar for 2016 if not for that pesky Leap Year we're observing this coming year.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Trimming Out Christmas

I know, I know.  Christmas is over.  But I came across this and just couldn't wait another year to share the awesomeness.  **Disclaimer: My definition of "awesomeness" may not match yours.  From 1970, it's "Christmas with all the trimmings".

Friday, December 25, 2015

Days of Santa - Harold Gale

Before last year, I'd never heard the name "Harold Gale", but now I consider myself to be a champion of his Santa Clauses and somewhat knowledgeable at recognizing them.

The first time I encountered a Harold Gale Santa Claus was at a garage sale last year when I bought a motorized store display.  I blogged about it here.

I found this all white one about a month ago.  I would guess he dates from the 1950's.

We Three Kings

This collection of Magi-themed Christmas cards were all part of a collection I bought from a sale this past summer.

A Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Santa Claus Mica Snow Flakes

I would guess this box of Mica chip snow flakes dates from the 1950's.  I liked the graphics.  Either the previous owner didn't use much of the flakes, or they meticulously picked them up year after year and put them back into the box.

Pictures 1965

I present you the "Pitcures" section of the December 12th, 1965 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Enjoy.

Days of Santa - Christmas Wishes for You!

This fold-open Christmas card probably dates from the 1940's or '50's.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Island of Misfit Christmas Decorations

Here are a few Christmas decorations I picked up last year that didn't make the cut for a permanent place of home decoration. Actually, my wife took them out of our decorations and put them by my computer which is essentially the Island of Misfits.

 What is it?  A snowman head on a spiky plastic ball decorated with berries on a stand.  The snowman's expression reveals how he feels about the whole situation.

The disembodied head of Santa impaled on a stake of poinsettia sets the mood for this piece.  His dead eyes stare out blankly.

Take half a Styrofoam ball, add some foil and plastic leaves and tiny pine cones and what do you get? I'll be honest. I have no idea.

Pack O Fun

How much fun can you pack into a Pack O Fun Scrap-Craft magazine?   Well, let's find out.

What was on TV December 19th through 25th, 1970

We're going to take another look at the week of December 19th through the 25th, this time in 1970.  I'm going to let this issue stand on its own for the most part.  The closer we get to Christmas, the less time I have to devote to the blog.  Enjoy!

Days of Santa - A Penny Saved

I found this Santa Claus cast iron bank at the same sale as these postcards.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Days of Santa - Taiwan Junk!

The previous owner of this light (or "lite") strand left his opinion marked on the box.  For some reason he didn't throw them out.  The lights were still in the box and true to his word, they didn't work.  These date from the 1970's.

I love Santa on the UFO.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cookie Cutter Memories

When I was a child, Christmas wasn't complete without my mom's sugar cookies.  As kids, my sister and I were always allowed to help with cutting them out and applying the sugar.  I always insisted Santa had be colored with red sugar and the Christmas trees with green.

We used a silver set similar to this one I found at a garage sale for $1.

Days of Santa - Legos

This Santa and snowman companion were loose finds at a sale about a month ago.  I'm not sure when they date from.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Pete and Repeat

This past week, I came across this larger version of the elf I posted here.

Days of Santa Day - Dairy Queen Santa Glasses

I recall this design from some glasses my grandparents had when I was little, but I don't believe theirs were marked Dairy Queen.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Days of Santa Day 2 - Signs of Christmas

This home-made painted Santa measures 24" tall by 18" wide.  Painted on a thin sheet of plywood, he's very well done and reflects a talented hand.

What was on TV December 19th through 25th, 1981

Christmastime always presented some of the best TV programming for a kid.  Let's crack the spine of this TV Guide from 1981 and see what was playing.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas 1939

It's time for another visit with our 1939 family.  We see the family playing "spin the child", see their other children play with the Lionel train around the Christmas tree, and meet the latest addition to the family.  Not to mention lots of hats and one of the earliest appearances of what appears to be an aluminum Christmas tree.  In a scene around 3:49 we get to meet the man behind the camera.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Christmas Story

This companion piece to the Halloween Fun in Story is called "A Christmas Story", but no one gets their eye shot out in this one.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Twelve Days of Santa (minus a few) Day 1

I didn't find enough Santas to create a full twelve posts, but I thought I'd start sharing them one by one.

First up is this rubber-faced Santa.  His beard is made from material that reminds me of a dust mop.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Charlie Brown Christmas Record

Christmas isn't complete without a viewing of the classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas" now in it's 50th year of broadcast. Before the days of VHS, much less DVD, you saw it once a year and if you missed it, you were out of luck.  Read-along books filled the long gap between Christmases with this book and record.

Image courtesy Pinterest

Coleco 1980

I found this 1980 Coleco brochure in a box of miscellaneous toys I picked up about a month ago. Where available, I've added the matching commercial.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Have a Hazardless Holiday

I found a set of 8 of these paper placemats at a recent sale.  Produced by the Women's Committee on Safety and the Long Lines Dept of AT&T, they present amusing tableaux for most of the holiday seasons (sorry Valentine's Day). Despite the title and obvious intent, they tell you absolutely nothing about how to keep the holidays safe.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Santa Claus in Toyland

This book is from 1951 and has seen better days, but still some cute (and terrifying) illustrations inside.  There are various wheels to turn and tabs to pull inside for real Christmas action.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Æolian Encounter

Back in 2011, I received a 1920 Singerphone phonograph for free from a local Freecycle group.  It works well, but the condition is a little rough and frankly, it has a fairly large footprint.  So when I saw this smaller phonograph last week at an estate sale marked for $60, I was excited.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ladies Home Journal, December 1968

It's time once again to explore the world of 1960's advertising and you know what that means?  Yep, sexism, poorly-thought-out food combinations and sculptured carpeting.  Breathe it in folks.  It always goes down smooth.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Santa and his Elves

I found these pieces in a dollar box of Christmas ornaments at an estate sale this summer.  When I took them to the register to pay, the estate sale manager was visibly angry that she'd missed them and wanted to charge more for them.  I think she ended up tacking on 50 cents just so she could feel better.

Santa and the elf here are separate pieces that I thought would look cute staged this way, but given the look on Santa's face, maybe not such a good idea.

And finally, this little elf almost looks like a devil. Maybe he's one of Krampus' helpers.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Toy Story 1939

From the same film as the Turkey Farm Trip, is this fun little piece the original owner entitled "Hi-Ho Silver - Magic Box".  At first I thought it was done with stop motion, but I think it's probably done with wires.  Clearly having fun with one of his children's toys at Christmas of 1939, our home movie producer has the cowboy jump out of the box on his horse and prance around the room.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Merry Christmas and Cowabunga, Dudes!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a little after my time, but I can appreciate their place in pop culture.  These Christmas cards from 1990 were a garage sale find this past summer.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

When (Fictional) Worlds Collide

I had intended to post the November 1978 issue of Women's Day magazine last month. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to, but I would be remiss if I didn't publish at least this article. It's a guide to building your kids a playset to go with their "spage-age" figures.  Please tell me someone's parents built them this awesome set.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

What was on TV November 28th through December 4th, 1970

We're dipping back into the old stock with this issue from 1970.  Writing about these older issues is a challenge, because they're just prior to my earliest memories of TV, so it's a little like exploring a foreign world.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fifteen Minutes

Back in October, I was contacted by the associate producer of a History Channel special being aired this month called "Christmas through the Decades".  She had seen a home movie I had posted on Youtube of my family on Christmas Eve of 1976 featuring my mom and I playing with the Stretch Armstrong I'd received that evening (we always opened our presents on Christmas Eve).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Turkey Trot 1939

Last year, I picked up a number of home movies from the 1930's and '40's at an estate sale. They were in very poor condition and suffered from extreme "vinegar syndrome". "Vinegar syndrome" is the degradation of acetate film. Cellulose acetate plastic replaced the highly flammable nitrate-based film stock used prior to the 1930's. An unfortunate consequence was these films are vanishing at a high rate due to this degradation. Once the process begins, there's no stopping it. The films become brittle, cupped, and the film will actually peel away from the acetate base.

When I first got the film, it was actually stuck together. I soaked it in Filmrenew for two weeks. That allowed me to separate the film from itself. The film is still very brittle and warped, but I was able to get a transfer done of the first reel.

Sliding into Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving upon us, I thought I'd share some more pictures from the Baby Endangerment family.  I'm not sure this is Thanksgiving since I don't see a turkey, but I see stuffing, so that's good enough for me.

I love their blue kitchen.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What was on TV November 14th through 20th, 1970

We're reaching way back this week, maybe farther back than some of our readers.  It's 1970.  Dig it, man.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Family Circle November 15th, 1977

This week's issue of Family Circle comes from 1977 and presents lots of blech-tacular food and fashion. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Uncanny Finds: Pringle's Can(dle)

I've mentioned this before, but we were a thrifty household when I was growing up and my parents weren't much into anything newfangled. "Newfangled" typically meant more money and if the old reliable met the need, newfangled need not apply.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Peanuts In-Depth

When I first saw stills from the newly-released Peanuts CGI movie, I was reminded of the Viewmaster slides I bought this past summer.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


St. Louis boasts one of the best public zoos in the country, consistently earning a place in the Top 10, and it's free (the $20 parking fee notwithstanding).  That alone should be enough, but at one time, you could also see a chimp ride a high-wheeled bicycle.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Baby Endangerment

We did a lot of things in the past that when looked upon with today's viewpoint seem negligent or even outright dangerous: riding in the back of pickup trucks, jumping off of rooftops (speaking from experience here), or, Heaven forbid, walking to the park alone.  You know, the kind of things you always find on those lists that begin with, "You were a child of the (50's, 60's, 70's, 80's) if..."

I bought a box of slides at a sale a couple weekends ago and was struck by a few images.  50 years ago, there wouldn't have been a second thought about these.  They say ignorance is bliss.  Sometimes, it sure seems that way.

Baby in proximity to alcohol.

Friday, November 6, 2015

What was on TV November 6th through 12th, 1976

Welcome once again to What was on TV.  The major television event of this week in 1976 was the first network airing of "Gone with the Wind". I remember my mother being very excited about this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Beauty of Housework

From 1955, this handout details ways you can improve the efficiency of your household chores and improve your figure while you're at it.  I couldn't find any information on the artist, Lali, however, Mary Sue Miller appears to have been a syndicated newpaper columnist along the lines of "Heloise".

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