As you know (or maybe are just finding out), I wear glasses and I have since I was in Grade 4. I like wearing glasses because I think they suit me and it’s exciting that glasses today come in cool vintage styles which go perfect with my look.
It is because of being a glasses wearing gal that I wanted to do today’s ‘Vintage Photo Tuesday‘ post on “Young Women with Eyeglasses”. To simply showoff the beauty of wearing glasses (and not holding them like our lady friend in the image below).
Lets begin the eyeglasses parade!
The beautiful woman below reminds me so much of Jessica from Chronically Vintage! Those who know Jessica, don’t you agree?
The 1920’s. The era of round frames.
March 22nd, 1930. 3 young women photographed for the Continental Optical Company in Indianapolis.
1930’s mother and daughter photo booth image.
Oct 1942 – Operating a hand drill at the North American Aviation, Inc., a woman is in the control surface department assembling a section of the leading edge for the horizontal stabilizer of a plane (Source).
1945-Life Magazine Image.
Natalie Olmsted, District Recreation Supervisor, 1945. Those are some fantastic frames! They look checkered.
1950’s. Cat Eye frames become a popular style.
Early 1960’s Cool.
QUESTION TIME: Do you wear glasses for necessity or for fun? Do you try to match them to your personality, your personal style or just whatever looks okay? Share in the comments below!
Catalina, the coveted swimsuit line of the vintage community (for women and men). The line is classy, beautiful and as you will see in this post, truly one of a kind.
History of Catalina Sportswear:
Their history began in 1907, as Bentz Knitting Mills, a small manufacturer of underwear and sweaters. The name was changed to Pacific Knitting Mills in 1912, accompanied by the introduction of swimwear to their existing knit lines. The third and final name change came in 1928, to Catalina.
During the 1920s, Catalina broke out of the norm of producing wool knit suits that were patterned after a simple one-piece style and created baring and fashionable swimwear for both men and women. Styles like, the boldly striped Chicken Suit, men’s Speed Suit and Ribstitch “S” suits.
The 1930’s glitz and glamour of the sliver screen had Catalina adopting the slogan “Styled for the Stars of Hollywood“. They added to the prestige by using Hollywood starlets, including Bette Davis, Joan Blondell, and Olivia de Havilland in their marketing campaigns. At the time, the average Catalina swimsuit retailed between five and ten dollars, equivalent to $87–$175 today (assuming 1935 dollars) (Source).
The Miss America Beauty Pageant:
Catalina was a sponsor of the beauty pageant starting in the 1940’s, with the contestants wearing their off-the-rack swimsuits (featuring 2 flying fish logo’s, instead of the standard 1 on the hip as seen below).
In 1951 there was a bit of drama when Catalina dropped sponsorship of the pageant after the winner Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose for publicity pictures while wearing a swimsuit.
Side Note: Yolanda is pictured above (Miss Alabama), wearing a Catalina swimsuit before she was a winner so I’m so sure what the issue was (if you know please share in the comments below).
Seeing pageants as a good publicity tool, Catalina would go onto to found the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe pageants, co-sponsoring them for decades to follow. With this came a new slogan to emphasize their growing global awareness: “Around the world… it’s Catalina” (source).
1960’s Catalina becomes a sister company to Cole of California, a swimwear manufacturer established in 1925.
1993 the duo joins Authentic Fitness Corporation, a subsidiary of Warnaco Inc.
1994 Catalina and it’s newly extended swim, active & fitness brand (thanks to its merger with Wanaco) is offered to Wal-Mart stores across America
2007 Warnaco sells the Catalina business to In Mocean Group
As of 2014 you can only buy Catalina swimsuits in Wal-Mart
Catalina is one of the oldest clothing manufacturers in California (Source).
History lesson complete, now lets check out some of the awesome advertisements!
1935’s Baby Pants, “So Very Provocative.”
A giraffe on a swimsuit?! How fantastic!
The most popular swimtrunks in America!
Families who match their swimsuits together, stay together.
“Any girl who wears a Catalina swimsuit is apt to be singled out for special attention from Mr. Cupid.”
1960’s Men’s Swimwear
“Lovelier by Design.”
1952 Miss Universe Catalina Ad.
1953-New Swim and Sun Fashions.
1948 & 1949 Ads. Fish and Ducks for men and women.
I also own a Catalina that I wore at VIVA Rockabilly Weekend in 2016, it’s not as glamorous as the ones in the ads we just saw but it’s still cute!
Lastly, If you are interested in what the Catalina Labels looked like, the Vintage Fashion Guild has a super collection of them that can be found HERE.
QUESTION TIME: Do you own a Catalina? If so please share what it looks like. If you don’t do you like the brand? Want to own one yourself one day? Do tell in the comments below.
Last week a dear friend of mine passed down a Vintage Lady Schick Hair Dryer that was her grandmothers. It’s in mint condition and will take my 8-10 hours of setting time for my hair to way less (not tested it yet but I’m hoping an hour tops!).
While I held this wonderful gem in my hands, I got to thinking that I actually had no idea about the history of hair dryers (not even one tiny fact). So for today’s post we will be having a brief history lesson (to fix my lack of knowledge) and then a roundup of vintage ads and images. Enjoy!
Brief History of the Hair Dryer:
1890’s the hairdryer is invented by Alexandre Goldefroy, and consisted of a bonnet that attached to the chimney pipe of a gas stove. It was however big and bulky and not at all portable. PRIOR to this, woman were using vacuum cleaners to dry their hair, so this really was an improvement (I think).
1911-Armenian American inventor Gabriel Kazanjian was the first to patent a blow dryer in the United States (Source).
1915 (around)– Handheld dryers begin to appear on the market and became small enough to hold in your hand (thanks to companies like U.S. Racine Universal Motor Company and the Hamilton Beach Co).
Downfalls of the 1920’s Hair Dryers:
They were often heavy, weighing in at approximately 2 pounds (0.9 kg), and were difficult to use. They also had many instances of overheating and electrocution. Hair dryers were only capable of using 100 watts, which increased the amount of time needed to dry hair (the average dryer today can use up to 2000 watts of heat) (Source).
The 1950’s gave birth to the bonnet hair dryer, a small portable dryer connected by a tube to a plastic bonnet, as well as the rigid hood dryer, most frequently seen in today’s salons (Source).
Since the 1920s, development of the hair dryer has mainly focused on improving the wattage and superficial exterior and material changes. In fact, the mechanism of the dryer has not had any significant changes since its inception. One of the more important changes for the hair dryer was the idea to make it out of plastic, so that it is more lightweight. This really caught on in the 1960s with the introduction of better electrical motors and the improvement of plastics.
In the 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission set up guidelines that hair dryers had to meet to be considered safe to manufacture. Since 1991 the CPSC has mandated that all dryers must use a ground fault circuit interrupter so that it cannot electrocute a person if it gets wet. By 2000, deaths by blowdryers had dropped to fewer than four people a year, a stark difference to the hundreds of cases of electrocution accidents during the mid-20th century. (Source).
Vintage Ads & Images
1938 American Hairdresser Magazine Ad.
Even men got under the hood.
When one needs to get out of the house quickly, you take matters into your own hands.
My hair would never look like this, if it was dried in the “Fresh Desert Air”.
I would be scared if this was what was drying my hair.
Germany,1977. I can’t stop laughing.
I will now leave you with a 1960’s ad for Lady Sunbeam Bonnet Hair Dryer and I really hope you enjoyed today’s post. (video link)
Question time: Do you own a vintage hair dryer that works? If you don’t currently own one, would you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
As we all remember (or maybe don’t), school was not just about books and tests it was also about all the fun activities you could do outside of your regular classes. For example, I was in Drama club when I was in high school. I was terrible but I loved being part of something that made me smile and was my choice to be involved in. I also enjoyed the dances because I love to dance and dress-up and I got to do both a few times a year. Win!
Today’s “Vintage Photo Tuesday” is all about this “life outside of the classroom” and features students from various levels of education and schools from the 1920’s-1950’s.
Let’s take a look!
October 1949: Paul Macdonald of Gananoque, Ont, 3rd year drawing and painting student, paints semi-abstract still life with fruit while 2nd year ceramics student Nancy Snider, of Islington, Ont, watches.
Boys and their portable radio-1948. Lineup outside the Athletic office for tickets for McGill football weekend.
A group of dancing Dentettes in rehearsal for the 1946-47 Dentatics musical review. While I’m not sure what a “Dentette” is at the University of Toronto, I do know it looks like they are having fun.
University of Toronto-Alpha Phi Fraternity – members singing at the piano (1952).
The Athletes Night Big Dance at University of Toronto-1952.
East York (Toronto) Student Panel-1949.
The Jordan River Revue was a musical variety show written, produced, directed and acted in by Indiana University Students (Source). Here is a group performing “Peas and Beans”, 1946.
The Book Nook Commencement was a mock commencement ceremony that took place at the Book Nook, a popular student hangout in the 1920s located at Indiana and Kirkwood Avenue. A combination soda fountain and bookstore, the Book Nook was known for its music and the sometimes rowdy behavior of its customers. For many years the Book Nook played a significant role in Indiana University student culture (Source).
Notable IU alum musician and composer Hoagy Carmichael was a frequent patron (Seen below at the piano, 1939), and it is said he composed his most famous songs, Stardust, at one of the Book Nook booths.
Dorm Life at the University of Chicago, 1950’s.
Hanging out in the dining hall with friends and cokes-1940’s University of Chicago.
I’m now going to end this week’s VPT with the most outstanding vintage student life image..ever! It is from the 1920’s at the University of Chicago. WOW! what style!
I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘Vintage Photo Tuesday’. For more photos on student life, make sure you check out my last VPT on School Clubs.
In the Lindy Hop world Jean Veloz is a living Icon and so as we approach ‘World Lindy Hop Day‘ on May 26th, I think it’s a good time to share with my readers the story of Jean and her swing dancing success.
As a teenager in the 1940’s Jean Phelps (her maiden name) and her brothers Bob and & Ray would invite friends over to their living-room and practice the popular dance of their generation, the Lindy Hop or also know as the Jitterbug (Video Link).
Jean and Ray got so good together that they decided to enter an area-wide Jitterbug contest in Santa Maria, winning out over a total of 500 dancers.
The Phelps family moved to Los Angeles in 1942, which allowed Jean and her brothers the opportunity to dance at the LA hotspots. In 1943 Jean entered a contest at American Legion Stadium in Hollywood, where the prize was a Screen Actor’s Guild membership card and a dance cameo in the movie Swing Fever starring Kay Kyser and Marilyn Maxwell. Jean won the contest, her SAG card, and the opportunity to dance with Lennie Smith and Don Gallager in the feature-length movie (Source).
After the success of Swing Fever, Jean’s career took off and she went on to dance in several movies:
20th Century Fox’s Swingin’ On a Tea Garden Gate starring Peter Lawford (Dance Partner: Chuck Saggau)
1943’s MGM’s Jive Junction (Dance Partner: Bob Ashley) Video Link
The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) starring Jack Benny as the angel Gabriel (Dance Partner: Dean Collins)
But one of her most popular films for Lindy Hoppers around the world is the 1944 short film “Groovie Movie“, as it’s a great study of the early years of the Lindy Hop. Here is Jean, Arthur Walsh, Lenny Smith, Kay Vaughn, Irene Thomas and Chuck Saggau in this little gem (Video Link).
Outside of starring in movies Jean and her brother Ray entered many dance contests in the Hollywood and Los Angeles areas.
Here is a FANTASTIC short clip of Jean and Ray discussing how this famous image above came to be.
In 1946, Jean even danced in the chorus line at El Rancho Vegas Hotel, working with choreographer Nick Castle for six months (Source).
Jean’s fate was about to take another positive turn when famous ballroom dancer Frank Veloz was in need of a partner, after his regular partner & wife Yolanda Veloz retired. Jean became Frank’s new dance partner, performing exhibition ballroom dancing and appearing in a two-week engagement at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
1950-The Frank Veloz Show airs and runs for 5 years. Jean and Frank did exhibitions of tango, waltz, rhumba, samba, swing and foxtrot, along with teaching these dances on live TV. They interviewed many well-known stars including Liberace, incorporating these appearances into the show (Source).
Jean and Frank eventually were married in 1963 (he had divorced his wife Yolanda in the 50’s) and they remained a happy dancing couple until his death in 1981 from Cancer. Jean stopped dancing until 1992.
The Revival of Jean’s Dancing Career:
In 1992 Jean was approached by a Rudy Linan a swing dancer from Vegas who was working on a swing documentary and encouraged Jean to start dancing again.
After she put her dancing shoes back on, the Lindy Hop/Swing Dance world took notice and she was asked to participate in dance events from coast to coast, year after year.
In 2000, all surviving members of Groovie Movie together as Jean, Irene Thomas and Chuck Saggau appeared together again for the first time since the 1940s, with Ray Phelps was along for good measure. In 2004, the group was together again to participate in activities surrounding the dedication of the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Jean, Ray, Irene and Chuck performed along with Swing Dancers Tom and Debra at the Smithsonian Institution in front of hundreds of people.
2014 was a special year for Jean as she celebrated her 90th birthday and how does one do that in today’s world? They go viral! Yup videos of Jean dancing at various places for her 90th birthday surfaced and was seen by millions of people (yup millions). Jean’s name was now known to the world not just to the swing dance community. How exciting!
Showing no signs of slowing down Jean continues to dance and attend events all over the world. I will now leave you one with one last video taken last year as Jean celebrated her 92nd birthday (Video Link).
I hope you enjoyed learning all about the amazing and wonderful Jean Veloz, she is truly inspiring to dancers everywhere and I hope to one day to grow-up to be just like her.
It’s been awhile since I have done my “FavoritePins on Pinterest” post, but that just means that I have so many new editions of fun images, advertisements, clothes and whatever else that has caught my eye to showcase. Lets take a look!
Yummy Seven-Up! This ad is colourful and fun and truly ridiculous enough to make me actually want to buy a bottle.
I’m a sucker for a good Canadian Advertisement and this one is awesome! While I did not receive Canada Savings bonds in the 50’s (more the 80’s) they were an item that was a popular gift to kids from loving family members (or whomever). Sadly this year the government has decided to discontinue the program but we will always have the ads.
“Help your winter ration coupons go further”. 1940’s Wartime Hints from B.C. (British Columbia) Electric. Another great look into Canadian history.
1945’s University of Chicago archery class (or group).
1950’s Hawaiian party at the University of Chicago.
When I found this image I truly felt like this woman was me, if Liz was around in the 1950’s. Kitschy fun to the max!
As a swing dancer, I’m a sucker for a good circle skirt that spins out just at the right time. This 1950’s cheerleader has accomplished this task (and high fives to the photographer for capturing the moment).
Stunning 1951 vacation image of a woman near the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Looks like it belongs in a magazine (and maybe it was at one point).
I stumbled upon a fantastic article that was appeared in my Pinterest feed on ‘Margaine-Lacroix and the dresses that shocked Paris‘. It was such an interesting read about a designer who achieved so much for fashion but has never received the recognition she deserved.
I’m a Lindy Hopper (the dance of the 1930’s & 40’s) and so I’m always drawn to amazing images and art that reflects that time period. This poster was taken from a famous 1943 Life Magazine image, seen HERE.
Are you in the market for a one of kind 1950’s Paris themed tie? Well if you are then you are in luck as it’s currently for sale on Etsy and it’s fantastic (as of May 19th, 2017)!
Vintage 1930s Dress – Rare Curve Hugging Late 1930s Peggy Hunt Jean Carol Label Evening Gown with Ruffled Accents
1947 Vintage Evening Gown with an image of the owner wearing it! These are always amazing finds.
That is all the pins for today! I hope friends you enjoyed browsing some of my favorite Pinterest Pins from the last month. I always have a fun time on this website and I love when I can share my finds with all of you.
I love prom theme parties, they are so fun and allow me to get my hair and dress right (as opposed to oh so wrong when I was a teen in the 90s lol). I’m very lucky that in Toronto there are lots of themed parties to attend, with many of them having a 50s theme.
For my blog today I wanted to give an overview of the history of prom, check out some images from the 1940s and 50s of proms (and formal dances) and whatever other fun things I can find.
Lets begin shall we?!
While high school yearbooks did not start covering proms and including prom pictures until the 1930s and 1940s, historians, including Meghan Bretz, believe proms may have existed at colleges as early as the late 1800s. The journal of a male student at Amherst College in 1894 recounts an invitation and trip to an early prom at neighboring Smith College for women. The word prom at that time may just have been a fancy description for an ordinary junior or senior class dance, but prom soon took on larger-than-life meaning for high school students.
Proms worked their way down incrementally from college gatherings to high school extravaganzas. In the early 1900s, prom was a simple tea dance where high school seniors wore their Sunday best. In the 1920s and 1930s, prom expanded into an annual class banquet where students wore party clothes and danced afterward. As Americans gained more money and leisure time in the 1950s, proms became more extravagant and elaborate, bearing similarity to today’s proms. The high school gym may have been an acceptable setting for sophomore dances (soph hop), but junior prom and senior balls gradually moved to hotel ballrooms and country clubs. Competition blossomed, as teens strove to have the best dress, the best mode of transportation, and the best looking date. Competition for the prom court also intensified, as the designation of “prom queen” became an important distinction of popularity. In a way, prom became the pinnacle event of a high school student’s life, the ultimate dress rehearsal for a wedding.
Today, prom continues to be a notable event in the social climate of high schools. Popular movies and novels attest to the importance of prom themes, prom dates, and prom queens. In some areas, the traditions of prom are not as rigid as they used to be, with some areas allowing individuals or groups to attend instead of couples. These days limousine becomes compulsory for the prom event (Source: Wikipedia).
Of course a big deal for prom is the clothes, I think more for the ladies then the men. I mean the men during the 40s and 50s did not have much to choose from, Suit or Tuxedo. BUT for the ladies ohhhh the possibilities were endless!
The Queens of Vintage Website gives a wonderful breakdown of the style of dresses that were popular during the 1930’s thru to the 1950s.
Proms were starting to gain popularity with the middle classes, who adopted them as their version of the wealthy colleges’ debutante balls. Sleek, floor-length, demure dresses in light colours echoed the debutante style.
I love the wonderful sheer overlay of the below gowns. AND did you notice the dance card the one girl is holding in the image? Fantastic!
As the prom started featuring more in the High School yearbook, the debutante-influenced full skirt was still popular but more feminine. Structured lines were evolving around the upper body to emphasise the hourglass figure that so epitomized the decade’s style.
The first dress is my favorite as it appears to be velvet on the top and I just love the beautiful (very large) corsage she is sporting. Farewell Seniors!
Bring on the taffeta: this is the decade that gave us the quintessential prom dress. Tiny waists and skirts so full they could stand-up on their own.
The Seersucker dress on the right looks similar in style (on the bottom) to a 1940s dress I recently purchased.
Now of course no prom can be without the King and Queen of Prom and their Court.
What an interesting crown the Queen is wearing.
Long Live the Queen!
I want every single dress in this image…everyone. Wrap it up please vintage dress gods.
And now here are some more wonderful real life photos of young ladies and men enjoying their prom.
Lovely young woman getting a picture taken before her prom in the early 1950s. Her bouquet is simply stunning.
What a cute couple.
Adorable couples alert! Especially the two on the right.
1959 Prom. I think the girl to the left is from the prom court (too small of a crown for queen).
Sayonara is right, Prom does signify the end of high-school for every single person who attends.
AND…Here is a super fun video from the 1940s about the “Do’s and Don’ts at Prom”. ENJOY!
Dear Readers: Did you attend your prom? Or attend a vintage/retro prom like I’m going to? How was it if you did go?
This Sunday it’s Mother’s Day, so Happy Mothers Day to my mom and to everyone else who celebrates as well!!
Today’s post features vintage ads that were created to promote this special day, or should I say help promote their products. Either way, there is some great advertising out there that I just had to share with all of you. Lets Begin!
1928 – Say it with Flowers. I love the use of the red as the only colour in the ad.
1947 Whitman’s Sampler Chocolate Ad.
Another great 1951 Whitman’s Chocolates ad.
Nothing says Mother’s Day like buying your mom..underwear? A 1941 Kickernick Advertisement.
One more, “Buy her Lingerie” for Mother’s Day ad (1948).
1947 Jewelite by Prophylactic, Brushes and Combs (so pretty I want these for myself).
Send a Western Union Telegram to your mom, don’t forget (1947 Ad).
Ohhhh scented Telegrams, how fun!
Pyrex is a great gift for the bride or for your mother (1941).
A beautiful Speidel Ming Tai Watch Bracelet (1950).
Nothing says I love you mom, like giving her a Hotpot Coffee Maker (1935) oh and an Iron….
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day to everyone that celebrates! I hope you don’t get an iron!
Further Reading- Here are some past Vintage Image posts:
Today’s post is going to showcase Vintage Travel Posters of Ontario in the 1920’s-1960’s. Ontario is where my home of Toronto is located (and TO is the capital of Ontario) and it also is home to my childhood home of Sarnia. So Ontario is very special to me and since it’s Canada’s 150th birthday I want to show-off the vintage side of my beloved province.
In 1924 a Tourist and Publicity Bureau was set up to promote Ontario’s attractions, especially those associated with nature and the outdoors.
To encourage tourism, the Bureau published an annual guide to “point out some of the advantages of the Province of Ontario as a tourist centre in summer and winter”(Source).
1926 Ontario Travel Guide- “The Lake-Land Playground“.
Archives of Ontario State:
By the 1930s, three out of every four Americans visiting Canada chose Ontario for their vacation. The government’s tourism marketing strategy through the forties and fifties was to target Americans who wanted an outdoor vacation. This advertising was directed at families who desired to holiday on one of the many lakes, as well as at individuals who wanted to hunt and fish in Ontario’s forests and streams.
Publications and photographs promoting Ontario as “the Lakeland Playground of America” were forwarded to travel editors and inserted in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States (Source).
Inside of above brochure
And that friends was your virtual visit to Ontario. Hope you enjoyed your trip!
On an end note, there will be no blog post next week as I will be in London, UK and Paris, France celebrating my husband and I’s 5th wedding anniversary and my Big 4-0 birthday. If you want to see my adventures while I’m there please follow me on Instagram.