This past weekend I attended a vintage event in Toronto at the gorgeous and historic, Todmorden Mills. On site they have an adorable 1940s cottage with the most amazing original flooring from the 40s in their kitchen. The flooring was linoleum and just look at the pattern….wow! So wow that when I posted it on Instagram the ‘Vintage Gal‘ commented that it would be a fantastic pattern for an outfit and I00% have to agree with her!
I will be honest I did not truly realize how colourful and fantastic 1940s flooring was (I think I was distracted by all the other items to look at in images), and this discovery intrigued me to see what other designs were out there. So Friends….
Why Linoleum? Well very simply it was known for being clatterproof, easy to clean, and resistant to stain. So ideal for a room in the house like the kitchen.
Example of Designs:
1939 Geometric linoleum patterns.
1941 featured abstract shapes with stars in muted colours. On side note, why does the kitchen look like it should be outside?
1945-Green’s in every shade!
Can’t make up your mind on which floor style to go with? Why not go with 2 of them?
When you have pink polka dots as a design element, then your linoleum floor 100% needs to be less flashy.
In 1945 the below colour scheme of Burgundy, Grey and Gold was considered a big departure from the old ways of doing things.
This kitchen in 1949 with this fun floor could have been yours for only $50 (a lot of money back then).
The Linoleum floor in this kitchen is my absolute favorite. It really is darling, don’t you agree? This kitchen reminds me of the movie Dumbo and the pink elephants for some reason.
Which style to choose?
Linoleum was not regulated to only the kitchen. It was also found in other places in the home, like the bedroom.
And the washroom as seen in the most adorable space ever! I love the “designated” areas for each of the family’s items.
Green was a very popular colour during the 40s (1941 Washroom).
Phew, that was a lot of colour, patterns and green going on in these rooms (why so much green?). Did you have a favorite style of linoleum from this post or from your vintage travels?
Lastly if you have not checked the website ‘Retro Renovation’ you really should. There are tons of great ideas on how to return your home into a mid-century masterpiece. Especially the piece on 1940s decor which was a great help for this post today.
In my vintage collection I have 2 ‘Romance Comics’ entitled ‘Love Romances and ‘My own Romance’.
I recently dug them out and started to read them on a lazy Sunday afternoon and really was pulled into the stories of love, romance, choices and the hard push about the women’s place in society. So today’s post is going to be of insight into the genre and a peak into my magazines (which by the way have some fantastic fashions).
History of the Romance Comic (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Romance Comic is a comics genre depicting strong and close romantic love and its attendant complications such as jealousy, marriage, divorce, betrayal, and heartache. The term is generally associated with an American comic books genre published through the first three decades of the Cold War (|1947–1977). Romance comics of the period typically featured dramatic scripts about the love lives of older high school teens and young adults, with accompanying artwork depicting an urban or rural America contemporaneous with publication.
The origins of romance comics lie in the years immediately following World War II when adult comics readership increased and superheroes were dismissed as passé. Influenced by the pulps, radio soap operas, newspaper comic strips such as Mary Worth, and adult confession magazines, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the flagship romance comic book Young Romance and launched it in 1947 to resounding success. By the early 1950s, dozens of romance titles from major comics publishers were on the newsstands and drug store racks. Young Romance, Young Love and their imitators differed from the earlier teen humor comics in that they aspired to realism, using first-person narration to create the illusion of verisimilitude, a changing cast of characters in self-contained stories, and heroines in their late teens or early twenties who were closer to the target audience in age than teen humor characters.
With the implementation of the Comics Code in 1954, romance comics publishers self-censored any material that might be interpreted as controversial and opted to play it safe with stories focusing on traditional patriarchal concepts of female behavior, gender roles, love, sex, and marriage. The genre fell into decline and disrepute during the sexual revolution, and the genre’s Golden Age came to an end when Young Romance and its companion Simon and Kirby title Young Love ceased publication in 1975 and 1977, respectively (Source).
Are you ready for some romance, friends?
“The World was at my feet! I had everything a girl could want…a boy who loved me, wonderful parents…and I won first prize at a beauty contest! How was I to know that everything wasn’t quite peaches and cream when you’re a…BEAUTIFUL LADY”
Right off the bat..I started to laugh because this opening statement seemed ridiculous to me in 2016 BUT then I got to thinking that maybe it was not as ridiculous as I originally thought. In the world of Selfies, internet fame, reality shows many people are relaying on their looks to move them forward in life, just like our very concerned heroine in today’s story.
But then as we move thru the story we are back to the 1950s as her mother tells her she had the same options in front of her as a young girl (the theater or her man) and gave it up to be a wife and mother because there was really no other choice. “Why would she want to lose her man for the theater?”
“And that’s how another beautiful lady became…a Happy Housewife!”
Right next to our “Happy” ending was this ad. As a marketer I seriously cannot stop laughing that they named the lady giving her testimony “Miss B.S.” LOL!!! ohhhh they are literally telling you it’s BS right in the second heading.
Moving on lets look at the story of this pretty blonde in “A Reason To Marry”.
Long story short, our pretty blonde struggles with the idea of marriage, kids and housework. After talking to a friend who just got married, quit her job and has tons of regrets about those choices, the blonde breaks it off with her man.
Then her friend takes back what she originally said about her regrets which causes our young lady to become all confused. She chats with her mom and realizes she cannot lose “The most precious thing a girl could have…the love of the right man”. Well that was easy.
But what happens when…”The Honeymoon Ends?”
Or “When a Girl is Lonely”?
And the worst of them all “But he won’t marry me!”
Blame it on….
All the stories end up pretty much the same. The girl realizes that no matter what she needs to be with a man. It could be the man at the beginning of the story or her boss who always had the hots for her (that was one of the stories). But whatever the story, it is Happy Endings for all! Oh that Young Romance 🙂
To close off the post I want to share a couple of other ads that tickled my fancy.
20 dresses for $3.95!! WHAT?! do you think that mail order is still in service? And please don’t forget that the road to popularity starts with a guitar (many of my guitar playing friends would agree).
Time to get on the newest shoe craze that will make you rich quick….adding your school letters to your shoes (not sure if this ever caught on).
Well I don’t know about you but I enjoyed learning all about this genre and I might need to pick up some more comics for my collection.
But for right now….I’m off to find out what happened to Pamela.
This is a different and fun post for me and I’m just squeezing in on the last possible day for May’s deadline.
Big Chill (retro & professional kitchen appliances) approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing a post on how I would decorate my dream kitchen using one of their amazing retro designed appliances. They mentioned that the colour for May is Turquoise, and since I don’t have a great kitchen in my teeny tiny apartment this was a fun little project to tackle.
My appliance to start off with is their stove, as seen below. HOW CUTE!!
And now here is how ‘The Vintage Inn blog’ would style my kitchen around this item. I went with a Turquoise, Tangerine, Chrome and Off-White theme.
What do you think? Totally cute right? And soooo me. The stove is just fantastic and I know that my not so vintage loving husband would approve of having one major piece in the kitchen being this colour. However…he is not aware that I would probably throw in the fridge as well (seen below). Surprise! 🙂
I had a totally different blog post planned for this week and then this appeared on Google….
Frankie Manning the founding father of Lindy Hop would have celebrated his 102nd birthday today (he lived to be 94) and after years of emailing Google they finally made all Lindy Hoppers over the world happy…Frankie Gets/Got to be Google Doodlefied (not even sure that is a word lol). Isn’t it awesome??!!
Now you may think..”who cares, it’s just a Google Doodle”. Well one of Frankie’s Missions was to spread the love of Lindy Hop around the world and he worked very hard in the later years of his life to do this. Today marks the day that Frankie’s dream became a reality in the digital world, Frankie’s dream just went viral 🙂
Another reason this is such a milestone is because of events like the one I’m part of this weekend. Toronto Lindy Hop is running a big swing weekend with 2 big bands and lots of fun activities called ‘Toronto Celebrates World Lindy Hop Day‘ and none of this would be possible if it were not for this man and the other Savoy/Whitey Lindy Hoppers that just went out on that Savoy Ballroom floor and danced the danced they loved…the Lindy Hop.
Check them out in action in the video below (featuring Frankie Manning).
Here are I am years ago at my first swing event, with the man himself..Frankie.
Happy Birthday Frankie, I sure do hope your Swingin’out somewhere in the great beyond on your special day!
There is a women’s lifestyle magazine in Canada that I really enjoy reading called ‘Chatelaine‘, which has been in publication since 1928, yes you heard that right…1928. That is a fantastic achievement and I applaud their savy business sense to remain so popular over all these years.
Today’s post I wanted to show off some of the fantastic vintage covers that they have had since the late 1920s up to early 1950s and give you a brief overview of the history of the magazine.
Chatelaine was first published in March 1928. It was created by the Maclean Hunter Publishing Company as a means to reach a different demographic than its other publications, Maclean’s and the Financial Post.
It’s title refers to the ring of keys which housewives long ago would use to get into every part of the house. The winning name was chosen from 75,000 entries and the winner ( A rancher’s wife from Eburne, British Columbia) won, $1000 cdn.
Chatelaine’s original price was ten cents per copy, and this price did not change until 1950, when it increased to fifteen cents (source).
The magazine never shied away from controversy and important subjects for women. Topics like:
An article in December 1929 entitled “Now That Women Are Persons, What’s Ahead?”, that was based on the Persons Case—a famous Canadian constitutional case that decided that women were eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate.
In its first years, the magazine served as a sounding board for women at the end of the first wave of feminism. In 1928 and 1929, article topics included panic over the rising divorce rate, “Wages and Wives” (April 1929), and the high maternal mortality rate in rural Canada (July 1928).
However during the 1930s, the magazine became less political. Popular parts of the magazine included monthly budget meal plans and romantic fiction.
WW2, the mag participated in the media and propaganda frenzy by publishing cover images of young women in uniform, working on farms, and contributing to the war effort.
In the 60s early 1970s there were articles about the pill, sex and women’s rights (source).
In the past, the magazine has named a Woman of the Year, honouring a Canadian woman for her achievements in the previous year. Honorees have included Prime Minister Kim Campbell.
The Covers (some of my favorites)
August 1932. Can I have all the outfits in this image?
August 1938-“What did your husband give up for marriage?” This is the less political time in the magazines career.
February 1940-Nice Hat!
June 1941-Travel Canada…
February 1941. Make Do and Mend?
September 1942-Do your part for the war effort.
January 1948-It would not be a Canadian magazine if you did not have a skiing cover (this is one of many covers with this theme).
I wanted to share with you this week one of my favorite (and I mean favorite) female Rockabilly singers, that you may or may not of heard of – Janis Martin-the Female Elvis.
Janice was one of the few women working in the male-dominated rock and roll music field during the 1950s and one of country music’s early female innovators.
The Early Days:
Born March 27th, 1940 in Sutherlin, Virginia into a musical family (her father and uncle were both musicians and her mother a stage mother), Janis quickly became a hard-working performer. Even at the tender age of 4 she was playing the guitar by standing it up like a fiddle as she was too small to hold it on her lap and by age six, had mastered the basic chords and began singing. Although she was small her voice was loud and strong.
At age 8, she entered her first talent contest and placed second. For the next two years, she entered eleven contests over a three-state area, winning first place in each one, and winning over 200 or more contestants in a statewide talent show that took four days of elimination (Source).
At age 11, she began her career as a member of the WDVA Barndance in Danville, Virginia. The show was on every Saturday night and was broadcast from an actual barn and after the show was done all the chairs would be pushed back and actual dance would take place. Hence how it got its name “WDVA Barndance”.
Janice continued to focus on Country music in her early days, moving from MDVA onto the road with Glen Thompson (mentioned in the image above) and then eventually being invited to be a regular member at the 3rd largest Barndance in the nation – the Old Dominion Barndance in Richmond, Virginia, ranking only behind the Grand Old Opry and the Wheeling, West Virginia Barndance (source).
Eventually though by her mid-teens Janice was growing tired of the slow ballads of country music and wanted to get into Rock n Roll. She was about to get lucky….
Janis becomes a recording artist at the age of 15
Two staff announcers at WRVA (the station that carried the Barndance over the CBS network) were successful songwriters and wrote the song “Will You, Willyum”. They asked Janis to sing it on the Barndance for audience reaction, where they would cut a demo tape to send to their publisher in New York. When the demo tape arrived at Tannen Music in New York, the publisher not only accepted the song but sent the song to Steve Sholes, producer at RCA Victor and asked whether Sholes had an artist to record “Will You Willyum”. Apparently Sholes replied, “Well, who’s the girl doin’ the demo?”
At age 15, Martin signed with RCA Victor in March 1956, just two months after Elvis Presley joined the label. She recorded “Will You Willyum” on March 8, 1956, backed by her own composition, “Drugstore Rock ‘n Roll“.
The song became the biggest hit of her career, selling 750,000 records and hitting the country and pop charts. Soon Martin was performing on American Bandstand, The Today Show and Tonight Starring Steve Allen. She also appeared on Jubilee USA, and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, becoming one of the younger performers to ever appear. In 1957 Billboard named her Most Promising Female Vocalist of that year (source).
Elvis Presley and RCA were so impressed with her stage presence, they dubbed her the Female Elvis. A nickname that would come to haunt her.
Ironically, “The Female Elvis” only had two brief encounters with her male counterpart. “I said hello to him backstage at a show in Danville, Va., once,” she recalls, “and later I ran into him in New York at RCA’s studio. He said, ‘How’s it goin’?’ I said, ‘Fine, how about you?’ He said, ‘It’s rough!’ That’s about all the words we ever exchanged. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that impressed with Elvis at first. I’ve always liked Carl Perkins better.”
In fact, Martin says, she was never all that keen on being cast in Presley’s mold. “I think ‘The Female Elvis’ bit was a hindrance–the audience expected a lot of hip gyrations like he did, and I got kind of tired of being called vulgar. It put a lot of pressure on me (source).”
Janis was chosen by RCA to tour as a member of the Jim Reeves show and continued recording rock and roll and country material that ended up being successful on both charts, including “My Boy Elvis“, “Let’s Elope Baby“, her cover of Roy Orbison’s song “Ooby Dooby”, and “Love Me to Pieces” (source).
In 1957 after a USO tour in Europe it was reveled that Janis Martin at the age of 15 (2 years earlier) had secretly married a young US paratrooper who was stationed in Germany. They kept their marriage secret (only their parents knew) until the USO tour where she met up with her husband and ended up conceiving. RCA discovered the pregnancy and dropped their “Teenage Star” from the label in 1958.
Fall from Stardom and a Career Resurgence
For all of her early success, Martin was never able to sustain a rock & roll career, her gender and changing times hindered her success. Her stage moves and lusty delivery appeared unseemly appeared vulgar to a lot of people. Additionally, the country shows on which she was booked usually put her on bills and in front of audiences that weren’t overly enamored of rock & roll to begin with, and Martin found herself caught between conflicting currents. Her record company and management wanted her to keep pushing rockabilly in her stage act, while promoters doing the bookings preferred that she do straight country.
By 1960 she was now on her 2nd marriage to a man who did not approve of her being in the music business, so she faded out of sight until 1970. After divorcing her husband she formed the band ‘The Variation’ and began performing again in the Southern Virginia area where she has always resided.
Then, in 1979, European tour offers started coming in, after Bear Family Records had reissued her complete 1956-60 recordings on two LP’s. Martin then would go onto perform in Europe and at major rockabilly shows across the United States for some time after that.
At first Martin could hardly believe it and it took her a few years to gather her nerve and return to the road. But in 1982, on her 42nd birthday, she played her first date in England and was stunned. “I wasn’t prepared for what I found there! I looked down and saw kids with crew cuts and leather jackets and the big ‘poodle’ skirts. It was really weird. Like stepping back twenty-five years in my own life!” After that, she became a regular visitor to Europe (source).
Sadly Janis died of cancer in 2007, leaving a powerful legacy of recordings and fans worldwide (source).
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Janis is absolutely one of my all time favorite female singers. Her music is always in my mix of music, I tell anybody who would listen about her (it’s true!) and after I saw Rosie Flores (who actually did a duet with Janis in 1997) and Marti Brom perform her music at VIVA I have been incredibly hooked. If I had any sort of musical ability, Janis would be my inspiration.
I will now leave you with one of the performances from VIVA 16 that Rosie and Marti performed. Enjoy!
Mother’s day is almost here again and 2 years ago I did a blog post showcasing some great vintage images of mothers that I found. I decided to do a part 2 for this year, so please enjoy and Happy Mothers Day to all the mom’s out there (including mine)!
I love when I see images in colour, especially when you have images like the one below where the little girl is all in red. She really stands out in a sea of blah colours. Don’t you agree?
Picnic in the Woods with mom.
Cute family alert! Don’t you just want to hug that little girl? I don’t know how her mom is keeping a straight face for the picture (Maybe it was take 500 and she just wanted it done).
House Hunting in Roswell-Spring 1953
Beach day! In 1920s Beach Style.
The Best Dressed family award goes too…..THIS FAMILY (and a shout out to that great wallpaper in the background)!
What an adorable young mother, circa 1948.
Reading time is very important for young children. I wonder what the book was?
This image caught my eye because of the poor child that looks like it was forced into getting her photo taken with her mother. Mom looks so pretty, her child while also pretty does look like she is about to fall off the banister (gosh I hope she did not).
Last but not least, I left the best image of all till last (at least I think so). 1940s Glamour and style from mother and daughter. Look at the little girls hat and the beautiful dress on her mother…Fantastic! I love everything about this photo.
Today is my husband and I’s 4 year wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary to the most wonderful man on earth, who I know reads my blog when I remind him (Right Now as he reads this I can hear him say “I read it without you telling me too”. Okay dear.. lol!). 4 years has gone by so fast and it feels like just yesterday we were walking down the aisle towards each other to begin our life together. Jay is the love of my life and I’m very lucky to have him in my life.
Okay Okay…enough with the romance 🙂 Time for my blog post.
Keeping with the Wedding theme for today’s post, I wanted to share some Ads from the 1940s & 50’s that would have been directed right at the future bride. Keeping in mind that we are talking about a different time here, so the ads will feature mostly domestic items and outdated advertising.
First up to ensure you even get married, you need to wash with ‘Woodbury Soap’, like our Toronto bride has done in the ad below.
Or maybe Camay is more your kind of soap.
This pre-WWII ad invites young brides or brides-to-be to consider their sheet selection carefully before guests critique their home (organdie gown by Milgrim).
It’s the Queen’s 90th Birthday today and to commemorate this special day I am doing a roundup of 5 fabulous posts I have found over the years on the “Early Days” of the Queen’s life (aka The vintage years). Happy Birthday to the Queen!