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.
She had rhythm, she had style and she was the leader of the first all-female swing band to be recorded and filmed during the 1930’s. World meet Ina Ray Huttonand Her Melodears!
First up a little bit of information on Ina’s early years:
Hutton was actually born Odessa Cowan in 1916
She grew up with her half-sister June (also a successful singer) in a black neighbourhood on Chicago’s south side.
When Hutton was a child, United States Census records called her and her family “negro,” and “mulatto,” when the Bureau used that term.She would “pass” as white for the rest of her career
Her mother, Marvel Ray was a local pianist and entertainer in Chicago
Iva would go on to study dance with Hazel Thompson-Davis and received a rave revue in the Chicago Defender when she was only 7
In 1930, at age 14, she made her Broadway debut with Gus Edwards at the Palace Theater in New York. As Ina Ray, at age 16, she was a featured singer and dancer in George White’s “Melody;” at 17, she joined the Ziegfeld Follies (Source).
In 1934 at the age of 18 she was approached by Irving Mills to lead an all-girl orchestra called the Melodears. At the same time she was also encouraged to change her last name to Hutton, to take advantage of the notorious reputation of the Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton (Source).
THE BAND IS A HIT! and would go on to tour solidly for five years and became one of the first all-girl bands to be filmed for Paramount shorts. Those shorts were:
The band and Ina’s style never made them wallflowers. The Melodears’ outfits ranged from boyish trousers to long, ultra-feminine, sequined outfits. Downbeat magazine reported that Hutton’s stage wardrobe included 400 gowns (Impressive!).
The end of the Melodears but not the end of Hutton’s career
1939 saw Ina disband the Melodears, due to being tired of being seen as a ‘Novelty Act’ and also being tired of “all the glamour”. She formed an all-male band in 1940 and dyed her hair brunette to really emphasis the “done with glamour” part (that will do it! Ha Ha). This new band would perform together till 1949 and would even appear in the 1944 movie ‘Ever Since Venus‘.
The ‘Ina Ray Hutton TV Show’
From 1951 to 1956, Ina had her own TV show that saw the return of her All-Girl Orchestra (yay!) and the return to being blonde as well.
Here is Ina on her show with her singer sister (who had a good career herself), June Hutton (Link to video).
Hutton’s last recorded performance came in the 1975 film ‘Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?’.
Throughout her career Ina did not cut very many records, but she did have a lot of radio play, which has allowed future generations to be able to enjoy her talent. Below is a sampling of her songs and a link to where you can buy her collection of music.
What’s the Good of Moonlight
Georgia’s Gorgeous Gal
How’s About Tomorrow Night
Tess’ Torch Song
PLUS MANY MANY MORE! Buy/listen to her collection HERE
Her Personal Life
She married and divorced Lou Parisotto, Randy Brooks and Michael Anter (seen below in their 1958 wedding photo).
Her fourth husband, Jack Curtis, preceded her in death. Ina died in 1984 at the age of 67 from complications from diabetes.
While Ina’s story may not be as well-known to the world (I’m helping to fix that!), you cannot deny that she paved the way for a wave of female bands who took off in the 40s, as well as being a pioneer in fashion and television. She was a true talent and an amazing light in the world of music and was truly “The Blonde Bombshell of Rhythm”.
Lastly, there is a very popular family band in Sweden called the Carling Family band. The lead singer (Gunhild Carling) very much reminds me of Ina. In fact I would not be surprised if she is one of her influences.
Here is the Carling Family band at Frankie 100 with a performance they did in Central Park (I was there for this and it was AMAZING!!! Don’t miss a single moment). (Link to Video)
What did you think of Ina friends? Wasn’t she just remarkable? I will be adding her to my collection of swing music greats, that is for sure.
Easter is this weekend (mmmm chocolate) so for today’s post I wanted to do a roundup of all things that fall under the category, “Vintage Easter”. This will include photos,ads, kitschy vintage Easter items for sale and anything else I can find. Of course it’s all from the 1920’s to the 1960’s because as you know, I just love those time periods.
Let the Easter Fun Begin!
What used to be an annual tradition in Toronto was the Easter Parade. Here is an image from 1924 of stylish Torontonians walking past the Sunnyside Pavilion. Even all bundled up the women still look incredibly elegant.
Easter chocolates and candy are not just for little kids (1950’s).
It’s important at any age to don your best dress for the Easter festivities. Aren’t these 2 girls just adorable?
Bunnies as presents (only a good idea if approved first), circa 1930’s.
You know you have been a good girl when you get to pick something up for Easter BEFORE Easter (1950’s). On a side note, I believe I own a similar purse that the lady looking at the camera is holding.
A big part of Easter is all the wonderful foods that are served when the family gets together. Good thing it was a popular to post ads with recipes to help boost sales of products. Here are a couple of cake recipes to help make your Easter a bit more vintage.
How about Kitschy items for your table? Like this 1950’s Swedish Table Runner.
A 1930’s Bobble Head Bunny planter makes perfect sense when wanting to add a touch of fun to the decor.
Every egg needs a place to rest before being gobbled up.
The Look: Gentlemen do you need a tie for your weekend activities? Then look no further than Wembley Ties (1954).
Need other tie options? How about Easy Tint Ties (1947)?
The men are all set, now ladies what will you wear? Maybe one of the pretty dresses pictured below?
Matchy Matchy so you don’t lose each other in the Easter parade (I would assume).
For those who like to adorn their outfits with kitschy brooches, then this vintage style carrot is perfect.
If you are wearing a carrot brooch then you really do need earrings to match. Like these super adorable 1940’s/50’s flocked bunny earrings pictured below.
Don’t forget the Easter Bonnets! 1928 Ad.
Chocolates and a hat..Oh My!
Cards are always a big part of this time of year, as American Greetings reminds us in 1949.
I tend to like to give out funny cards to family and friends and I know my hubby does too. Here is one from the 1950’s I just know I would end up with from the mister.
A few months ago, my mother sent an article over to me via email and said “I think you might like this for you blog”. I opened it up and it was a small article on a Canadian woman named Ruth Lowe (who I had never heard of). It was a very interesting read about her life, her famous song “I’ll Never Smile Again”. and how she played a BIG part in Frank Sinatra’s success. Indeed a perfect post to share with my readers and today friends…..is that day.
Meet the beautiful Ruth Lowe.
And now please take a moment to acquaint yourself with her song “I’ll never smile again” (Link to video).
Ruth’s Earlier Years:
Born in Toronto, August 12th, 1914 to US-Canadian parents.
They moved to California when she was very young and she lived there during her early teens.
The family returned to Toronto with only the piano after her fathers grocery business went sour during the depression. The same piano that Ruth and her sister Mickey had learned to play on.
After her father died, Ruth quit school at 16 and found a job in the ‘Song Shop’ where she demonstrated sheet music on the piano. This trade was called “Song Plugging” and if customers liked what Ruth played (plugged) they would take it home to learn.
During her evenings, Ruth played in a very intricate two piano act with her friend Sair Lee at various nightclubs.
One day while at the store, Lowe heard that the famous all-femaleIna Rae Hutton Orchestra (The Melodears) needed a piano replacement for their 1935 appearance in Toronto. She got the job and so impressed Hutton that she ended up touring the United States with the orchestra for a few years after (Source).
Here is a clip from 1936 “Doin’ the Suzie Q”, that I believe should feature Ruth on the piano. Can we also take a moment to be in awe of Ina’s outfit…wow! (Video Link)
How the song “I’ll Never Smile Again” came to be:
While traveling with the Melodears in 1938 in Chicago, Ruth met Harold Cohen a music publicist and fell madly in love. They were married and lived happily until a year later Harold died tragically during surgery*. Ruth returned home to Toronto devastated and during this grief she penned “I’ll Never Smile Again”.
Lowe told the Toronto Daily Star in 1940 that the ballad “seemed to fill my head and guide my fingers as I picked it out on the piano (Source)”.
Here are the sad words Ruth Lowe wrote:
I’ll never smile again until I smile at you I’ll never laugh again what good would it do For tears would fill my eyes My heart would realize that our romance is through I’ll never love again I’m so in love with you I’ll never thrill again To somebody new within my heart I know I will never start to smile again Until I smile at you Within my heart I know I will never start to smile again Until I smile at you.
Song Success and Frank Sinatra:
Life went on and Ruth found herself working as an accompanist at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), where she passed on the sheet music to the song to Toronto composer-conductor Percy Faith. Percy would later record the song for his CBC radio program ‘Music By Faith’. The Song made it’s official Debut!
It was not till a few months later though when the famous Big Band leader Tommy Dorsey was performing at the 1939 Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) that Lowe (who wanted to take her song to the next level) took matters into her own hands. Lowe waited — acetate recording in hand — by the musicians’ tent for her friend, a guitarist with the band, who arranged a meeting with the New York bandleader at the Royal York Hotel (Source).
One year later Dorsey who liked the song and thought it had some merit, decided to test out on a ‘Coming-Out’ number for Frank Sinatra, who had joined the orchestra as their new vocalist.
The recording, of “I’ll Never Smile Again,” was released on May 23rd, 1940 (as heard in the version I posted above).
The Song was a SUCCESS! It was No. 1 track on the very first Billboard sales chart in 1940 (seen below) and it propelled Sinatra into Super Stardom that would carry on for decades.
Lowe told her son (Tom Sandler) that the timing — it was the beginning of the Second World War — was key to her success. “It was a song that spoke to everyone in the country,” he says. “Their loves were going to war and most of them weren’t coming back” (Source).
After this success, Ruth was approached by Sinatra in 1942 to write a closing song for his radio program. The song she wrote was “Put Your Dreams Away”, which would go on to become Frank’s Signature Song (Video Link).
Ruth married Nat Sandler and happily settled into married life and kids in Toronto. She continued to write songs and play the piano, but her day’s of traveling with orchestras and pushing for her music to be produced were behind her.
In 1955 one of the most popular television shows at the time, “This is Your Life,” devoted a full segment to Ruth Lowe. She was loved that much by the public.
Ruth passed away on January 4th, 1981 at the age of 66. In 1982 her 1940’s “I’ll Never Smile Again” received an honorary Grammy and in 2003 she was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
In the end Ruth’s greatest tragedy ended up bringing her career success and a place in history. The only thing left is for Ruth to have greater distinction in the Canadian music world. Her son Tom is pushing for her to receive a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame and to also be acknowledged by the Junos (The Canadian Grammy’s). I could not agree more and I do hope it happens sooner then later.
Thank you for the music Ruth.
*Other sources have said that Ruth’s husband died after 2 years of marriage.
Several Posts ago, I started a series entitled ‘A Peak Into My Vintage Collection‘ where I showcased some of the items I currently collect. This week, I wanted to show off my photo album of ‘Adopted Vintage Photos’. Photos that I have found in various places (mostly from my beloved Gadabout Vintage) and have loved so much that I could not leave them behind to be lost forever.
Several of these photos you might have seen if you have been following my blog for sometime and many of them will be new to my new followers (Hi new readers!). Whatever the circumstance that finds you here, I hope you enjoy this post.
The first 2 images are my newest purchases to the “Family”.
I adore all the small details in photos, like in this image the champagne coupes on the table (New Years Eve Party maybe?) and how the lovely woman in the photo is the only one who notices the picture being taken.
Photos like the one below, are really wonderful tools to answers questions that pop up in the vintage clothing world. One in particular I see/hear frequently is, “Did women in the 40’s actually wear flowers in their hair”? And the answer is “Yes”, as seen in the evidence below AND above.
If you ever get a chance to visit Gadabout Vintage in Toronto, you will notice that the pictures are in drawers, upon drawers so finding a ‘full collection’ is not always an easy task. So it’s also a fantastic surprise when my individual photo purchases, come together as a collection when I arrive home. The 3 groups of images below are examples of this.
The next image came in a souvenir frames and it’s from Toronto’s 1st Luxury Hotel, The King Edward (which is still in business today).
The lovely couples on date night at ‘The King Eddy’.
Friends, here are more photos (but not all) of my ever growing collection from the 1930’s-50’s.
Hope you enjoyed my collection!
Check out past ‘My Vintage Collection Posts’ below:
I wanted to share with you my latest vintage find, which just happens to be perfect for anyone hosting a 1950’s, 1960’s and even a 70’s party.
‘Dig that Dish’ by Ruth Chier Rosen is a book on ‘Teen-Age Party Menus & Recipes For All Occasions‘ (See perfect for your next themed party!). The version I have is copyrighted 1960 but it was gifted to a Mrs Sapoco at Christmas time in 1978 (was Mrs Sapoco a Teenage bride?).
While doing research on this book I found out that Ruth is a very popular cookbook writer and has written around 40 books over her career (Her first book was published in 1950 and the last in 1971). She even has a website called ‘Food of the Fifites‘ where you can learn about all that she has done, read about her life on her blog and even purchase many of her books.
Speaking of books, here are some of her cleverly named ones.
104 confidence-building recipes for the budding home chef, both brides and grooms – Published 1956.
From Nets to You: A Log of Fish Recipes – Published 1953.
90 tested and true recipes for turning your freezer into an anytime restaurant with all the trimmings – Published 1960.
Cyrano de Casserole: A Nosegay of Casserole Recipes– Published 1955.
110 inventive salad and dressing recipes to tickle your palette and cinch your waistline – Published 1953
132 re-purposing recipes that help you create new meals from yesterday’s left-overs – Published 1962.
And my personal favorite…
Pop, Monsieur: Cooking with Champagne– Published 1956 (I really need to find this one for my collection).
Now lets head back to my book…..
A successful party takes ideas, organization, and your shoulder to the wheel.
When it is successful there is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you put it across. The easiest way to do it is to set a theme, decide on the kind of food your crowd likes and provide enough space and opportunity for activity to keep the party moving.
The following party ideas can be used in combination with your own ideas and we hope they will spark some new ideas of your own. The food is all easy to prepare and you can do it yourself as part of the fun of having a party.
Here is a sampling of what you will find inside…..
April Fool’s Gathering
A Progressive Party
Hobo Hay Ride
Summer Theatre Party
4th of July Barbecue
Halloween Square Dance
Post Football Game Supper
Sweet 16 Party
Ice Skating Party
New Years Eve Party
Each theme is broken down with party ideas, overview of recipes and then detailed instructions on how to make each of them. Here are a couple of examples.
Easiest recipe in the whole book.
Pretty cool right?!
Before I end there was one other goodie in the box. A letter written in July 19th, 1977 from ‘Mommie’ to ‘Lenny (?) & Precy’ from Brilon in Germany. It seems that the mother is traveling visiting friends (I think) and is gone long enough that someone is sending her money and she is buying gifts to send home.
I love when I find items like this in my vintage finds, it just brings another time to life.
Question Time: Have you heard of Ruth or her cookbooks? Maybe you own one or a few. If so please share with everyone what you have in your collection.
P.S. For a more detailed breakdown on how to host the ultimate 50’s party, please visit my post HERE.