Spring has sprung here in Toronto and I know in many other places all over the world (thank goodness!). Hearing the word spring made me think of the themed dance ‘The Spring Fling’ and then I wanted to find all the photos related to this dance to share with all of you.
Well friends..I was out of luck, there really are no photos entitled “Spring Fling”. This really surprised me because I thought that this type of dance was popular in day’s gone by? Yes? No? If any of my readers have the answer please let me know in the comment section. So that said, for today’s Vintage Photo Tuesday we are going to just focus on images from the 1930’s-1950’s showcasing ‘The Social Dance’.
You cannot have a proper dance without the “King & Queen”, so I introduce to our lovely 50’s couple who will oversee all the dances being shown today. They are joined by the “Duke”, the “Prince” and the “Princesses”.
Oct 27th,1945 the Woody Herman Orchestra performs for eager dancers at Maple Leaf Gardens (Toronto). Dancers on the side of the stage and all the rest of the dancing seems to be happening further back (behind all the people watching).
It’s the Simpson’s Teen-Town Time dance at Maple Leaf Gardens (1940’s) featuring Bobby Gimby (Toronto Orchestra Leader), Art Hallman (popular Canadian Tenor) and Ken Watts.
“Dance with me”
Dancing close in a crowded Toronto dance hall in the 40’s.
It’s Boogie Time (circa 1950’s)!
Sometimes social dancing also involves social standing and social sitting.
If you’re a Lindy hopper or a lover of the 1930’s/1940’s, you know the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. You know that it is the hallowed ground of swing dancers everywhere and the ‘Home of the Happy Feet’. All the greats played here AND danced here and anyone who was anyone passed thru it’s doors. It truly was a magical place, where your skin colour did not matter, only the music and the dance did.
The Savoy turned 91 years old this past March 12th and for today’s post I wanted to bring to life this legendary ballroom. Whether you know it’s story already or just discovering it for the first time, reading and watching videos about the Savoy never gets old.
Please grab your dance shoes friends because we are off to 596 Lenox Avenue, between 140th and 141st Streets to visit the famous Savoy Ballroom.
Brief History & Facts about the Savoy:
Owned by Moe Gale, a Jewish man, and managed by Charles Buchanan, an African-American business man, the Savoy Ballroom opened its doors on March 12, 1926 right in the middle of Harlem
It was the first racially integrated public place in the country
10,000 square feet in size, was on the second floor and a block long. It could hold up to 4,000 people
The interior was painted pink and the walls were mirrored.Colored lights danced on the sprung layered wood floor and it had 2 bandstands (which allowed continuous music all night long)
The spacious basement checkrooms could serve up to 5,000 patrons with swift and efficient ease
Approximately 700,000 patrons visited the ballroom annually; and, consequently, the floor had to be completely replaced every three years
Nicknames included: “Home of the Happy Feet”, and “The Track” because of the elongated dance floor
Over 250 name and semi-name bands were featured at the Savoy. Bands like: Chick Webb, Fess Williams, Erskin Hawkins and Al Cooper’s Savoy Sultans (who were just some of the house bands), Benny Goodman Orchestra, Count Basie and Duke Ellington (were some of the guest bands)
Lindy Hop made its appearance in the ballroom and became its staple dance until it closed it’s doors. Purportedly named after Charles Lindbergh’s solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1927 it signifies the entire historical period known as the Swing Era
Herbert White, a.k.a. Whitey, an ex-boxer and bouncer at the Savoy, organized and cultivated a group of the best young Lindy Hoppers (and had them appear in theaters around the world as well as in films. They were called ‘Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers‘.
Lindy hop legend Frankie Manning noted that patrons were only judged on their dancing skills and not on the color of their skin
Part of the floor where the professional Lindy dancers ruled was on the 141st street side of the room and was then referred to as “the corner”. Only Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers could dance and work routines there. Dancers today know it as the “Cat’s Corner”.
It is estimated that the ballroom generated $250,000 in annual profit in its peak years from the late 1920’s to the 1940’s
“Stompin’ at the Savoy”, a 1934 Big Band classic song and jazz standard recorded by Chick Webb, was named after the ballroom
The Savoy closed permanently October, 1958 and was turned into a housing complex now called the “Savoy Park”.
These photos were not taken at the Savoy but here is the famous Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers dancing somewhere in NYC in their jackets.
Battle of the Big Bands (this was a regular feature at the Savoy)
Two of the most famous battles involved Chick Webb & The Benny Goodman Orchestra (May 11th, 1937) and Chick Webb vs Count Basie w/ Billie Holiday & Ella Fitzgerald (January 16th, 1938). Chick Webb won both times in the battles making him the ‘King of Swing’!
Truck on Down for a Battle of the Bands with not 2 but 4 Bands! Who will you pick?
Super Cool Tidbit:
Did you know that in Ian Fleming’s James Bond book ‘Live and Let Die’, Bond visits Harlem and the Savoy?
By the time they left the restaurant it was ten-thirty and the Avenue was almost deserted. They took a cab to the Savoy Ballroom, had a Scotch-and-soda, and watched the dancers. Most modern dances were invented here,’ said Leiter. ‘That’s how good it is. The Lindy Hop, Truckin’, the Susie Q, the Shag. All started on that floor. Every big American band you’ve ever heard of is proud that it once played here – Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Cab Galloway, Noble Sissle, Fletcher Henderson. It’s the Mecca of jazz and jive.’ They had a table near the rail round the huge floor. Bond was spellbound. He found many of the girls very beautiful. The music hammered its way into his pulse until he almost forgot what he was there for (Source).
Before I close I will leave you with one more amazing short video about the Savoy (great interviews and images) and a photo of my husband and I recreating a famous Lindy Hop move in front of the plaque (this is tradition for all dancers).
March 8th was International Women’s Day and in honour of this day Heritage Canada released it’s newest ‘Heritage Minute‘. The Heritage Minute is various pieces of Canadian history in an easy to digest 1 min or less video. These minutes (formally called ‘Historica Minutes: History by the Minute‘) have been part of the Canadian culture since 1991 and have been learning tools for students, adults and also subjects of many parodies.
Their most recent video is about The Edmonton Grads (1915–40) a women’s championship basketball team coached by Percy Page. During their 25 years as a team, the Grads won an astounding 95 per cent of their matches. The Grads were national and world champions, often defeating their opponents by lopsided scores. The team won the Underwood International Trophy (USA–Canada) for 17 years straight (1923 to 1940), and was undefeated in 24 matches held in conjunction with the Olympic Summer Games in 1924, 1928 and 1936.
For today’s post I wanted to showcase some of the women of Canadian history (like the Edmonton Grads) who have made their mark in various ways, focusing on the time periods from the 1900′ to the late 1940’s.
Nursing Sisters: The minute commemorates the service and sacrifice of women on the front lines of the First World War through the retelling of a real event from May 1918. It is the story of two of the nearly 3000 trained nurses who served overseas.
Agnes MacPhail: .1935-Canada’s first female MP (members of Parliament) contributed to the reform of the Canadian penal system.
Mona Parsons: 1945- Mona Parsons is sentenced to a Nazi prison camp (but escapes execution) for helping downed Allied airmen escape.
Nellie McClung: 1916-The next video depicts Nellie McClung’s confrontation with Premier R.P. Roblin to win the right to vote for Manitoban women. She is noted for staging a ‘Mock parliament, attacking votes for men’.
Pauline Vanier: Is part of one of Canada’s most remarkable families who worked tirelessly to aid displaced persons and refugees during the Second World War (1939–1945).
Emily Murphy: 1929-Recounts how Murphy and a group of Canadian women secured the rights of women as persons throughout the Commonwealth.
The last Heritage Minute for today’s post, is Viola Desmond. She was an entrepreneur who challenged segregation in Nova Scotia in the 1940’s.
Friends, I hoped you enjoyed learning a little about some of these amazing women of Canada. I also hope this post encourages you to go out and learn more about the women of your own country and share their story. Knowledge is power!
If you want to watch more videos or listen to short radio programs on the other women I did not have time to post here, then please visit the Heritage Minutes Website.
This past Monday, here in Ontario Canada we celebrated Family Day. It’s an official day off designated for spending time with your family, in whatever form that may be. The hubby and I spent it enjoying a quiet day together just hanging out, nothing too exciting this year (but it was still very nice).
In honour of that special day, I wanted Vintage Photo Tuesday to be all about “Family Time” in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
1940’s family photo with grandma (and can we take a moment to admire the hat on the one lady..wow!).
Paying a visit to Cleveland Park, 1940’s.
Coming together over food is a tradition in every family, big or small.
“Little boy blue, come blow your horn”.
The family boat ride. I hope the photographer did not eventually fall off the boat.
Going to the beach, is always a fun idea.
Me and My Gal, spending some quality time together.
Beautiful days are meant for picnics in the woods.
Adorable little girl and her dad time.
Many families also consider pets, part of the family (I know my family does).
A couple and their beloved boxer.
When TV started to enter the home, family time moved in front of it (and hasn’t left).
If you have siblings, you may have been forced into the “lets put you in matching outfits and pretend like you all love each other” photo. Ahhh family time, sometimes it can be awkward.
This family has great Atlantic City Boardwalk style, but I do feel like they kind of wish they were not taking this photo (another awkward family moment).
And that concludes Vintage Photo Tuesday for this week, hope you enjoyed it. Next VPT will be all about “Trips” as march break quickly approaches.
While reading my March 1947 Vintage Chatelaine, I found an interesting article entitled ‘Charm Check-Up‘ by Adelle White.
Are you making friends and having lots of fun? Your popularity should be unlimited if you can honestly answer “Yes” to these questions. But even if you can’t, be of good cheer; you can always change your type — and no time like now!
I thought for today’s post it would be fun to put ourselves into the shoes of a 1940’s woman and read some of the charm check-ups thru her own eyes. What would your imaginary ‘1940’s gal’ check yes or no to?
**First Category: Your Looks
Do the small details of grooming seem important?
No matter how ultra-fashionable a costume may be, if hair is untidy, back of shoulders, unbrushed, gloves even slightly soiled or heels run over at the sides, the effect of smartness will be ruined.
Do you change your hair style every so often?
It’s a treat for your family and your friends to see you with a brand-new hair-do — if only to assure you that they like the old way best. Don’t be afraid to try something new — you’ve nothing to lose and the gain may be exhilarating.
Have you learned to carry yourself gracefully and with poise?
Whether you’re slender or plumpish you can improve you figure 90% by stretching upward with the top of your head….lifting your chest out of your ribs….and pulling in your tummy. It takes inches off your waistline and makes you seem taller.
**Second Category: Your Personality
Do you talk in a natural and unaffected way?
Just think of the number of girls who spoil an otherwise charming personality by speech affectations, such as kittenish baby talk, or a superimposed accent. It’s a temptation, sometimes, to vary, your type by imitating the dulcet tones of a movie siren — but don’t do it. You’re you — a pretty important person, with no need to borrow tricks from someone else.
Do you like other women?
You and I have both heard girls say, quite proudly, that they get on better with men than with women. Just imagine some man tossing off a remark that he liked women but couldn’t hit it off with other men! What a raised-eyebrow situation that would be! Haven’t you found that a woman who studiously avoids her own sex is putting on an act which won’t go over with other females?
Are you as casual and friendly with men as you are with other girls?
If you act naturally and are not self-conscious when men are part of the group, you’ll enlarge your circle of masculine admirers much more than if you put on a special act for their benefit. Like everyone else, a man wants to feel relaxed and comfortable when he’s talking to you.
Are your compliments always sincere?
People who toss flattery about like confetti soon find their compliments lose value. If you don’t admire another woman’s hat or dress it’s best to say nothing — or praise something else about her. Honest compliments, the kind which can be trusted, make friendship jell more firmly.
**Third Category: Your Party Style
Do you start off for a party with the full expectation of enjoying yourself?
High spirits are contagious. If you arrive looking as though it were a special treat, you’ll not only be a joy to your hostess, but you’ll infect the other guests with the same spirit of gaiety. It just takes one or two guests with a zest for fun to give the whole party a lift.
Can you forget to worry about how you look?
If you know your dress is becoming; if you’ve spent plenty of time on hair and make-up; if you nails are freshly manicured and your hands do you proud, there will be no need for nervous peeks in mirrors or constant fussing with comb, lipstick and powder puff.
Have you social assets?
You may not be a pianist or a fine singer — but if you’re good at dancing, card games, ping pong, table tennis, or some other indoor sport, you’ll be a sought-after guest. One of the quickest way to enlarge your circle of friends is to become an expert in some field — such as bridge, rummy, chess, or a sport such as skating or skiing; badminton or squash; tennis or golf. Special sport fans tend to band together. But when you’re with other groups, go easy on your specialty.
Can you forget your own shyness by concentrating on other people?
If you’re the shy type who takes a bit of time to shed reserve and get into a party mood, you can speed the process by picking out another guest sitting alone in corner, and coaxing him or her out of the same shell. Time yourself mentally at just how smart you are, in drawing people out and making them feel comfortably integrated. You’ll please your hostess, probably make a friend for life, and that social diffidence you suffered from at the start will melt like snow in the sun.
Question Time: Do you think that any of these “Charm Check-Up” ideas are applicable in today’s society? Or better left in 1947? Let me know in the comments below.
BFF’s, Best Friends Forever, we all had/have them and documenting them in photos has been an important way to remember those good times. Today’s Vintage Photo Tuesday will showcase some of those friendships in time.
Wild times at the cabin!
Sunbathing, and girl talk.
Building a sailor snowman goes quicker when you have an extra sets of hands.
It’s your birthday!
Downhill skiing is always more fun when done with you best buddy. Circa 1930’s.
Mmmmm Ice Cream with Friends for the win (1940’s).
1940’s friends enjoying a catch-up and a laugh on a park bench.
Boys and their car (1930’s).
Laughter keeps you young. Aren’t you just itching to know what the joke is? I know I am.
Good friends stick together thru thick and…..tons of kids (1960’s). All I can hear in my head when I look at this photo is the men going…. “Are we done yet?” lol!
One’s BFF does not always have to be the human kind. This pretty woman from the 1930’s is enjoying a moment with her cat friend.
Beach day with doggy pal (Great beach style as well!).
Hope you enjoyed this week’s Vintage Photo Tuesday, it was a blast looking thru all these images online. I might need to do a part 2 sometime soon as there was just way to many images to choose from.
2017 is all about new beginnings and for many it means refreshing their wardrobe. I would LOVE to do an add-on to my vintage collection this year (not restart) but due to current situations in my life and space I’m all about the virtual window shopping instead. So thank you Pinterest for allowing me to fill up my “closet” with so many fantastic vintage goodies.
Lets go shopping in my virtual closet friends!
1940s Rayon Dress. This would be marvelous on the dance floor. Who ever now owns it, is one lucky gal.
1940’s Green Emerald Swing Dress dream.
As I continue to look for a new job, I’m always thinking about what my first day, future new jobs clothing would look like. This Dorothy O’Hara 1940’s wool suit would be so perfect and make quite a statement. Don’t you agree?
One of my dream trips with my husband is to rent a camper in Scotland and drive around to the castles and distillery’s for several weeks. This 40’s red plaid wool swing coat and hat would be so amazing for this trip!
When one needs a gown for a special function, you can’t go wrong wearing a 1950’s Suzy Perette Dress.
Who is not a fan of adorable cotton 50’s dresses? They are perfect for any occasion and come in all figure flattering styles.
This is a Liz dress…right here. I can see it on me already, I can see where I would wear it and how I would wear my hair. Now someone else owns this, but I don’t think that should stop me from dreaming about one day owning this early 1940’s day dress.
Like most of the Vintage community, I have a love for the designer Jonathan Logan and his 1950’s designs. What a great colour combination, and look at those pockets!
Art Deco influence meets 1940’s classic styling.
Are you a card playing, Vegas loving gal? Then this cute kitschy 40’s dress would be perfect for you. I love Vegas, just terrible at cards.
And that is a peak into my virtual closet for this month. If you like what you see, keep up to date on my Pinterest Board, ‘My Vintage Style‘.
Question Time: If you could have any vintage outfit or designers outfit on the planet, what/who would it be?
Next Weeks Blog Post: Vintage Photo Tuesday-Art Deco Toronto
Wow I cannot believe that 2016 is almost over, thank goodness. It has been quite a year for myself, my friends and family and of course the celebrity and political world. So I’m sure that I share many others sentiments when I say…glad to see you go 2016! Bring on a wonderful and fantastic 2017!
For today’s last post of the year I want to showcase what I love, a fun collection of Vintage New Years Eve images, advertisements and whatever else I can find. Let the NYE party post begin!
For the New Year and You-1940’s New Years Eve Card.
The famous Sands-Las Vegas 1957.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from two adorable Scottie Dogs
Okay I’m sneaking in one more Scottie Dog image (they are just so cute!)
If you’re hosting a party this New Years, then this 1950’s reversable apron would be perfect while you zip around the home.
No NYE party is complete without champagne or sparkling wine (including the non alcoholic version). I adore a good glass of the bubbly pretty much anytime but especially on NYE.
After a few drinks, ones party could possibly turn into the roaring good time below.
Party hats for all!
The toast and the kiss.
Make Some Noise! Vintage Noise Makers.
Here is what happens when the streamers get out of control.
What are you doing on New Years Eve?
Lastly, friends and family who faithfully read my blog..thank you! This has been a good year for my little Vintage Inn and I’m so happy to still be here sharing my love of all things vintage with you. I look forward to seeing what 2017 has in store and I especially look forward to sharing it all with you.
It’s been awhile since I have done my favorite “Pins on Pinterest” post, but since we are close to the end of the year there is no better time than right now to share all the vintage goodies I have found. Let’s dive right in friends!
This photo made me giggle and then want watermelon right after (like right after). Oh and check out those outstanding 1940’s Victory Rolls, gorgeous!
Life is better with good music.
1930’s Fashion. “I’ve got your back”.
From the movie: TILL THE END OF TIME -1946. Actors Guy Madison and Jean Porter give us a kind of slow motion Lindy Hop. This video reminds me of my beginner days of learning the dance, expect I did not look as cute as Jean.
I adore a good kitschy/novelty brooch and this one ranks with the best of them. Currently for sale on Bow & Crossbones website, this “Mystery key to my heart” vintage brooch is pretty awesome. Pull one of the keys, and the lock moves to reveal your love. So fun!
When I did my post on Galveston Texas, I didn’t get a chance to add this stunning 1930’s Art Deco “Martini Theatre” to the post.
According to the Galveston History website…
The Theatre was built in 1937 for Attilio Martini. At one time, the Martini family owned eight theaters on the island. As television caught on, the popularity of theaters diminished on the island and elsewhere. The 990-seat Martini Theatre, designed in art deco style, closed in 1975. Originally used for both vaudeville and motion pictures, the building is one of Galveston’s few examples of Art Deco architecture. Vacancy and lack of maintenance are taking their toll on the exterior of the structure. The original tall neon marquee was lost many years ago and recent storms have damaged the remaining elements. The bustling Postoffice Arts and Entertainment District could benefit from the rehabilitation of this important building, an example of the numerous theatres once located in downtown Galveston (Source).
This Building is currently on the ‘Heritage at Risk List’ on their website. Know anyone who can help save it?
Oh my…1940’s French Fashion at it’s best!
Beautiful 1940’s fashion illustration: Dutch pattern catalogue ‘Record’ July 1942.
My dream 1940’s dress.
Okay maybe this is my dream 40’s dress? So many gorgeous choices that are sadly NOT for sale.
It’s that time of the year when we are busy planning parties and maybe thinking of parties to come. Here is a FANTASTIC resource from the 1930’s to make that job easier. Vintage Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife guide, “A Year’s Good Parties”.
30 pages of ideas and instructions for giving different themed parties throughout the year. The parties are New Year’s Eve Ice Carnival, A March of Time Party, Making Merry With The Mad March Hare, An Evening With Music, A Candle Birthday Party, A June Jamboree, A Birthday Party, A Back-to-School Party, A Football Party, A Halloween Party, Round-Up Time, and A Christmas Party.
Lastly..It’s that time again..I’m off to Cuba again and possibly for the last time for awhile (insert sad face). Why? Well the restrictions are slowly being lifted off the Americans to be able to visit, and that means the prices of resorts and hotels in Cuba & my beloved Havana have gone up considerably. Our little affordable getaway is not becoming so much anymore (good for the Cuban people, bad for Canadians looking for cheaper vacation spots). BUT we are going to have a super time anyways, especially since we are going with a bunch of friends and family to celebrate my hubby’s upcoming 40th Birthday (which is Dec 22nd).
So next week there will be no Vintage Inn post as I will be on a beach BUT I will be back just in time for a holiday post. Have a great week friends!