Saturday, December 29, 2012

Artifact of the Day - WWI Red Cross Sewing Kit

WWI Red Cross Sewing Kit

A soldier's 'housewife' sewing kit for repairing cloth items in the field. The kit contains two strips of miniature American flags in addition to safety pins and cloth patches. It ties closed with cloth tape

Collections Online :

WWI Red Cross Sewing Kit

What a patriotic way to do a little mending.  It almost inspires me to finish my mending!  (Almost, but not quite).  I think it's so cool that something like this survived.  I imagine there was a lot of time between fighting, and not much to do, so a little mending certainly could be something to keep one busy.  I find it fascinating that there is hardly any brown cloth, and more than enough American Flags.  Armies today seems more concerned with camouflage, than country designation.  

Christmas Truce; 1914

During Christmas, when I think WWI, I always think of that magic Christmas where some laid down their arms and celebrated together.  If only we could have such a Christmas Truce today.  It's one of the reasons I love history, and it truly was humanity at its best.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Vintage Christmas - Street Decorations


It's fun to see streets change through time.  I thought I'd take a look at how Christmas decorations changed on one street through time.  These photographs are of Nicollet Avenue in nearby Minneapolis.  I wish these kinds of decorations were still put up.  My favorite photo has to be 1937.  The sunburst star is quite striking.  What a glorious drive it must have been! 




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Film Review - Impact

Impact (1949) stars Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn, Helen Walker, and Anna May Wong.  Donlevy's character, Walter Williams, is told by his wife, played by Helen Walker to pick up an alleged relative and give them a lift.  Unfortunately for Williams, the man is not a relative, but his wife's lover who attempts to kill him.


The lover is killed instead, but everyone thinks Williams is the dead one.  Donlevy's character basically starts a new life - allowing everyone to think he's dead.  His wife is charged with his murder, he feels guilty, comes forward, and is then charged with the lover's murder.

Impact Lobby Card

Generally a good noir.  Donlevy was amazing and definitely carried the film.  There was twist after twist, so I think it could have had several different endings.  Ella Raines, as the love interest, wasn't that great.  I'm not sure why she gets such good press in the old mags I read.  She was decent, but I can imagine a lot of different actresses in that role.  Coburn was good as the detective and Helen Walker was great as the wife.  It was also cool to see a film with Anna May Wong in it.  I've seen stunning photos of her, but had yet to see her act.  She did a good job in this film.  Would probably have been a forgettable film without the amazing acting of Brian Donlevy.  Frankly, I have yet to see a film where Donlevy isn't amazing.

Flapper Scale - 7 out of 10 Bobs
Famous Line - "Impact, the force with which two lives come together. Sometimes for good, sometimes for evil." - Opening Lines of the Film - Narration.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Andre Brule

Andre Brule

My post yesterday referenced perfect-kisser Andre Brule.  Brule was a French Theatre and Film Actor.  He was born Andre Greely in Bordeaux, France September 26, 1879.  

Ghislaine Dommanget

He was married to French comedy actress Ghislaine Dommanget, who eventually would marry Louis II of Monaco.  

Andre Brule

Andre is most famous for originating the role of Arsene Lupin on the stage in 1908.  Andre Brule died February 14, 1953 in France

Monday, December 17, 2012

Nuggets of Note December 17, 2012

1879 Hats

I adore Jessica's Vintage Holiday Buying Guide.  Not a thing on their I wouldn't want.  Great choices, Jessica.

Lynn at 19th Century Historical Tidbits has a great series about 1879 Hats.  Part 2 and Part 3 are now up.

Thelma Todd

Los Angeles Morgue Files has a fascinating post about Lupe Velez's suicide and Thelma Todd's death.

Hoover Ad; 1950

Reminisce Magazine has a great feature about Santa Ads from the Past.  

Geneva Hand Fluter

American Duchess is a constant inspiration.  I adore her costumes.  Her latest post is her Year in Review.  I wish I could make just one costume that looked that fabulous.  She also experiments with a Geneva Hand Fluter iron.  I always wanted to try using a vintage iron, and she makes it sound easy.

Christmas Meal for Louis XVIII

I love food history, so the Old Foodie is a must-read blog.  Rationing during WWII and some Rationing Recipes is the subject of her latest post.  She also had an interesting Christmas Meal for Louis XVIII.  

Daytonian in Manhattan features the Anson McCook Beard House.  The daughter of local legend James J. Hill lived there, so I was personally very interested. 

1933 Fortune Magazine

Letterology had some great posts this week.  My favorites were about 19th C Cold Type and Fortune Magazine.

Kemps Ice Cream ad

Neatorama sheds light on the only Christmas Song to hit #1 on the Billboard charts and some great tidbits on Frank Sinatra.

Mental Floss has a number of fantastic posts.  A few that sparked my fancy were: 12 Technological Advances of WWI, 12 Proposed Disney Attractions That Were Never Built, 12 Essential American Cartoons (I agree with the first 9), and 12 Toys From the 1980s That Didn't Take Off (I remember every one!).

History-wise in my neck of the woods, I was made aware of a fun bit of history.  The 1921 Kissing Contest winner - French actor Andre Brule.  Apparently he knew how to give the perfect kiss.

And my Christmas sentimental side has been in full force this year, thanks to Christmas specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas.  So it was fun to see what Movie Morlocks had to say about it.

On the book front, there were two exciting finds recently:  The Cardiff Library recently realized they had a book from Sir Isaac Newton's library and Hans Christian Anderson's First Fairy Tale was discovered in the Danish National Archives.

Go Retro!  has a fun post about a sex-ed video Disney put out in the 1940s.  I've never heard of this video.  The animation was great, as with most Disney cartoons.  Very sweet.  While the video would never be shown these days, all the information is still pretty accurate.  It's a fun way to learn about a not-fun topic.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Nuggets of Note - December 10, 2012

Christmas Girl from Chronically Vintage

Jessica over at Chronically Vintage has a delightful article about 25 Reasons to Smile this December.  Each reason is absolutely true and she features each reason with such wonderful vintage photographs.  I think I Pinned almost everything!  Her Flicker Favorites are great this week, too.

Book of Snowflakes; 1863

Letterology has a great post about 1863 Book of Snowflakes.  The illustrations are marvelous.

Gertie has a wonderful post about organizing her sewing room.  It has really inspired me to get my craft room in order.

Baby Peggy

Noir and Chick Flicks featured Baby Peggy, whose films were featured on TCM 12/3/2012.

Daytonian in Manhattan has a wonderful post about the Mrs Osborn Company building.  Another clothing great I'll have to research more.

306th Bomb Group

For the actor in me, Neatorama tries to find the origin of the phrase "break a leg".

Collectors Weekly has a great story about Bomber Jacket Art.  I just love the pinup and bomber art.

And who knew canoeing could be so risque?

Perm Machine; 1934

And a fun post about strange beauty practices of the past.  I have featured a few of these gizmos in my Weird Wednesday posts.  The most popular Weird Wednesday post is not a beauty post, but my post about the Kiddie Koup.

I had no idea some flappers could be so scheming.  The New York Times Review had a fascinating article about a flapper ponzi scheme.  The article also had a mini flapper dictionary at the end.

Mansion of Happiness Board Game

But then again, they ahead of their time.  It reminds me of a great article I read about the history of greedy board games, like Monopoly.  I adore vintage board games, so this post was right up my alley.

First Lady Grace Coolidge; 1923

And since December is basically cookie central in my home, this article about Girl Scout Cookie history seems timely.  I mostly give baked goods out as presents the past few years because of no job, but I love baking so it's good. I find it soothing.  If only I more room in my kitchen.

19th Century Doll House

I've always loved dolls and dollhouses, so I was really excited to see this article about a child's butcher shop dollhouse.  When I was in middle school, a project we had was to build a colonial model.  I was obsessed with Colonial Williamsburg, so I decided to build a model of its Bakery.  I still have parts of the Bakery.  I wish I would have taken better care of it.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Nuggets of Note - December 3, 2012

Seventeen Magazine; 1940s (I have a copy of this  - love it!)
Adored Vintage has some great magazine covers from the early days of Seventeen Magazine.  If only we could go back to those more innocent times.

Neatorama has a great history of the Crossword Puzzle

Silver Screen Modiste features a list of great Hollywood books that are definitely on my wishlist.

Los Angeles Morgue Files has a brief post about the Hollywood Blacklist  Some of my favorites that were blacklisted:  Paul McGrath (radio), Margo, Burl Ives, Dashiell Hammett, Orson Welles, and P.D. Eastman (author of Go, Dog, Go!, Are Your My Mother?, and The Best Nest).

Mental Floss has some funny Mustache Patents for Movember.

Jane Austen's World features a trip to the 1790 Ice House at Hampton Mansion.  It's fascinating to learn ways in which we lived.

Go Retro has pages from a 1941 Lord and Taylor Christmas Catalog.  There is also a fun post about how to make a Polish Porcupine ornament.  I'm definitely going to try this one!

I definitely am putting these items I found on American Duchess on my wishlist.  Any of these would make a vintage lifestyle much more fun.

GlamourDaze has a great guide on how to be a 1930s Platinum Blonde.  I think I would make a terrible blonde, so I like this purely for research. 

Stars and their cars always make for great photos.  My Love of Old Hollywood has part 3 of a series on the subject. 

While thinking of what to make for a Christmas Feast, it's fun to check out a Bristol Tavern Christmas Feast from 1788 from Food History Jottings.

And since I've been thinking of ultimate Christmas Wish List, Sotheby's is auctioning off a first edition of Emma signed by Jane Austen.  Never going to get this one, but one can wish.

A more reasonable Christmas Wish is a replica Maltese Falcon from Hollywood Studios.  The stuff dreams are made of.

Ann Rutherfor'd dress from Pride and Prejudice

Vintage Film Costume Collector has a delightful post about one of Ann Rutherford's gowns from Pride and Prejudice.  It's so much fun to see the dress in color since the film is black and white.

Page from 1892 The Color Printer

Letterology continues to please.  This time with a great book from 1892 The Color Printer.

For those of us Bibliophiles, PhiloBiblos has a fascinating post about the Bay Psalm Book of 1640, the known copies, and their provenance.

In the same vein, I found a wicked-cool story about 400-year-old playing cards.  I don't care if they took mercury to make them, I definitely wouldn't turn them down.

Noir and Chick Flicks has a great highlight post about Barbara Stanwyck, TCM's Star of the Month for December.

Architecture can be a great influence in many things, so I love the blog Daytonian in Manhattan, which gives the history of New York City buildings.  They have a great post about the Library Hotel, a building which named each floor after a Dewey Decimal category.  How cool is that?

If you are looking for a gift for men, one of the most difficult things to do in my opinion, the Art of Manliness has a great gift guide.  They also have a fun article this week about the history of cribbage.

Nathan's Hot Dog Neon Sign from Collectors Weekly

Collectors Weekly has a great article about the history of Neon Signs.  I found it fascinating.  It made me want to go sign hunting!

Michelin Poster 1898 from Neatorama

Neatorama has a great post on the names of mascots.  The appearance change of the Michelin Man still upsets me.  I loved him fat, and frankly, I want to think of my tires as inflated - not on a diet.  They also have a fun post about the recently passed Larry Hagman and the history of Popeye.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Will the "real" Jackie O please stand up?

In remembrance of beloved Jackie O. becoming First Lady November 8, 1960, here's a bunch of Jackie O. look-a-likes.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nuggets of Note - October 31 - November 6, 2012

The first wonderful link I saw was a great list of silent movie posters at Uncle John's Bathroom Reader.  Very cool posters of some films I would love to see.  I have seen the Sheik, of course, but the others I haven't.  I will have to check if they even exist anymore.

On the book front, Mental Floss has a great article about the 10 Most Difficult Books to Write.  One of the books mentioned is Gadsby, a book which was apparently written without one "e" in the entire book.  A feat that is darn near impossible.  I'm tempted to read it for that feat alone.

Are you bored with traditional holidays?  Then check out some unconventional ones for November.  I'm definitely celebrating Clean Out Your Fridge Day on November 15th.

Hurricane Sandy has prompted some interesting blog posts: pictures from other historic hurricanes, what you need to survive a grid-down disaster,  and emergency preparedness.

Humphrey Bogart's last words; Art of Manliness

On the morbid-front, you can meditate on death or read famous last words of 16 great men.

Errol Flynn's last words; Art of Manliness

VaVoom Vintage has a great article on corset safety.  I've always wanted to try a corset.  After wearing a brace for many years, I miss a bit of the support.  Of course I could never just buy one because I can't imagine they would be easy to alter.  I suppose that might be one of those things I'd have to make from scratch.

I've always been fascinated by the World's Fairs, and the above video is a fun look at the future, circa the mid-1960s.  I'm not sure if I would like this future, but it's fun to think about.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012


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