Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anything Goes Saturday - Halloween 1954

Here are some more photos from a vintage Halloween party; this one was in 1954.

So, what's the deal with that girl in the grandmotherly pink shawl? Is she supposed to be a faded Hollywood starlet, a la Norma Desmond? Next to her is another boy in drag (even a bra)! The character in the fearsome mask with the eye patch is actually a pretty blond girl (which I learned from a "mask off" version of the photo). A cowgirl with a pair of six-shooters and a sparkly gold mask looks great.

This might be my favorite of the bunch! The kid in black must be some kind of visitor from another world (how else to explain the antennae?). And then my hero, the kid in the wonderful robot costume. Crush! Kill! Destroy! If he can see anything, that is. A scary ghost/skeleton stands beside that kid who always wears the same darn mask every year (see here and here), only this time he accessorises with a hobo knapsack and a fedora.

A spiffy magician (?) stands next to a pair of lovely geishas, complete with kimonos and paper fans. Dad's old sport coat will work just fine for a scarecrow!

Two sailors (brothers?) wear gas masks to protect themselves from breathing radioactive particles from all of the atom bomb tests. And keeping with the "twins" theme, two girls stand arm-in-arm. I wish I could read their sashes... "Which twin has the...". HAS THE WHAT? I must know. Zooming in didn't help.

And finally, a tiger boy stands next to a pair of regrettably offensive kids in "black face" makeup. Beside them, partially obscured in the back, is a character with a large flat face. Ooookay. And finally, a mop makes a good cheap wig for whatever she is supposed to be. Rag doll? Witch?

Only one more "Anything Goes" Saturday of Halloween fun before the big day!


Graffer said...

"Which girl has the Toni" was a popular ad campaign in the early '50s by Toni home permanents. Two ladies with near identical hair were always in the ads.

Graffer said...

The ad campaign also used the text "Which twin has the Toni" depending on the women shown in the photograph.

Chiana_Chat said...

So let's see that mask off version. ;)

Ragged, but mostly quaint. My fav are the Geisha followed by six-shooter Sal. Just what is the chap in the black with antennae supposed to be?

Gotta admit, the idea of those 'blackface' kids trying to break out into swanee river or something is plenty terrifying!

Miss Snooty in the pink shawl - a boy, actually? - does work, attitude wise.

Connie Moreno said...

Still giggling...I love this series! All of these pics are great as are the costumes. In last photo, that magician kid is actually a time traveler. Look at what he's doing - he's texting!!

Melissa said...

I love the two girls who seem to have just thrown on a lot of Mom's makeup and accessories - that was my "costume" when I was six.

The boy in the eye patch mask in the first picture looks like Fidel Castro.

And, two sailors and two girls in kimonos? You've got the makings of a fine Gilbert and Sullivan chorus there!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks, Graffer, for solving the "toni" mystery... I think I vaguely recall those ads.

Chiana, I'll be away all day, but I'll see if I can scan the "mask off" photo. I don't think the shawl-wearer is a boy, but you never know!

Connie, the kid is texting Doc Brown to come pick him up.

Melissa, I once wore my dad's navy uniform as a Halloween costume (with a gorilla mask though). I did wonder if the twin boys and twin girls were part of a set!

Nancy said...

Drac is cool, geishas are pretty and that scarecrow is just plain YIKES!!

i love the robot...wonder who won the contest? do we get to know, Major??

Nanook said...

Black face - hummmm. Perhaps the boys are on their way to a Holloween-themed minstrel show. How very unfortunate.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nancy, unfortunately I have no idea who won the contest. But the robot wins, if I get a vote!

Nanook, I'm sure the kids in blackface makeup thought it was all hilarious fun. What a difference 60 years makes!

JG said...

I had a cardboard skeleton just like the one hanging on the brick chimney...we hung it on the door from the kitchen to back porch...

I recall a succession of bum/hobo and hippy costumes based on old clothes. I was a scarecrow one year. Never anything that would be controversial now, I guess, nor anything supernatural, that was way out of bounds in our house.

I remember when older, I did get the plastic mask and costume in a box a couple of times, but not every year...

Trick or treating was hard in the country, we had to drive everywhere since our neighbors were far away, nearest was a half-mile and they didn't cotton to kids. Mom and Dad drove me to town so I could knock on Granddad's door. 2-3 houses, tops for me.

Wow, I haven't thought of those times for years and years. Thank you everyone for bringing it back.

I really enjoy the holiday now, seeing young parents with their toddler kids. Older kids, not so much, but the little ones remind me of my children, back when.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, those cardboard decorations seemed to be everywhere when I was a kid, and yet they are worth money today. Guess they all got trashed/used. I can imagine it must have been hard to trick or treat without many neighbors. When I lived back east I remember it snowing one Halloween!