Saturday, December 10, 2011

Anything Goes Saturday - Vintage Christmas

Christmas is only about two weeks away, so it seemed like a good time to bust out a few vintage photos from Christmases past.


This first slide is undated, but is in a very old-fashioned cardboard mount, and I am guessing that it is from sometime in the 1940's. This brother and sister are not in their jammies - instead they look very neat and spiffy. Maybe this was a portrait intended to be shared with relatives. None of the girl's toys are to be seen, but the boy has a few, including that impressive airplane! Don't play with it, kid; that thing'll be worth a fortune someday.


Check out these two surly boys, from what I believe is another 1940's slide. I'm not sure why they aren't smiling, considering that at least one of them got a sweet bicycle. Note that toy car (complete with string for pulling) to the left. Damien is holding a flashlight while Chucky aims his six-shooter directly at us. Behind Chucky, another large toy airplane. I'd say they both made out pretty well.


I love this cute photo (circa 1955) of a little girl in her jammy-jams, trying out her new iron. It might be toddler-sized, but it really works, just like mommy's. She's doing a much better job of ironing than I ever did. Electronic toys that get very hot are the perfect gifts for young children!


I hope you've enjoyed these! If so, I'll post more next Saturday.

18 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

Great vintage Christmas pics, Major! Are these kids by any chance some of the same ones we saw in your Halloween pics?

I think the first and second pics could be the same living room and the same year. Looks like the same carpet, same brown sofa to the left of the tree and the same cardboard fireplace (at least I think it's a cardboard fireplace because part of it is in front of the window!) I think that might be the same airplane too and I see that little red horse-drawn wagon in the second pic too (behind the wheel of the bike). Maybe the sour faces were because the two boys were just told that they would have to share the bicycle.

I agree with you....toys that heat up are the best! For my fifth birthday, I got a "gummy candy" maker called Incredible Edibles by Mattel. You would squirt liquid from foil pouches into metal trays/molds and then put them into a flying saucer-shaped contraption made entirely of metal except for a small plastic handle for opening the lid. The entire thing got incredibly hot! When I ran out of the liquid, my mom tried to get "refills" and they were nowhere to be found. It seems the whole thing had been recalled because of kids burning themselves. Leave it to a few careless kids to ruin it for everybody else!

Chuck said...

My tastes run to toys that can dismember and disfigure. My favorite is the Power Mite Workbench and mini-tools set from 1969 (http://www.wishbookweb.com/, p 288 of the 1970 Penny's catalog). What's not to like about operating miniature drills, routers, and circular saws in a child's hands?

theelfqueen said...

I had one of those irons!!!! I think it belonged to my mother in the fifties! LOL

Connie Moreno said...

Today's post is wonderful for soooo many reasons!!! What Tokyo said, LOL! And Chuck almost made me spit out my iced tea. I too, had one of those irons. It was no more fun after I burned my finger, ha! I think I stared at that Christmas tree for several minutes as it reminded me of our beloved trees....before my father fell in love with the aluminum trees. Ugh!

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, I don't believe that these kids are in any of the Halloween pix. You are right (I am embarrassed that I didn't notice!), it is clearly the same fireplace, carpet, and the boy on the left in the second photo is probably the boy in the first picture!

I used to have that Incredible Edibles thing too! Somehow I loved the toy even though the candy bugs and worms didn't taste very good. I didn't know it had been recalled, but when we ran out of the goo, the toy was retired to the garage. Wasn't there a similar toy that made little cake-like things, that you could decorate with frosting?

Chuck, the Power Mite Workbench might have been dangerous, but what an awesome toy!

theelfqueen, I'll bet those little irons were built to last. There are probably still some around that work just fine.

Connie, "aluminum trees" makes me think of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special! ;-)

Chuck said...

Major - are you referring to the Easy-Bake Oven?

Vaughn said...

"Electronic toys that get very hot are the perfect gifts for young children!"

LOL! My older brother received a wood burning set one year. It was basically a soldering iron with a tip to burn wood! My dad could see that train wreck coming and it disappeared very quickly!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I really don't remember how it tasted, but I kind of remember not eating some of them and just keeping them around (as art?) If you check out that link in my first comment and scroll down, there are a couple photos of the cake version of the same toy. I don't even remember that version! I still have mine and it's still in the box with all the parts....and it still has the price tag on it too. I just need to go rescue it from my mom's garage!

Katella Gate said...

Oh yes, Incredible Edibles -- like Creepy Crawlers, only more incredible, and edible.

Personally, my favorite "hot enough to disfigure you" toy was Vac-u-form, where thin sheets of plastic were heated in a frame to near-melting, then placed over a vacuum table to mold cars, bugs, jewelry (ick). If you don't electrocute yourself on the house current, you can fry a finger on the hot plate, or scald yourself on the soft plastic -- or stick yourself on the many sharp implements included.

So many hazards, so much fun.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, "no", actually! My sister had one of those, and I enjoyed eating the little cakes that she made. They did get hot, but I don't recall sis ever hurting herself. By the way, thanks for the link to that site with all of the vintage catalogs, awesome! Brings back memories.

Vaughn, I had a wood burning set. I kind of liked it, but it was weird tracing a pre-printed picture with a soldering iron. Not a lot of fun.

TM!, even the website you link to mentions that the flavor was terrible. I can almost remember it! Thanks for pointing out the cake version... I did look at your link, but didn't read the descriptions for all of them. Yours should be worth some bucks, since toys from our era are so sought after.

Katella, I don't remember the Vac-U-Form toy, but it sounds just like a shrunk-down version of the real thing. They had a full-size one at my college, and that thing was a bit scary with the large sheet of hot plastic. Cool though! I understand the desire for safe toys, but we did have fun with those 60's/70's products!

Connie Moreno said...

KATELLA!!! I had a Vac-u-form!!!! I loved it!!!! Can you tell I'm excited that you reminded me of a long forgotten toy?!! Oh I had so much fun with that thing. I can still smell the hot plastic! My nephews had the Creepy Crawly thing and I was sooo jealous. That is, until I got my Vac-u-form.

Connie Moreno said...

Oh my gosh, did you guys check out the 1972 Sears catalog?????

Chuck said...

I had that one! Completely forgot about it. That must have been the first year of Sears' Pooh contract w/Disney, before the Disney Store days. Check out pp 156-157 for that year's collection.

The bottom drawer of my dresser for seveal years of preschoolery through second grade was given over to a collection of Penny's and Sears catalogs dating from 1970 to 75, and I have wonderful memories of lying on the floor and leafing through them, wishing.

All I have today is a 1970 Penny's catalog I picked up at an antique store about ten years ago (which is why I could be so specific with the Mighty Mites reference) and some great memories.

Chuck said...

More Pooh on pp 462-465...

David said...

I think the first 2 were taking in the Land of Stepford.

Then again, this was a time when kids listened to their parents and could not tweet while opening presents (all while rolling their eyes).

The last one. It's a well defined look at how gender roles played in our youth. I never wanted an iron and board, but I did want an Easy Bake Oven. But I was a boy, and probably got cars. Or socks. Always socks.

Nancy said...

instead of a hot toy, i got a sewing machine. nuff said!

i remember studying those wish books for hours and days on end. i think my favorite gift was my Francie doll that i got in 1966. she is still here and every once in a while i change her outfit...oh yeah, its still fun!

these are so nice, Christmas is definitely more fun when you can get toys. some of the magic goes away when there just arent any under the tree anymore....

BrittanyK said...

The first picture can't be any earlier than 1946 because the plane he has is a DC-6. The first DC-6 flight was on February 15, 1946. Just something to think about. :)

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the info BrittanyK!