Saturday, September 12, 2015

Grownup Party! August 26, 1950

A few years ago, I found a small group of slides, labeled "Nancy's Birthday - August 26, 1950"; They were so fun and full of vintage party goodness that I thought you might get a kick out of them too.

In this first one, guests are lounging in a wood-paneled living room; since the rest of the photos seem to take place at a club or restaurant, this might be where everyone met for pre-party cocktails. Or post-party cocktails, since that one lady appears to be asleep! Maybe she always closes her eyes before the flash fires. Check out the strapless red dress on that one woman... very glamorous.

Now they've moved to another location. Van Johnson is getting a smooch from June Allyson;  a  waiter takes a short cigarette break while chatting with the bartender. 

There was plenty of smoking and drinking going on, just like in "Mad Men". Notice the tiny television on the wall in the upper right corner. I wish I knew where these pictures were taken; they have a "back east" vibe to them, but it's hard to say.

Schaefer Beer makes me think of the New York World's Fair. The fella on our left is having a great time!

On an entirely different note, I have been playing around with my new Epson scanner. It's pretty advanced compared to my old one, and I'm slowly learning some new tricks. The scanner has the ability to detect dust and scratches by doing a separate infrared pass; the screen grab below shows all of the dust and other junk marked in red (I normally give slides a quick blast of compressed air and wipe each side with a soft brush, but I didn't do that for this example).

When I tell the scanner to eliminate the flaws, it takes just a few seconds! It's kind of miraculous. I did brighten it up a bit, but other than that, I spent no time tediously cloning out dirt and fuzz. Once in a while the software does some weird things to certain edges, but overall I have found this feature to be a big timesaver. When I think of all the hours I've spent over the years cleaning up dusty slides....!

I hope you have enjoyed today's party.


Nanook said...


Yeah, "the lady in red", with the black choker - Va-Va-Va-Voom-!! What was it about the 1950's and wood paneling-? Was it supposed to represent elegance-? Not in my book.

These images remind me of a (less classy) version of the parties my folks often threw - but with west coast beer and lots of hard liquor and cigarettes. Oh the good times they had, and I got the added benefit of ease dropping....

P.S. How good is your scanner at performing the same 'miracles' on real, human skin-??

Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


And with a bit more careful observation, the paneling in the first image has seen much better days. Is that a 'patch' next to that tired, old floor lamp-? And it also has several cracks behind our sleeping lady - who might have passed-out due to all the heat that was undoubtedly generated from all the petticoats underneath her button-up dress.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I was noticing all the flaws in that paneling too. It appears that every piece of furniture in that room has a slip cover over it. The lady in the red dress is clasping hands with the gentleman next to her. And I see that argyle socks were the fashion trend with the men. These are all really fun pics, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Thanks for the demonstration of your new Epson scanner. It looks like it does an amazing job.

The place looks like a dump. The woman on the couch in the first image with eyes closed looks like she's had a bit too much to drink and is waiting for the room to stop spinning. Either that or she's wishing herself away from the scene. In the last image the guy on the left looks nicely lit. Brings back memories of my early twenties hanging out in bars, drinking, smoking and getting well lit. I don't miss it.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that red dress must have been “the look” at around that time… I have another photo, from a completely different bunch of slides, and a woman is wearing a very similar dress. These photos remind me of when my parents would entertain; the kids would be eating fish sticks in the den, while the grownups were laughing and drinking and smoking.

Nanook again, you’re right, that paneling is beat up. I’m wondering if it is a basement, like we’ve seen in another post from GDB’s past?

TokyoMagic!, at least they are not PLASTIC slip covers; my grandmother’s neighbor had those on everything. Nasty. I like argyle socks, not that I ever wear them!

K. Martinez, I am not much of a drinker myself, and I generally find any situation in which I am surrounded by drunk people to be unpleasant. But that’s just me! And thank goodness I don’t have to smell (much) cigarette smoke in establishments in California any more.

K. Martinez said...

Major, I haven't had a drink in over thirty years and haven't had a cigarette in twenty years. Because of that my tolerance for being around smokers and drinkers is very low. As I said, I don't miss it. I'm grateful about the smoking regulations in California as well. It's an unhealthy and costly habit.

Ed McDonald said...

Those are a great find.

Melissa said...

OMG those party dresses are to die for. All Dior New Look and s***. And every lip fire engine red. I wish I could carry that look off!

Nancy said...

So nice! These remind me of pictures my mom has from celebrations back in the early 50s when she and my dad were dating and ultimately married in 1953. If I could get that time machine going, this would that would me my second stop....after the 1964 NYWF, of course! :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I know you are all the better for avoiding those things!

Ed McDonald, glad you liked these.

Melissa, I have heard my mom refer to the “new look”, though I don’t really know what it is. And don’t worry about doing a 50 year-old style… do your own thing!

Nancy, these photos really are a blast from the past; that’s what is cool about vintage slides… they really take you back.

Anonymous said...

I love the last picture, the guy on the left looks wrecked.

I wish someone else in the room had offered to take on of that whole table so we could see all three couples. They look like they are having fun. Although, maybe in the morning, not so much.

I think these pics are in two different rooms, but maybe in the same establishment. My guess is a Lodge Hall; Masons, Moose, Elks, etc. The wall paneling and the ceiling tiles with the sloped joint in it remind me of my old Lodge in far, far Northern California, long days gone by. I miss that place, and having a cigar at the bar.

I love drinking, partying and smoking, watching people have fun, as long as the music isn't too loud and the smoking is outdoors, not in... I'm not allowed cigars anymore, so second-hand is the only way I can get one these days. After years without, it has become tiresome to wake up smelling it, so smoke outdoors where it won't stick to me, and I'm with you. Especially in cold, cold weather.

The new scanner is a real stem-winder, Major. It produces noticeably better results. The dust speck removal is very cool and probably deadly to "Who's" (A little Dr. Seuss cross-over there).

I vote that Major uses his new scanner to re-scan every picture ever posted in GDB back to Day One, and then we can all rest up with an Old Fashioned and a Macanudo. Who's with me?