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History of Beauty Contests and the Ideal Female Measurements of the 1950s

Did you know that the first Miss America was 5 foot 1, weighed 108lbs, had a 30 inch bust, 25 inch waist, 32 inch hips and brown hair with blue eyes? In comparison, Evelyn Ay, the 1954 winner, measured: 5'8, 132lbs, 37-24-36. Here is a chart and a picture to demonstrate the perfect female form of the 1950s, as decided by Vincent Trotta, a Miss Universe judge. He claimed that it was proportion, so a woman could be taller or shorter, just proportional.

World War I timeline, soldiers photos, heros, and conclusion.

Pictures speak louder than words. In these last pages are images of World War I fighter planes in combat, famous air fighters, pictures of recuperating soldiers, descriptions and photos of hospital train cars, and, finally, a timeline of major events in World War I that happened between 1914 and 1917. These last pages also include a copy of Woodrow Wilson's speech, recommending that America declare war on Germany.

History of Beauty Contests and the Ideal Female Measurements of the 1950s

Did you know that the first Miss America was 5 foot 1, weighed 108lbs, had a 30 inch bust, 25 inch waist, 32 inch hips and brown hair with blue eyes? In comparison, Evelyn Ay, the 1954 winner, measured: 5'8, 132lbs, 37-24-36. Here is a chart and a picture to demonstrate the perfect female form of the 1950s, as decided by Vincent Trotta, a Miss Universe judge. He claimed that it was proportion, so a woman could be taller or shorter, just proportional.

Early 1900s drugstore photos

I have no idea what South St. Louis pharmacy or drugstore is pictured here, but these pictures that I scanned are fascinating! You can see all the glass bottles and vials of medicine neatly on shelves behind the counter, and signs saying: "Frog in your throat? 10 cents - the Greatest Cough ??? on Earth", Adams Black Jack Gum, Humphrey's Specifics, Abbey's ?? Salt... and more.

Early 1900s Summer Fashion Illustrations

These fashion illustrations show what women wore in 1913, and what was in style. Apparently, embroideries were the rule, and placed where there was the smallest excuse for them. This illustration shows three fashionable early 1900s women and a little girl. On the right side is an advertisement for a Venus adjustable dress form. The text includes detailed descriptions and how to order the dress patterns to make the fashions the models illustrated are wearing.

Bus Routes to the Muny and Guarantors of the 1943 Opera Season

It appears as if bus service to the Muny at Forest Park during World War II was very comprehensive! Bus service extended as far as Gravois and Hampton, Grand and Holly Hills, 3rd and Washington (downtown), Florissant and Kingshighway, and Delmar and DeBalviere... a pretty wide radius! Also in these last few pages of the 1943 St Louis Municipal Opera program, besides ads, was the list of large donors who gave to the Municipal Theatre Associations guarantee fund. It reads like a long list of old St. Louis society's who's-who and includes Adolphus Busch II and his son, August Buch (of the Anheuser-Busch brewery). It's interesting to see who the early supporters of the Muny were!

Old Book Scans

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The Language of Fashion by Mary Brooks Picken 1938

I am so excited to get The Language of Fashion by Mary Brooks Picken (1938 edition) as an early Christmas present! I am even more thrilled by my friend's thoughtfulness. Even more excited that this book's copyright has apparently expired (according to my search on the U.S. government copyright site).... so I can scan the pages!

Old Photo Scans

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Old Pictures of Nuns

Here are 8 pictures of nuns, from approximately the 1930s, and probably from the Carondelet St....

Old Catalog Scans

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Slide Scans

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A new car, in 1944

I imagine this 1940s couple getting this car as a gift, or the husband giving it to his wife before he leaves back to fighting overseas. She looks so proud and you can see them posed together, with him in his military uniform. What cute WWII-era Kodachrome slides!

Old Magazine Scans

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St. Louis Fashion Advertisements from 1924

Here's the cover and first few pages of the August 1924 issue of the St. Louis Fashion Pageant, a local society and fashion magazine. This whole issue is filled with fashion illustrations and fashion photography from the mid-1920s.... flapper girls and cars! The roaring 20s were well underway, even in the slower paced midwest, and St. Louis was a major city.

Misc. Ephemera

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3 Musical Gibson Girl Sketches

Here are three sketches by Charles Dana Gibson of lovely ladies playing musical instruments. A harpist, a cellist, and a fiddler. These prints are titled: The Wearin of the Green - woman playing a harp Then You'll Remember Me - woman playing a cello The Sweetest Story Ever Told - woman playing a violin

The American Photograph Album: cover, sides, etc.

I had just 3 days to scan two Civil War era photo albums! Here are the front, back, and sides. I’m officially kicking off the digital downloads section of my shop with these high res scans. Inside were dozens of pictures of women, children, and Confederate soldiers… but that’ll be my next post!

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Early 1900s St. Louis Photos

These were in a mixed album of early 1900s St. Louis photos that I scanned. One of these shows the civil courts building under construction, with just the steel beams up, which was completed in 1930 (so this picture would have been c. 1929). Another old photo is dated 1910 and appears to be a group photo of men in the Teamsters Union.

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Pictures from the 1927 St. Louis Tornado

Here is evidence in pictures of the destruction wrought by the huge tornado that devastated parts of downtown St. Louis on September 29, 1927. These pictures of the tornado damage were taken at approximately 1:15pm, and are the property of the Carondelet Historical Society (who kindly let me scan and post them here).

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Popular Songs Magazine: October 1935

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Popular Songs Magazine: October 1935

Ginger Rogers graced the front cover of the October 1935 edition of Popular Songs Magazine. It advertised the lyrics to over 30 popular songs of the mid-1930s!

On the inner cover was a full page illustrated advertisement for diamond engagement rings, wedding rings, watches, and other jewelry for men and women wanting great values by Royal Diamond and Watch of 170 Broadway, NYC. You could could get a diamond engagement and wedding ring set for only $29.75 (approximately $525.12 in 2016 dollars).

The Perfolastic shapewear had a money back guarantee if it did not reduce your waist and hips by 3 inches, and an offer to send a free sample of the perforated elastic material that the girdles were made from. This illustrates the ideal 1930s silhouette of narrow waist and hips, with a small to medium bust.

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Pinups on billboards, book covers, and record covers.

This entry is part 11 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

Here’s an interesting history of pinups in advertising! Showing pictures of billboards from the 1800s-1950s, with a focus on pretty girls in beer advertisements.

The next page shows samples of pretty women used to advertise books and, the latest thing, record album covers. Even classical music “moves off the shelves” faster when an attractive woman is pictured on it!

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Pretty Girls Sold Tobacco – old cigarette and tobacco ads

This entry is part 9 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

Here is an interesting history of tobacco advertisements using pretty women and pinups as bait, and to gain broader social acceptance of smoking cigarettes! To explain changes in tobacco advertising, you have to take a historical perspective, which this article explains best. Briefly the history of tobacco ads (according to this 1953 article):

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1940s St. Louis Municipal Opera Seating Chart and Ads

This entry is part 4 of 13 in the series St. Louis Municipal Opera 1943

This set of scans of the 1943 St. Louis Municipal Opera Theater Program includes the seating chart and seat prices in an advertisement for C.L. Finot Inc. Concessionaires. It looks like during WWII, The Muny seated 10,000 people and you could get front section box seats for two dollars, or sit in the back section for 25 cents. This was my favorite page in this set.

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Synopsis of The Great Waltz and more 1943 St. Louis Business advertisments

This entry is part 7 of 13 in the series St. Louis Municipal Opera 1943

Here are more St. Louis beer and brewery advertisements and the synopsis of The Great Waltz from the 1943 St. Louis Municipal Opera Program.

Advertisers in these pages included: Falstaff Brewing Company, Manhattan Coffee, Efficiency Service Co (employment specialists), Griesedieck Brothers Brewing Company, The Circus Snack Bar at the Forest Park Hotel, and the Gaylord Container Corporation.

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World War 2 advertisements

This entry is part 11 of 13 in the series St. Louis Municipal Opera 1943

Here are four more pages scanned from the 25th anniversary program of the St. Louis Municipal Opera (now known as The Muny).

The Zodiac Cocktail Lounge and Bar at the Chase Park Hotel advertised Neil Bondshu and his Society Orchestra, Mary Raye and Naldi, Don Tannen (Russian Comedy Song Star), and “Snow White” Sensational Wizard of Tap with Bobby Swain and his “Note-ables”. Entertainment nightly with Joe Karnes and Betty Barr (satirical songs and piano styling). This was probably my favorite advertisement of these pages, because they really gave me a flavor for the type of WWII nightlife and entertainment available here in St. Louis.

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1940s theater program advertisements

This entry is part 12 of 13 in the series St. Louis Municipal Opera 1943

Here are 4 more pages out of the 25th Anniversary Program for the 1943 season at the St. Louis Municipal Opera (The Muny). The St. Louis Municipal Opera was started in 1918, and 1943 was the 25th (Silver Anniversary) Season. Included is an advertisement for the musical romance “Rosalie”, an ad for Hunter Meat Food Products (out of East St. Louis Illinois), Philip Morris Cigarettes, Alpen Brau Beer (and KMOX) promotional advertisement, and an ad for Nu Grape Soda (bottled locally by American Soda Water Co.).

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Illustrated 1960s baby shower cards with rhymes inside

This entry is part [0] of 10 in the series 1960s New Baby and Baby Shower Cards

I am just posting the rest of these 1960s baby shower cards all at once! These are vertical new baby welcome cards from that 1962 baby shower. I absolutely love the illustrations on the fronts of these cards, and the cute happy rhymes that are inside!

The mother-to-be wrote what gifts she received on the backs of these cards, which I’ve scanned also.

Here are a few of the baby shower rhymes….

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