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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.

Lucille Ball and Marie Wilson were Successful Pinups on TV

This next article includes plenty of scantily clad pictures of Lucille Ball and Marie Wilson (as Irma, the dumbest blonde on TV). Irma in the "My Friend Irma" show, especially, is mentioned as stretching television's strict Code with risque outfits and comedic innuendos. Lucille Ball is mentioned as being the pretty woman with brains and wit behind the top ten rated show "I Love Lucy".

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.

Historical Bus Routes to the Muny in 1943

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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Early 1900s band photos street photography

Here are 2 pictures of Seymour's Regiment Band, from the early 1900s. Charles Seymour was a famed conductor and soloist in St. Louis at the time, and I wonder if this was the band he led.

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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1920s Christmas gift buying tips and fashions

Here's a 1920s article on gifts to give at Christmas. Because it's from a fashion magazine, ofcourse the gifts are all wearable. Flapper hats and purses and accessories. A friend of mine scanned these pages from his personal collection, or had them scanned, and then died. I'm sorry.

Misc. Ephemera

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16mm home video film about The San Diego Zoo in the 1950s

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Digitized 16mm Films

This was my first time attempting to digitize film with my iPhone and run a 16mm film projector. To test it, I bought the cheapest 16mm film that I could, which was labeled “16mm Film – Car Stunt Driving San Diego Zoo 1950s? Found Footage Incredible Rare”. Enjoy this old zoo and family vacation film footage, and let me know any info in the comments… or tips on running a 16mm projector and digitizing the films (I’ve since bought another one, a vintage Bell and Howell Specialist 550 Filmosound projector).

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Vintage clothing blog on December 20 – I am SOOO overwhelmed!

I stopped updating with new vintage fashions for sale earlier this year because I had the chance to further my career at another job, and then my boyfriend moved in… 2021 was pretty awesome, but now that I’m getting back to “dealing” with my huge collection of vintage inventory that’s left from when I sold vintage full time (2011-2016)… I’m very overwhelmed by all the clothing that I need to list for sale in my vintage shop!

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Spring 2021 was a false re-start, but it had a serious upside

Revisiting and posting an update to my 2021 vintage selling journey. I’ve continued to make vintage sales and I really truly cannot stay away from vintage clothing, I saw my last blog about relaunching from back in March 2021. Since it’s winter, and I can’t go walk all the time, and I’m more or less settled in my new job, it is legitimately time to reboot my vintage… or clean the house (but working on this fun hobby is so much less of a chore)! I think… That is, if I am over being burned out of my self.

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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 32 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 – tobacco advertisements used pinups

This entry is part 9 of 32 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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History of Lingerie advertisements from the 1800s to the 1950s

This entry is part 12 of 32 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

Here are shown some lingerie and shapewear ads from the 1800s-1950s. The chemise replaced the corset cover by 1918, although shape wear was still worn in the 1920s to achieve that stylish “boyish” form. The inflatable bra of the 1950s replaced the “Victoria” bosom pad of 1879… such changes in lingerie styles and advertisements!

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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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