Author: Jessica Murray

How Politicians Shaped the Female Form

This entry is part 30 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

THIS is a very interesting article about how politics and politicians shaped women’s fashions during the first half of the 20th century. The early feminist movement asked for many changes, among them suffrage, easy divorce, property laws, and equal education. This resulted in a fashion trends that were mannish, including the no-curves, flat chested, flapper girl of the 1920s. This article goes on to call Victoria Claflin Woodhull a “political freak” (who ran for presidency in 1872), and pacifist Jeanette Rankin whose only winning two terms in congress corresponded with declarations of war (1917 and 1941). The caption under Woodhull says that she ran on a free love ticket.

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Women’s Fashion Trends in the first half of the 20th Century, and Women in TV commercials

This entry is part 31 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

Women’s changing fashions and shapes thru the 1900s! This first page quotes a skit about womens’ changing fashions from 1903-1953 written by Lois Long of the New Yorker and performed on “The American Road” by Mary Martin. Following that are production stills of Miss Martin performing her skit in various outfits representing the major fashion trends of the first half of the 20th century. Doesn’t it seem like every era declares itsself the one of the “emancipated clear eyed career girl”?

Then… and article about women in television commercials and television advertising (“bringing glamor to household appliances”).

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Marilyn Monroe’s appearance on the Jack Benny Show, and Ed Sullivan’s Toastettes

This entry is part 22 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

Here’s a scan from CheeseCake – An American Phenomenon. It’s a spread with Ed Sullivan’s Toastettes and film snaps of Marilyn Monroe’s appearance on the Jack Benny show. “It was wonderful,” said MM, “You know, Mr. Benny at 39 has all the charm and poise of an older man.” When Marilyn Monroe agreed to be on the Jack Benny Show, finally television had come of age and could compete with the movies. Cheesecake Pinups on the new medium of television!

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Lucille Ball and Marie Wilson as Successful Pinups on TV

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

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”.

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Pinups on Television and the Production Code Restrictions

This entry is part 23 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

“The Bust Line May be Best Line in TV”. This article explores how television was currently reshaping the Pinup phenomenon, remarking on Faye Emerson’s low cut gowns in the late 40s, but then turning again away from excess by raising bustlines and hemlines (referencing the Breen office’s revision in 1951, that apparently included a ban against showing intimate apparel on a moving figure). However, these restrictions had the result of making the female form more enticing, “A whisper echoes more than a shout”.

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To Man, Woman is Basically Funny – history of pinup humor

This entry is part 27 of 28 in the series CheeseCake Pinup Magazine - 1953

hoopskirts to bathing suits, this Cheesecake Pinup magazine takes a look at the history of sexual innuendo in humor and media.

One of the first cartoons is from the 1860s, showing the wind blowing up a dress to reveal the hoopskirt underneath and (gasp) the sexyness of the woman’s ankels! Then came the peepshows in the Kinetoscopes of the 1890s (as examples are The Bedroom Farce, and a womens’ wrestling). Then, the late 1890s cinema came along, and in the early 1900s, Hollywood and the Keystone comedies and the scantily clad “big names wearing too little” and sensual Femme Fatale Movie Stars of the 1920s…

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

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Liberty’s Victorious Conflict

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.

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Aircraft and Dirigibles used in World War I

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Liberty’s Victorious Conflict

Here are some pictures of air planes used in World War I, and even one of a dirigible guarding the English coast! Military use of airplanes was still very new at this point, and shown are a picture of an English plane crashed into a tree and a German plane that was brought down near Marne. I think the photo of a raider dropping a bomb is just amazing for this time period, the caption says the photo was captured by an accompanying plane. Another interesting arial photograph is one of a World War I American Air Squadron in flight.

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French Look Bust Wires Instructions

These “French Look Bust Wires” were interesting to shoot… not because of the wires themselves, but the instructions for fitting any bra or garment to make a “French Look” of the quintessential cone shaped bust shape of the 1950s. It promises support and uplifting, and the instructions are illustrated with 3 easy steps.

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1958 Hilda Calendar

I was doing product photography for a friend, and couldn’t help but take a few extra pictures of this pinup calendar from 1958. “Hilda” is a “generously endowed nymph who casts propriety and modesty aside and comfortably romps her way through the year”. Each month has a drawing of Hilda, and advertising for Munger Linen (“‘Coverage where coverage counts’ When Hilda Rents Uniforms she calls Munger Linen”).

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Twill Weave to Yarns

This entry is part 2 of 21 in the series The Language of Fashion - 1939 Fashion Dictionary

Almost at the end of this fashion dictionary! I’m a bit relieved but also a little sad. I’ve learned SO much about vintage clothing identification and fashion terminology, but this is one of the most boring things ever to scan, because it’s like… reading and scanning a dictionary 😛 When I finish with this self imposed project, feel free to call me a total weirdo.

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Types of Satin continued thru Silhouette descriptions and illustrations

This entry is part 5 of 21 in the series The Language of Fashion - 1939 Fashion Dictionary

I find this fashion dictionary’s timeline of silhouettes thru the ages to be interesting, because people in certain eras interpret describe history differently than at other times. History is subjective, to a degree, if only because of the process of curating and deciding what to include or exclude in a synopsis. It’s interesting to see what a fashion expert writing this dictionary thought was important, and the descriptions they used, as compared to more modern historical perspectives.

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Nets thru Robe de Style, and information about Rayon

This entry is part 7 of 21 in the series The Language of Fashion - 1939 Fashion Dictionary

As I’m recovering from my wonderful New Years celebrations last night… I’m posting 18 more scans from the 1938 fashion dictionary, The Language of Fashion. These pages cover nets (continued) to Robe de Style, with several informative pages between, including a lengthy and informative page about Rayon. Did you know that (in 1938) there are four different processes for making Rayon …

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