Archive for December, 2011

Lopi Wool Sweaters [1974]

Reyolds Sweater Catalog [1974]

So warm, so furry, so stylish…

The model on the front drew me to the magazine rack at Goodwill with the knit wrap and a hairstyle that was vaguely in current style.  In burgundy – or even the original brown for that matter – I could imagine seeing the woman above walking around today.  I had to look twice at the magazine to figure out what year it was from.  Huh?  1974?  I would have never figured that far back.  Maybe `76.  But then the model’s lapels say older 🙂

Reyolds Sweater Catalog [1974]

The periodical was published by Reynolds Yarns Inc. – which started in 1960 and is now part of JCA Crafts. Reynolds specialized in high-dollar Lopi wool from icelandic sheep.  Inside the issue there are directions on how to knit the clothing shown by the models.

Editor Molly Greenfeder wrote the following on the inside cover of Volume 80 from 1974:

Once again we boarded the Loftlieder Jet at New York’s Kennedy Airport for our annual trip to Iceland. This time we visited the Vestman Island and with the Icelandic Government’s permission, were allowed to go to the Island of Neimaey, where the latest volcanic eruption had just come to an end. The devastation it had left behind was immense, but what impressed us was the fact that these courageous people were able to evacuate every inhabitant within four hours. Now they were retruning in small numbers every day, to try to start a new life. Our photograph of garment #8003 (right above here in the post), shows our model Ervan standing atop still smouldering lava. In subsequent issues we will try to show many more of the photographs taken on that Island.

We hope you will enjoy making these new model garments as much as we enjoyed designing them.

Reyolds Sweater Catalog [1974]

Reyolds Sweater Catalog [1974]

Reyolds Sweater Catalog [1974]

Copyright 1974 Reynolds Yarns Inc.
Editor: Molly R. Greenfeder
Assistant Editor: Rita E. Greenfeder
Photographs by Stanley Conley

Gossipy Sweet Buns

Gossipy Sweet Buns

Scan credit: Reid Beels (Creative Commons)

I’m confused.  Is Sweet Buns the cook, or is the Cook making Sweet Buns?  Guess it doesn’t matter with such awesome Sixties art. Capri Pants and Princess Phone for the win!

If you want to view the recipe full size, just click HERE.

Original Scan courtesy of Reid Beels: On Flickr

The Steel Penny [1943]

Steel Penny [1943]

I first heard of the Steel Cent from my mother.

She grew up during World War II, and knew them as “Steelies.”  Usually made from copper, the 1943 penny was crafted in steel instead – because of the need for the other metal in war-time projects like munitions and wiring.  But a problem cropped up quickly after the coin was released; the steelie is the only US coin that can be picked up with a magnet.  It was also mistaken for a 10-cent coin because of its color.

The US Mint was able to figure out how to stamp pennies in the original color for 1944.

Over the years, steelies were retrieved and destroyed by the Mint to get them out of circulation.  Despite that, many of these pennies have remained in pockets around America to this day, an anomaly to those who have never seen one.  We have three or four in our household; the one in the picture came in a sandwich bag full of unsorted pennies that I bought at a coin shop yesterday.  Not only did the bag hold a steelie, but it also had a number of “Wheatback” pennies – which were made from 1909 to 1958.

Steel Penny [1943]

Snazzy Threads from The Forties!

[Portrait of Frank Sinatra, Liederkrantz Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. 1947] (LOC)

Frank Sinatra, Liederkrantz Hall, NYC - Circa 1947

Style: Some have it, and others are like me – complete void of any trace.  It’s a blend of taste and smarts that brings it out.  For the lucky few, style is effortless – natural like breathing air.  But for many, it’s a sure bet that the clothes combo picked out in the morning would made a stylist laugh.

But in the 1940s it seemed as if everyone had style, especially musicians.

The United States’ Library Of Congress has an entire collection of photographs taken by William Gottlieb in the 1940s, highlighting the stars of Jazz.  By looking through the 1600 photos in the collection, it’s pretty clear that part of being a jazz musician in that era meant dressing sharp.  The suits were cut with flair, and the dresses also hugged a curve or two.  Ties had character.  Everything was shiny, pin striped, or accessorized to the stratosphere.   It was definitely a time when people cared about how they looked, instead of an era for some that my mother-in-law describes as “Looking like you’re doing yard work.”

In the 21st Century many of us – well mostly me anyway – could learn a lot about what to wear, simply by going through these photos.


[Portrait of Doris Day and Kitty Kallen, Central Park, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947] (LOC)

Doris Day and Kitty Kallen, Central Park, NYC, ca. Apr. 1947

[Portrait of Chico Alvarez and June Christy, 1947 or 1948] (LOC)

Chico Alvarez and June Christy, ca. 1947

[Portrait of Irving Kolodin, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948] (LOC)

Irving Kolodin, NYC, between 1946 and 1948

[Portrait of Dottie Reid, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948] (LOC)

Dottie Reid, NYC, between 1946 and 1948

[Portrait of George Wettling, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948] (LOC)

George Wettling, NYC, between 1946 and 1948

[Portrait of Imogene Coca, Mary Lou Williams, and Ann Hathaway, between 1938 and 1948] (LOC)

Imogene Coca, Mary Lou Williams, and Ann Hathaway

[Portrait of Fran Warren and Gene Williams, Hotel Pennsylvania(?), New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1947] (LOC)

Fran Warren and Gene Williams, NYC, ca. Oct. 1947

[Portrait of Eddie Condon, Eddie Condon's, New York, N.Y., ca. Oct. 1946] (LOC)

Eddie Condon, NYC, ca. Oct. 1946

[Portrait of Joan Brooks and Duke Niles, New York, N.Y., ca. Apr. 1947] (LOC)

Joan Brooks and Duke Niles, ca. Apr. 1947

[Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947] (LOC)

Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, NYC, ca. Sept. 1947


[Portrait of Sarah Vaughan, Café Society (Downtown), New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1946] (LOC)

Sarah Vaughan, Café Society, NYC, ca. Aug. 1946

[Portrait of Stan Kenton and Eddie Safranski, 1947 or 1948] (LOC)

Stan Kenton and Eddie Safranski, 1947 or 1948

[Portrait of June Christy and Red Rodney, Club Troubadour, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947] (LOC)

June Christy and Red Rodney, Club Troubadour, NYC, ca. Sept. 1947

[Portrait of Earl Hines, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947] (LOC)

Earl Hines, NYC, ca. Mar. 1947

[Portrait of Ann Hathaway, Washington Square, New York, N.Y., ca. May 1947] (LOC)

Ann Hathaway, Washington Square, NYC, ca. May 1947

[Portrait of Joe Marsala, William P. Gottlieb's home or office, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947] (LOC)

Joe Marsala, ca. June 1947

[Portrait of Louis Prima, New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947] (LOC)

Louis Prima, NYC, ca. June 1947

[Portrait of Sylvia Syms, Little Casino(?), New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947] (LOC)

Sylvia Syms, ca. June 1947

Elton John’s Honky Chateau on Cassette Tape – 1972

There isn’t anything cheaper at Goodwill than a cassette tape.

Elton John - ##### Chateau on Cassette Tape

As a man who lived through the Seventies and Eighties, it’s hard to accept that cassettes are a dying technology. But it is what it is; people clear out their music from the past, and the tapes either get trashed or donated. At Goodwill, to get a portable copy of a classic album I grew up wearing out on vinyl was a whopping ten cents. Yep…a Dime. And this copy – if not from 1972 – is pretty close to it; the cassette is heavy by comparison to all the mix tapes I made in the Eighties. The rainbow label jumps out as to say, “I’m full of freedom baby!”

It doesn’t play all that hot; I’m not surprised, given that it’s older than most of my coworkers. But nevertheless it’s a nice trip down memory lane to hear such songs as the title track or Rocket Man. But my favorite track from the album was neither of those. I much prefer “Suzie (Dramas)” over anything else on that album.  It’s got a funky groove and the classic hard-charging piano that Elton was known for back in the day.

Despite the degraded sound, ten cents never sounded so good!

Tube Socks and Urethane


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf

Steve Lundeen has the monumental – and voluntary – task of archiving his late father-in-law’s photographs.  After all, the man he is preserving on the Internet through Flickr took thousands upon thousand of photos.

Nick DeWolf was a scientist, dreamer, and voracious photographer who documented the world around him – pretty much for the heck  of it – from the 1950s until his death in 2006.   As of this writing, Steve had scanned and posted over 52,000 of Nick’s photos.  His scenes were of everything: people, buildings, cars, landscapes, boats, and tons throughout North America.  He had an eye for reality; rather than capturing what a marketing firm wanted the viewer to remember of the time, Nick had the ability to save the real world.  He saw the warmth of life and somehow harnessed it on film.  While the photos here are clearly from the late 1970s, the subject matter doesn’t look so out of date that it makes the viewer laugh.  Nick’s gift seemed to come from stealth, a long lens, and knowing where to put his subject almost without looking.

The pictures depicted here are only a few of his shots from an unnamed skateboarding championship that occurred in Aspen Colorado during the summer of 1977.  The colors are beautiful.  The subject matter so very 70s.  There are over 100 photos from the meet in Nick’s Roll # 97, compiled with others from a backyard trampoline party and a horse show.  All told, there are nearly 900 photos in that collection alone.


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Photo Credit: Nick DeWolf


Nick Dewolf’s Aspen Roll, 1977 – reel #97

Vegetable Jell-O – It’s Salad-Tastic!!

Scan courtesy of X-Ray Delta One

This is your brain on Jell-O; any questions?

To my wife, there are few things in the world more repulsive than vegetable Jell-O. And she may be onto something; this picture is like Brain On A Plate!

The comments on Flickr about this advert were even more awesome than the picture they were commenting on:

BarryFackler Perfect! Pre-made barf.

cathemoel Looks like it would sting like hell if you encountered it on the shore.

Badger 23 Floating leftovers, now with olives!

rickb460 The Jello mold that stares back!

Mary (David’s wife) But Mommmmmmmmmmmm, it’s looking at me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Monster olives..celery..cheese?! in what, lime??

EmBee’s Web Its hard for me to believe I’m saying this, X, but I’d actually rather be served from that wierd buffet in the next pic.

Howard Dickins  The slice of tomato at the bottom even looks like a rudimentary mouth. Ew! I’ve gone right off eating my lunch now…

Retro Mama69  When my mom discovered this recipe, she did not stop doing it, her secret ingredient was meat!….. We really hate this salad jell-o! She forced us to eat it!! …. But we still survived…

Roger Rua Now I know what I’ll be serving at the next holiday gathering, but I’ll make it better, I’ll add diced SPAM.

StevenM_61 Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam. Wonderful spam, lovely spam.

HELLO CHICAGO Spammed Jello? Surely you jest. That would be inhuman.

mgabrys From the age of angry food. Food that existed only to make you wonder what people who weren’t white were eating, and why they weren’t pissed-off all the time.

Strangelovecraft What was this 50s-60s obsession with suspending damn near EVERYTHING in gelatin? I remember an old cookbook I used to have that had a recipe for “Weenies in Aspic”. The finished product lived up to its name…

mgabrys Oh that’s nothing – you’re talking about the years where casseroles were a food group. I mean forget cookbooks – there were a multitude of casserole volumes you had to wade through just to get to jello – which then stretched on another 3500-pages.

Lara In Clover We were subjected to shredded cabage, shredded carrot, green olives, and celery slices in lemon jello quite often. And it would be in a mold like a bundt cake pan, with mayonnaise in the middle, so you could put a big ‘ol dollop on top of your cabbage jello. My mom would have loved the jello above back in the day!

bona browser Looks like a Klingon delicacy.

Attack of The Fifty-Foot Barbie

From my wife’s late 1960s / early 1970s Barbie collection, complete with hand-made clothes from my mother-in-law.


1966 Wedding Photo

Phillip Pessar found a wedding album from the mid-1960s in a thrift store. This is one of the photos from the twenty in the collection. The trim around the lapels of his tux are classic.  I love the cloth seats of that interior; the material is not only shiny but – I know this from experience – it’s also a bit slippery.  From the shape of the window to the right of the couple, I think the car may be a full-size 1965-66 Lincoln.

Check out the white arm rests – they match the bride!


Photo courtesy of Phillip Pessar (Creative Commons Licensing)
Original Photo Link

Fruitcake Tin

As my sister puts it, "Nothing to me says fruitcake like a cowboy with a lasso."

Not exactly sure what The Alamo has to do with a Charles Dickens Christmas on the lid, but I’ll just go with it. This tin has been making the rounds in my family long enough to be recognized by two generations. It has no barcodes anywhere on the tin. The fruitcake is long gone, and probably never got eaten. But these days the tin appears at family functions crammed with cookies.

Yippee Ky-Yay!

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