Tag: 1950s

View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 3 of 7

View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 3 of 7

Ephemera
If this looks vaguely familiar, it should. It's the George Washington Bridge (identified on the reel as the George Washington Memorial Bridge). What probably stands out is the fact that there is only a single deck here. The second deck wasn't added until 1962. Since this is in the New Jersey set of reels I guess this shot was taken from the Fort Lee side. The GWB opened on October 25, 1931, making it real old. It connects the aforementioned Fort Lee, NJ to the Washington Heights section of Manhattan - crossing the Hudson River. It held the distinction of being the world's longest suspension bridge until 1937, when the Golden Gate Bridge was opened. According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong), it is now #14 on the list. The current top dog is the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge in Japan, whic...
View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 2 of 7

View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 2 of 7

Ephemera
Stop #2 on our tour of Ye Olde New Jersey is the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Looking at old beach photos is always interesting, because it's one of the best ways to see the gradual loosening of dress standards. Even as late as 1957, it seemed suit pants and white dress shirts were the order of the day for the menfolk, while most of the women were still wearing longer dresses. While you're here, make sure to stop by for some SALT WATER TAFFY, and go see the latest Audrey Hepburn picture. I can make her name out on the movie theater marquee, but can't tell what movie is playing. According to my good pal Wikipedia, it was either War and Peace, Funny Face or Love in the Afternoon. And you just know that theater is "Air-Conditioned For Your Comfort!" Say, are my eyes playing trick...
View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 1 of 7

View-Master’s 1957 New Jersey – 1 of 7

Ephemera
Over the next week I'll be presenting selected images from a three-reel View-Master set on New Jersey, released in 1957. Although most of the images are quite nice, I've chosen ones that illustrate just how much things have changed over the past half-century in the state I call home. Of course, the 3D goodness is lost when looking at just one image; and when you don't have a sweet View-Master viewer. You may not recognize this road without construction equipment or bumper-to-bumper traffic, but it is in fact the famous New Jersey Turnpike. Assuming this photo was taken in 1957, the Turnpike was not yet a decade old. Construction began in January 1950 and the final nine-mile stretch opened on January 15, 1952. Even though further expansion was not expected to be needed until 197...
Retrotisement – Skippy Peanut Butter

Retrotisement – Skippy Peanut Butter

Advertising, Retrotisements
It's no understatement to say that I love old commercials. So much so that I plunked down 10 bucks just to own some of them. And I especially love commercials of the 1950s, most of which display a cheerful lack of cynicism so often found today. In a lot of cases, we get treated to some really great animation or stop-motion photography. There are, however, some real odd entries in the canon of classic advertising. Like, say, this circa 1958 ad for Skippy Peanut Butter. The commercial starts off with a brief history lesson (the true sign of a rip-roaring ad) - "Fifty to sixty years ago, people were introduced to peanut butter for the first time." (Incidentally, it turns out that George Washington Carver did not actually invent peanut butter.) These "people," i...
The Chordettes – Early feminist heroines?

The Chordettes – Early feminist heroines?

Music
The Chordettes released many great songs over the course of their career. But to me, none of them is as interesting as 1959's "A Girl's Work Is Never Done." Seemingly written as a response "Yakety Yak," which was a #1 hit for The Coasters in 1958, this song seems a lot more caustic in retrospect. "Yakety Yak" told the story of a precocious delinquent who just wanted to have fun and avoid his chores. "A Girl's Work Is Never Done," on the other hand, is clearly a tale of female domestic woe. No hanging out with friends (or anything social for that matter) for her; nope, she best get to cleanin'! A girl's work is never done You boys think we are havin' fun One minute sweeping up the floor Uh oh, the salesman's at the door Never done Never done A girl's work is never done Wa