Friday, July 30, 2010

Poirette Originators, New York

Isn't this a cute little tummy girdle?  The tag says "Poirette Originators, New York" and 35".  Here is the back:

It used to have suspenders, but someone cut them off.  The little floaty silk georgette petals serve as panties and the longest ones in front and back have a little pearl button and buttonhole.

Not much coverage, but fun.  Probably from the 1920's.  The waistline elastic has worn out, but look at those bones!  The rest of the corselet is polished cotton.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Everything's Under Control

Still organizing my closet and rediscovering wonderful things I forgot I had.  This two-piece beauty was bought for only $6.00 at an estate sale.  It doesn't look like it was ever worn.  You would put on the girdle first and then the bra and then hook it together.  No muffin top or skin squeezed between long line and girdle.  I think it is made of nylon or some other miracle fabric.  Just imagine the creaking and clinking sounds when the wearer bent over or sat down.  Kind of like a ship in full sail.

First we'll look at the inside of the bra.  There is underwire around each satiny pointy cup and, on the inside, a soft pink furry plushy fabric.  This fabric is also on the inside of the straps.  Comfy!

Note the straps are not adjustable.
There is a sweet string of appliqued flowers on the front, and folded nylon edging.

The girdle is boned and zips up the side front with more of that plush on the underside of the placket and around the upper inside edge.  Hooks and eyes fasten before the zipper so no tender flesh is caught in the zipper.

Here is the back.

Elastic panels on the sides  and bottom front and a few gussets at the top of the girdle.  Of course, hanging suspenders for the stockings.  These would have to be the extra long stockings.
I would date this set from the 1950's when slinky dresses closely followed the New Look, when girdles like these would not be necessary under those gigantic circle skirts and crinolines.  You did need a sturdy waspie, however.  I don't have one of those.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Better Living In Lake County

I found these little pieces of history at a recent estate sale and got a musty trip back to the early 1960's.  Come along with me now to the time when Early American was stylish, but getting it's butt beat by mid-century modern in the suburbs.

Here is a furniture brochure from Noren Colonial Furniture in Waukegan, IL (or Ill. as it was called before the two-letter abbreviations).
No, there isn't!

Don't we all have pictures in our albums featuring people sitting in these?

Next up is a series of advertising/informative booklets sent out by a local builder showcasing his homes and combining that with style tips, called Better Living in Lake County.  I guess the people I bought these from were from Waukegan.

This first pic is scary for me.  As my parents' last retirement home a few years ago, they purchased a pristine 1959 split-level in what used to be THE place to live in town.  They also purchased a lot of the furniture, which was also original (even the Stereo!).  It's like stepping back in time.  This picture is almost exactly like the addition someone put on my mom's home shortly after it was built.  An entire wall devoted to fireplace and grilling indoors, just like our early American ancestors had to do, but theirs no longer works for some reason.  (Gas hookup.)
A new concept was the family room, where that new-fangled tv didn't clash with the spinning wheel and ox-yoke chandeliers upstairs.

I bet that floor is cold.
This booklet goes on and talks about gay floors, baseboard radiators, stainless-steel kitchens, and indoor planter boxes.  Oh, and did you know that those who like the color purple are usually charming, artistic and inventive, but seldom practical?  Tell that to Oprah.

Here is Mommy making dinner with her high heels on.  I can't see if she is wearing pearls, but she does have on an apron.  Gotta look good for the bread-winner!

Moving along to 1961, we still can't quite shake the colonial decorating.

Although we are getting swishy in the bedroom,

and Brady on the stairs.

By 1963 we're getting all cheesy-Japaneezy.
There are articles about nailing or gluing crap to your garage door to make it "distinctive", keeping your sewing room neat, more indoor planters with attached screens, and making "cozy" seating areas.

Tell me the truth, now.  Doesn't that upper right one look like a dungeon?
My favorite article explains how to get all the housework done and still have time for "you" before taking a nap and bath and making dinner.

Next up is a series of the same kind of booklet, but from the local bank, instead.  These are more interesting and cover more topics, like jokes, cooking, home improvement, MONEY, and gardening.
Here's our lovely homeowners now.

Dreaming of this.

Note the innovative use of glass block and the ugly fountain/sculpture in the front yard.

A garage taking up half the house and a giant barbeque in the back yard!  Wonderful use of found objects creates a japanesque feel to the patio.
Large wrap-around windows and a well-lighted basement.
I made this lovely home with the Block City set, shown here.  I didn't want to cut the vintage "roofing material" so made my own.
Our homemaker spends her time making cheezy crap to decorate her home like this.
And when hubby comes home they eat this.
I'm really liking that brownie recipe!
Lastly, here's something that was bothering people in April of 1963 - the switch to 7 digit phone numbers.

I'm not going through the rest of them because I'm getting tired of the '60's and need a break.  I have a few more books and a Yield House catalog from 1965, too.

All these booklets and the Block City toy will be listed at my Etsy store.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Common Sense and the Wizard

So I don't keep you in suspense any longer, the Wizard is a cuff fastener.  Here is a link to the patent.  Here is a link to a ridiculous fabrication with a stupendous asking price.

Here is another one - the Common Sense, patented Dec 29, 1885.  It's inventor, Lucien Alexander Stillwagon, was born in Washington Twp, Putnam, Indiana in 1856.  He lived in Bowling Green, Clay, Indiana in 1880 and was a Dry Goods Clerk.  When he obtained his patent he lived in Greencastle, Putnam, IN.  He married Clara and had Lucy and Fred by 1900.  They were living in Glenwood, Mills, Iowa.  In 1910 they were in Indianapolis, Clay, Indiana.  By 1920 Lucien and Clara were living in Denver, Denver, Colorado.  Neither one was listed on the 1930 census.  I hope he made enough from his invention to have a nice retirement home in Denver.

Below is the Snugfit Collar Button, patented May 11, 1915, Mfd by Weichman Mfg Co, Youngstown, Ohio.  It is meant to hold down the stiff, separate collar in the back and be perfectly flat.  Other back collar buttons are like two buttons with a shank between them, so not very flat.  A discussion of separate collars and collar buttons can be found here.  A previous post showing my wonderful ladies' collar and cuff set is here.

These are 1" wide and 3/4 " long, and here is the patent.  While researching this I ran across the following website question and answer.  Look at the question and then read down a few answers.  The actual son of the inventor chimed in!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Common Sense

Today I am going to give you a puzzle and see if anyone can figure out what this item is.

The writing says Wizard.  On the back is Pat Feb 5, 1889.  The items are about 2-1/2" long, made of metal, with a swivel squeeze clamp on the end.  The other end has a clip.  I have shown it open and closed.

I know what it is.  Do you?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bunnies and Blankets

I found this delightfully illustrated instruction at an estate sale recently.  A little research turned up this.

And this item is just wonderful!  Wish I had seen it sooner.  And this newspaper announcement from 1926 is really interesting.

Follow-Up to Rubber

I forgot about this.  This is a rather more permanent solution to the blouse problem.  Remember, It's Boilproof!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


There was a new wonder product in the 1940's that was beginning to be used for everything --latex rubber.  I'll bet you're wondering what this is.

Well, wonder no longer!

Seems like a lot of trouble to go through to keep your blouse tucked in until you remember that slips were nylon.  Blouses were nylon. And what is the chief attribute of nylon?  Slipperiness!

Here is the box.

As if that is not complicated enough, check this out.

See that line in the middle of the box at the waistline?  This pulls out and pulls the blouse out of the skirt!  See the skirt by itself, below.

Read those instructions.  Getting dressed in the morning involved prepping the night before, apparently.

These are still in pretty good shape for a rubber product.  I can't say as much for the blouse tender.  Maybe because it's "live".

To finish off, here is a product to keep your feet in your shoes while wearing slippery nylons.

What Every Woman Wants

is not what you think!

Don't you just have to have one--right now?

The font looks like a '50's car logo, and the streamlining. . . . smooooth.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Necessary Support

More underpinnings today.  These run the gamut from 1870 to the 1940's.  First up, my favorite garter.

This is brass wire wrapped rubber with a notation "Patd Nov 29-70" on one end.  I don't know the manufacturer.  This is a below-the-knee garter to hold up socks or short hose.  (By the way, innocent searches on "sock garters" develop into porn quite quickly.  And then there's this.  You can thank me later.)

These garters are silk-wrapped rubber with an early plastic or celluloid closure.  These were over-the-knee garters and were worn well into the 1960's.  I remember my aunt wearing them.  They gave you freedom from garter belts or girdles.

This is a sweet pair, still in the gift box, from the 1920's. Of metallic, iridescent ribbon over elastic, these are so cool!
Shoulder pads came into prominence in the 1930's when suits and blouses started sporting extended shoulders.

Here's our old friend, Warren's, again, and below.  The first one is wired all around to REALLY keep those sleeve caps up.

I'll finish off with some red, white, and blue for the Holiday!