Thursday, May 31, 2012

COLLECTION #242: Vintage Photos of People In Costume

Real photo postcard of a trio of characters, location and date unknown. (looks like late '20s to me)

Now isn't this a funny category? I didn't even realize I had so many old photos of people in costume until I went to sort them last week. I guess when I go 'photo shopping' I like the interesting characters!

These photos are unknown to me, but I certainly wish I knew who these people are! If I know anything, I'll add the details under the photo.

Technically not 'costumes', but these California Brownies look adorable in their uniforms! Best guesstimate, late '40s, early '50s.

I love this cowgirl duo parading down the city street. 1930s.

Well, not exactly a costume, but you gotta love that Hawaiian lei... 1940s.

My favorite of my vintage photos. Love this little senorita, probably late1930s.

The caption on the back of this photo says she made this costume for an Oregon Trail festival. Looks like 1940s.

Our guitaristo serenades his senoritas. California, mid '30s.

Looks like an outdoor costume play. Best guesstimate: early '20s.

Don't you love this little 'Colonial' couple? Pretty hard to determine the date, but perhaps late 'teens, early '20s. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

COLLECTION #241: Vintage Art Deco Necklace

It's Orphan Wednesday! Today I am sharing one of my very favorite treasures. Back when I was in high school, probably in 1967 or so, my older sister Lynne, who was a counselor at MacLaren Hall (the Los Angeles County Home for Dependent Children), picked this necklace up at one of their rummage sales. She thought I might like it, and boy, did I! It is a lovely art deco costume jewelry piece, probably from the 1920s. It's made of what must be a bronze-like material. It has two lovely pieces of amber cut glass. I assume it's glass, because there is a large scratch on the bigger stone.  I love the pattern on the pendant, and love love love the wonderful chain. There is some lovely patina on it, and I love the dull, warm color of the whole piece. Many years ago, the large stone kept falling out through the back. The pieces that kept it in place would bend or move, and the stone would pop right out. I'm amazed that I was able to hang onto it until I eventually had it fixed so it couldn't come out.

I'm sure as a costume piece with no identification, and likely glass stones, it isn't worth much. But it's beyond value to me, so I share it with you today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

COLLECTION #240: Vintage Indian Toys

Going hand in hand with my cowboy toys, here come the Indians! Back when I was a child, playing 'cowboys and Indians' was just a part of childhood. Some kids thought cowboys were best, other kids thought the Indians were the true heroes. I loved reading about Indians. My brother had the Holling C. Holling book called The Book of Indians, with beautiful, detailed illustrations about different native peoples, cultures and traditions. That book was probably my first introduction to the amazing culture of the native American people.

My favorite Indian figure... look at that face!

Here are my Indian toys and books, plus a few extra treasures. Most of these items date from the 1940s and '50s.  The dolls are all 'souvenir dolls', so don't have any manufacturer information. They were sold in vast numbers 50+ years ago, and are quite easy to find. I love these! I had my own Indian maiden doll that I bought in Bend, Oregon when I was 9 or 10.  She looked a lot like the one I have here with the white dress, but mine was *prettier*!

Papoose toy, with Western incense package

Chalkware Indian head

I had an Indian maiden doll similar to the one pictured here on the left.

Although such portrayals of native peoples is politically incorrect these days, I think they are wonderful. These stories, toys and objects taught be to have a great deal of respect and admiration for a proud people.

Cute li'l Indian kids

Monday, May 28, 2012

COLLECTION #239: World War II Memorabilia

In honor of Memorial Day in the US, today I am featuring some of the scant treasures we have in our family honoring our own military heroes.

These special items are from my husband's family, who has a proud tradition of service in the military. Bruce's Dad, Henry Aaron Eskander, joined the Army Air Force in 1943.  He trained to be a tail gunner, but unfortunately due to some health issues, became an Army mechanic. He honorably served for 2 years.

Bruce's maternal Grandfather Lawrence Gore, was a captain in the US Army. He was a career military man, and was involved in training soldiers at the Port of Embarkation: Fort Mason in San Francisco. His son, Zane Gore, enlisted toward the end of the war, and served as a bombadier in the Army Air Force in France. None of these men are alive today to fill out their military resumes for me, so I have to surmise from their postcards and letters what they did. As is the tradition of military men and women, they never talked about their heroism or military experiences. But I consider them all heroes, and although they didn't give their lives in service to their country, I honor their memories today.

Tail Gunner trainee  Henry A. Eskander

Some of Henry's souvenirs of the Hollywood Canteen

A postcard sent by Henry to his Mother Maritza Eskander in1943

The two upper cards were sent to Zane Gore by his mother in 1945, the lower postcard was sent by Zane to his little sister Betty (my future mother-in-law). She was 14 years old.

Captain Lawrence Gore and his son Lt. Zane Gore. The photo on the top right was when Captain Gore was deployed in 1942. Zane was 17, Betty was 10.  The lower photo is Zane in France, 1945.

Postcard from Zane to his sister Betty, from France, just before the Armistice.

I love this photo of Captain and Lt. Gore, both with their pipes.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


For all of you Beatles lovers, My Beatles is a wonderful site where the owner Jesse features his vast collections of Beatles records and collectibles. I enjoyed browsing through his memorabilia pages, finding lots of things that I once owned or coveted.

When I was a teen, I was a huge Beatles fan. The Beatles hit the US when I was 13, which was prime age for the insanity that surrounded the Fab Four. Although there have certainly been teen idols before and since, (think Frank Sinatra and Justin Bieber), nothing to my recollection could match the craziness that was Beatlemania. Not just teen magazines and concert frenzy, but mainstream media (covers of Life, Look, Time),  popular culture, and most especially the mainstream musical acceptance of the Beatles' musical brilliance. For some of us deeply saddened by the assassination of JFK, the Beatles made us happy again. Life was good! (And the Beatles were cute and charming too, unlike some of their more surly contemporaries). I'll never forget how much I loved their movie "A Hard Day's Night", and how, even after seeing it at least a half dozen times, I still laughed all the way through. I saw it recently again, after nearly 50 years, and I was surprised that I still remembered many of the lines. I had not thought of them all this time, they just rolled off my tongue!

Here are a few items from My Beatles, maybe they will make you smile too!

For your viewing pleasure, my layout about my own love of the Beatles (click on the image if you want to read what I wrote!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

COLLECTION #238: Vintage American Book Company Readers

These mostly 1960s edition readers were produced by the American Book Company, under the name Betts Basic Readers. The original edition (of which I have one: Down Singing River), was published in 1949. The others were all published in 1958 and 1965. The fun little mottled covers with their fanciful modern illustration by Oscar Liebman are a delightful addition to my school book collection.

Although the illustrations in these books are not my absolute favorites of my school books, the stories in these readers are wonderful. The word adventure in the title of several of the books is perfect: there is lots of adventure to be found here! Stories of children from different parts of the USA, different times in history, and different places in the world, all have a definite adventurous tone. Conflict resolution, creativity, excitement, and appreciation for different cultures and times are the centerpiece of all of these stories.