Laundry Day

While one student pours cola down his gullet, one pours soap powder into a machine at Northwestern University in 1957. No doubt those argyle socks will be at the bottom of next week’s hamper. Have you ever used powdered soap?

The ladies below operate a more outdated model of washer, back in 1947. However, the flat lid seems helpful in removing items. One dame appears to be posting rules, although it seems difficult to lean all the way over the washer just to read them. A boy and a pram stand at the outer edge of the shot.

Once laundry is done drying, it must be folded and put away.

No, you mustn’t leave it in there to cool.

No, you mustn’t drape it over a chair in procrastination.

Just dump it on the couch and fold it as you watch TV. Then put it away in drawers, as these Texas ladies did in 1948.

And always watch your back.

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Try New Things, They Said

LIFE 12-10-51

Blindfolded college student Pat Mann bravely jumps from a floor plank to a pan of ice water during a tropical party. Her lei is made of carnations, while the skirt is not grass, but rather nylon and “shrouds of parachute.” Have you any parachute shroud clothing in your closet?

Ayds Keeps You Trim

Mona, that’s all well and good, but before you get to the weight loss secret, please explain why your child appears to be both barefoot and topless in a nationwide ad-VERR-tiz-mint. Surely a Hollywood A-lister such as yourself could spring for a blouse and sandals, unless you spent all your money on Ayds.

1954

Now, see here, we’d usually end this post at this point. But I fear you’ll go Googling Ms. Freeman, and you might wind up at WikiFeet by accident, as I did, a site for freaks who enjoy celebrity feet. So to spare you such heathenism, I’ll share this shot of Mona and Tony Curtis learning sign language on the set of the movie “Flesh and Fury,” wherein Curtis played a deaf-mute prizefighter.

Bend Bulletin

And here she is with Roy and Dale, wearing a belted gingham dress that shows off her Ayds waist.

In this shot, she and Jane Russell talk smack about the peons at Paramount.

And finally, a shot of her with leading man, William Holden, while filming “The Streets of Laredo,” incidentally also the name of a New Zealand folk band.

Oh, to be young and lithe!

Call Grandma Before She Dies

Sure, now we can Zoom or FaceTime or simply just text our elders. But there’s a whole generation of folks who’ve never even heard of long distance. What’s long distance? Who cares how far Grandma lives or what time we call her? I’ll just hit up her DM. But y’all remember. Y’all had folks you only called at certain times of the day. Y’all had folks you weren’t going to waste a long distance call on at all. Those were the ones you called collect. But that’s a subject for a different post.

1954

There Will Be Curls

Reminisce: Pics from the Past

Cheryl gets a back-to-school perm in the early 50s, looking positively mortified by the tentacles of the electric permanent wave machine, which brings to mind an early prototype of R2D2. Twin sister Carol had hers done as well, and the results speak for themselves.

Me On Day 15 Of China Virus

LIFE Jan ’51

Actually, she looks better than I feel. Two weeks of making hot tea, hoping one day I will smell and taste again, losing a pound daily for the first 10 days, coughing, nauseated. Oh, what fun it is to have the China virus inside your body, when you never leave home, and a year has passed since any interaction with friends or family. But no matter!

Fanny Thorne presumably lived through the pandemic 100 years ago, and here we see here at the age of 88 in 1951, in the English village of Preston Candover, which today has fewer residents than the amount of students in most of your graduating classes. Fanny’s husband fought in the Boer War, then passed during WWI, while she lived a life of “deliberate sameness,” threshing wheat, sorting potatoes, or cutting kale for cattle because gross, why would humans eat it? At age 86, the great-grandmother of 19 “stooked” an eight acre field of barley sans help in just 11.5 hours. Combined with her years of devoted service to agriculture, the King of England himself awarded her the ribboned-and-silver British Empire Medal.

Not too shabby.