Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Life in Mid-20th Century America

-- Mascara that didn't come in a tube. It came in a tiny compact with it's own brush that had to be moistened then brushed over the hard mascara and applied to the lashes. Some girls actually used spit, but that grossed me out. -- Skorts were a practical combination of bloomer shorts attached to a short, pleated or gathered skirt that allowed us to ride bikes, climb trees and more without showing our panties. [That was a big deal when I was little. Girls almost always wore dresses and boys were always trying to see our panties.] -- Pettipants were an undergarment usually made of nylon. They were essentially loose shorts that ended above the knee then were trimmed with lace. The lace might be simple but more often we went for elaborate layers of lace with colored ribbon strung through it. [It was OK if a boy saw your pettipants.] -- Metal tricycles with rubber wheels. We had none of those brightly colored, huge wheeled, plastic tricycles. They were pretty much all alike and lacked the imagination that plastics made possible for today's designers. -- White lipstick. I still wonder how that came to be so popular. Maybe it was its contrast with heavily applied black eye-liner and mascara. I wasn't allowed eye make-up but I did use white lipstick and must have looked hideous. -- Woody Station Wagons were built during WWII to conserve metal for the war effort. My parents bought a used Woody that was white on top and green below the wide, wooden side panels. [If you want to see one, watch the original "White Christmas" movie. That one had an all-wood body.] -- 29¢ a gallon gasoline and gas prices weren't listed as they are today. Who do the dealers think they're fooling posting prices at $4.14 98/100 per gallon? -- White margarine. Yes, it was gross looking but the dairy people insisted on it. We bought blocks of white margarine that included a packet of yellow dye that had to be mixed in. Dairy producers wanted to be sure no one mistook margarine for butter. -- Speaking of butter, that and flour were often the treatments of choice for burns in the kitchen. The average cook had never heard of aloe vera and immersion in cold water had not yet been recommended. Cuts of all sorts were treated with tincture of Iodine or Mercurochrome-- OUCH!!!

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