Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter IV – S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Chapter IV
S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Two things go under the well-groomed look. . . a firm body and a firm girdle. A firm body gets that way by exercise and a firm girdle is so because it is well-chosen.

Of the two, the firm body is by far the more important. In fact, the smoothest Susans pride themselves at being their best in a bathing suit.

Continue reading “Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter IV – S-T-R-E-T-C-H”

Today’s Entertainment: September 21, 1952

It’s mid-morning and you’ve just finished washing, drying and putting away the breakfast dishes. “Whitehall 1212” is playing and you pour another cup of coffee so that you can linger at the kitchen table to hear the thrilling conclusion.

Continue reading “Today’s Entertainment: September 21, 1952”

Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter III – Soap-and-Water Clean

Chapter III
SOAP-AND-WATER CLEAN

This is the Most Important Chapter. . . if it could, it would wear a whalebone neck-piece and let its corset stays show through, just to impress you with its firmness and dignity.

The fact is, Susan, that you cannot be smooth without first being clean. Someone will catch up with you. Someone you like very much will look behind your ears.

Soap-and-water clean is so important that it occupies parts of several chapters, but in this one we shall talk about just the sort of cleanliness which takes place in the bathroom, night and morning.

Continue reading “Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter III – Soap-and-Water Clean”

Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter II – Keep it Simple with Subtraction

Chapter II
KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH SUBTRACTION

“Start with one idea and stick to it” may sound like Carnegie or Confucius. . . but actually it applies to clothes more specifically than to empire building.

Continue reading “Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter II – Keep it Simple with Subtraction”

Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter I – Give it a Thought

Chapter I
GIVE IT A THOUGHT

You are Susan, of course. We wouldn’t have anyone else in the leading part.

This handbook will teach you your lines, but you’ll have to fill in from here. There are definite rules for good grooming, but you must apply them with your own special style, which sets you apart from all other Susans.

Continue reading “Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Chapter I – Give it a Thought”

Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Introduction and Table of Contents

I’m reproducing this book here, written by Nell Giles and illustrated by Winifred W. Coffin, because if there are secrets to the fresh-faced beauty and poise of the girls of the 1940’s, I’d love to know them. Girl power back in the day wasn’t what it is now, and a gal had to make the most of whatever assets were at her disposal to make her way in the world. Plus, who wouldn’t want to know how to be “gaily, poisonously attractive to their enemies??!”

Continue reading “Susan, be smooth! by Nell Giles, 1940: Introduction and Table of Contents”

Vintage Housekeeping Schedule: The Bedrooms

From The Good Housekeeping Housekeeping Book, 1947 Continue reading “Vintage Housekeeping Schedule: The Bedrooms”

Vintage Housekeeping Schedule: The Kitchen

From The Good Housekeeping Housekeeping Book, 1947  Continue reading “Vintage Housekeeping Schedule: The Kitchen”

How to Prepare Easy Vintage Breakfasts

I’ve been laid up much of the past week in my yellow boucle recliner, recovering from minor surgery. To keep myself sane, I’ve been paging through “recent” magazines… well, magazines published from around this time of year, anyway, only about 68 years ago.

My attention was snagged earlier by a vintage article about breakfasts. It’s after 10:00 PM now, and all I want to do is make breakfast. So, I’ve done the next best thing and written a post about it instead. Continue reading “How to Prepare Easy Vintage Breakfasts”

Mary and Russel Wright’s Guide to Easier Living, 1954: Living Rooms

Mary and Russel Wright’s Guide to Easier Living, originally published in 1950, proposed a change in the way the modern home was furnished, organized and managed. Before 1950, many families still had big houses, formal parlors with the heavy and ornate Victorian-style furniture that had been popular for decades, and sometimes even a servant or a “day girl” to help with some of the heavier work. But with houses getting smaller and post-war design leaning toward streamlined, modern and efficient, Mary and Russel Wright’s Guide to Easier Living was a perfectly-timed capitalization on the new and rapidly rising trend of simplicity.

Continue reading “Mary and Russel Wright’s Guide to Easier Living, 1954: Living Rooms”