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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Homo Milk: 1962

Homo Milk: 1962

A number of you have expressed appreciation for slice-of-life shots, so here's one. I must say, though, that if my mother were still around to know I was posting it she'd probably take a slice out of my life. At any rate, here she's busy doing something - writing out a shopping list or copying a recipe - after making my breakfast. At my usual place at the table a slice of French toast rests on a Melmac plate, ready to be smothered in syrup from that gigantic bottle. An anodized aluminum tumbler awaits filling from the old-style flat-topped, waxy milk carton. Next to it is a big jar of strawberry jam, another thing I liked to slather on French toast. Maybe I'll eat that last home-made banana muffin, too. Behind her, our c.1956 Kelvinator with its separate freezer section, complete with rubber lizard clinging to the door. Mother became so converted to freezing that we soon got the separate freezer in the back porch, just visible through the window in the door. Besides the usual meat and packaged goods, it was usually filled with produce from Father's garden, a lot of it the kind things she used can in the pre-freezer days. "Put down that camera and eat your food before it gets cold."

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

I have the "Sister" to your fridge!

Just got this stove in March of this year. 1947 Nash-Kelvinator. Fully restored! $250.00 I honestly had to pinch myself. She's a sturdy gal & a real workhorse to boot!!

Fits in inside my 1916 bungalow!

The top light works, the burner knobs light up too!


In regard to the comments about the Hitchcock episode, I wonder how many murders were committed shortly after that episode aired? Did the sales of lamb and ham and other meats increase also?!

Aluminum cups

My Great Grandma had a number of them for the kids that came to visit and I loved them. Wish I had some of them.

Fridges, Tin Cups and Freezers

Wow this one has me remembering a few things -- the house I grew up in had a natural gas fridge, I remember the capped off gas pipe behind our new electric one when the gas unit quit. The aluminum cups, my brother and I had one, mine was blue and his gold (yellow), these were a staple at the lunch and dinner table, my sisters didn't like them as they didn't have one, not sure why, I guess the twin brothers were special. As for the freezer, my mother in law has a freezer in her unattached garage, a very old garage that has been severely neglected over the years, the roof actually collapsed at one point (since kinda fixed) anyway, this freezer is 55+ years old and still running. Thanks Tterrace for the pics and recollections.

The Stalwart Freezer

My grandparents had an enormous freezer in their garage. And like so many of their generation, the Great Depression never really ended. Casseroles, pies, vegetables, meat - you name it, they froze it (including ketchup packages). One year I sent them a fancy chocolate cake for their wedding anniversary. It shipped overnight from an elite mail-order bakery. I called the next day to see how it was. It was in the freezer.

Freezers and their contents

We inherited an early '60s chest freezer when we bought our house, invariably referred to in conversation as the "yak freezer" because it's big enough to hold a whole frozen yak-- or the half lamb we get each year from a neighboring farm, plus the two turkeys bought at "what are we doing with these birds in the middle of August" prices, plus the three whole pork loins, plus everything that had to be hauled down when the main refrigerator failed last. Things do tend to get lost in its depths.

We're on our fourth refrigerator here in 18 years but the yak freezer seems to be forever.

Fridge Cloth

My sister and I lost our parents at the end of last year; going through linens and housewares we ran across some tablecloths as seen here. A couple embroidered cloths didn't seem to make any measurable sense to my younger sister (53). I told her they were for on top of the refrigerator, similar to the one in this photo. It was to keep the table model Motorola radio from sliding off. There was also a square one that went on top of the 1953 Crosley Roll-A-Matic washer, because it held the breadbox when not in use.

Yes, we saved them all and will use them.

Freezer Business

We sold plenty of freezers when I was in the appliance business. They were 2 basic types, upright and chest. The step-up models were self-defrosting and more than likely had a keyed lock on them. Many of them wound up on back porches and in mud-rooms. The customer sometimes bought several hundred dollars worth of meat after we delivered and the locks kept the burglars, neighbors, roaming children and their own kids out of it.

Best freezer story:

One of the first "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episodes had an abused wife, after being smacked around by her husband, took a frozen leg of lamb from a chest freezer and crowned him with it. After the homicide detectives did their long initial investigation and were about to leave she asked them if they would like some dinner, she proceeded to cook the leg of lamb.

[1958's "Lamb to the Slaughter," from Season 3, was the show's 106th episode. The pregnant housewife played by Barbara Bel Geddes wasn't smacked around -- she was being cheated on by her policeman husband. - Dave]

Aaah freezers

My mother became addicted to her freezer in the early '70s.

She would spend ages packing and labeling food, then freezing it until past its safe use-by date, then she's throw it away.

That damned freezer ate better than we did.

Those vintage tablecloths

Those vintage tablecloths with the cherries and fruit pattern? I covet those and seek them out at yard sales whenever possible. I have a goodly collection now as it is, and still put them in service for special occasions.

Ah memories

I remember the aluminum glasses. A staple in any home in the 60s!!! Just the perfect item to accompany melmac dishes. Thanks for the memories, tterrace!!


I'm wishing I still had that tablecloth, with the cherries and apples and grapes printed on it. They go for a fortune in antique shops now. Actually I do have a couple of Mother's old tablecloths. The best one has a blue central border with red roses printed on it.

I always notice how cluttered the kitchen has become in later years. The longer the folks lived in the house the more "stuff" accumulated. None of us can throw anything away.

The open drawer in the built in sideboard was for the table ware. Someone always needed another fork or something and the drawer never got closed.

Runs in the family

The '56 Kelvinator refrigerator was a product of the newborn American Motors Corp., which had been conceived in 1954 by the Hudson Motor Car Company and Nash-Kelvinator Corp. There were also both Hudsons and Ramblers in your family as I remember.

What were they thinking?

I recall the half-pint cartons of Golden Guernsey milk we received in grade school back around 1970 as saying "Homo VD" on the top, meaning, I assume, homogenized and enriched with vitamin D.

And yes, we snickered about it.

Absolutely familiar

We all had pretty much the same stuff, with the same kitchen door with the same pane of glass the sonic booms used to rattle so.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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