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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Christmas Kid: 1958

The Christmas Kid: 1958

Christmas 1958 somewhere in Pennsylvania. The young man we last glimpsed dressed up for Halloween, seen here in our fifth slide from a batch of 35mm Kodachromes found on eBay. I am imagining carols on the hi-fi, grandparents in the next room and delicious aromas wafting in from the kitchen. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The Hall Table

We also had a table just like this; it's called a "game table." The top swivels, then the top part of the table unfolds to create a flat surface. Like tterace's table, ours was kept with one half of the table top opened and leaning up against the wall. I suspect that the table was from the 1930s or early forties as it had belonged to my aunt prior to my getting it. My husband did not like the table and made me get rid of it when we moved several years ago. I have rued that decision many times since.

Tilt-top table

The table is properly called a card table. Card tables were popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The top folded over itself when the table was stored against a wall. When the table was pulled into the room, usually facilitated by casters, the top could be swung down and rotated 90 degrees so that the seam between the halves was supported by the skirt. It was thus turned into an approximately square tabletop, and often used for playing cards. Rotating the tabletop often revealed a hidden tray, which in period was usually lined with marbleized paper.

Christmas Card Perfect

Wow! What a great pic. Looks very Christmas card worthy.
This brings back so many memories of what Christmas was like when I was a kid. I LOVE all of Shorpy, but especially these old color photos from the 50s. By the way, is there anything better looking than a good old-fashioned Kodachrome photo? It also makes me long for my old Petri rangefinder loaded with Kodachrome 64.


Tilt-top table

Research indicates that the term my mother applied to the type of table on the right is not precise, as the entire surface did not tilt; it was in two halves, and here we see it with one half folded over the other. Nevertheless, this example is a near-twin of ours, which was kept with one half angled up and leaning back against the railing of the stairway landing in our living room. It, too, was a favorite platform for Christmassy things. Regrettably, our archives do not have a good photo of it. Despite the incorrect designation, I always liked the sheer alliteration of my mother's name for it.

Little man

The more special the occasion, the more like a miniature adult the child was made to be. So the kid has his hair slicked to the side and is made to wear leather shoes, scratchy wool pants, stiff white shirt, vest, bowtie, and – the least child-like accessory / accoutrement / item of bling – cufflinks.

[Another period example, from 1955. I got to go in stocking feet, though. - tterrace]

O Holy Night

On the hall table is a wind up cathedral made from glow in the dark plastic; we had the identical one that came out on my mother's table every year well into the 90's. And there's real lead tinsel on the tree; nothing ever hung like that tinsel.

Wow Cufflinks!

On such a little guy. And there are two gorgeous Steiff tigers on the side table. I would love to have one of those!

[Here's one. - tterrace]

Missing something

What would really top off this photo would be bubble lights on the tree. I wonder where this family is now and why these photos ended up for sale?

O Christmas Tree

Remember that tinsel, made out of lead? And what a pain it was to put on the tree?

Classic Christmas

Kids dressed up, and a real Christmas tree. It doesn't get any better. My parents got an aluminum tree in the mid '60s because it didn't shed needles. After the holidays, we would remove the "branches" and store them in cardboard sleeves. The "trunk" was a a metal pole. The whole thing went into a box waiting for next year. Red ornaments were the preferred color scheme. I'll try to dig up a picture of our Jetsons Christmas!


The box he's holding looks like it might be Sidewalk Chalk, used for just that, drawing on the sidewalk in a non permanent format.

[Looks like this one. - tterrace]

Visions of sugar plums

Looks as though little Timmy received one (small) Christmas Eve gift, right after the children's program at church, and can you imagine how excited he is, waiting for tomorrow morning?

You know he'll go to bed exactly when Mom tells him to tonight, since he's already seen the bounty of well-wrapped gifts under the real tree -- even some in that nifty decorated box that looks like our chimney!

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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