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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

I Dream of Dishwasher: 1953

I Dream of Dishwasher: 1953

1953. "The American Dream of Christmas. Photographs of Christmas gifts with television personality Bert Parks; includes Parks and a woman posed in a studio riding on a 'magic carpet' on which are displayed electrical household appliances." Photo by Milton H. Greene for Look magazine. View full size.

Lewyt Model 44

The canister vacuum with the vents around it is a Lewyt Model 44. We used one throughout my childhood, with the handy caddy. It's still in the basement, somewhat rusty after use as a shop vac. It was a good vacuum.

http://www.1377731.com/lewyt/caddy7.jpg
http://www.1377731.com/lewyt/

Our Hotpoint dishwasher was a similar but different model, but the percolator looks familiar.

Who cares about the gifts

Who is that woman?
Wow!

Flask

My Mom had one of these, a Christmas gift. Presumably it was for serving coffee, with a candle flame underneath to keep it hot. If you weren't careful, and Mom wasn't, the coffee would burn on the bottom, making the flask impossible to clean. Needless to say, these did not catch on.

Re: Flask

I believe that is a Coffee Carafe.
You wouldn't brew Coffee in it but you would use it to keep Coffee hot wherever you wanted to have it.

Similar to this one but more Hip looking.

Flask

I'm trying to figure out what the assemblage atop the dishwasher is, the thing with the stoppered flask, what looks like a couple smaller auxiliary glass containers and, apparently, provision for candle- or Sterno-powered warming. Also, note the photographer reflected in the toaster.

1953 Hotpoint (GE) dishwasher

Our family had an original 1953 kitchen in a house we bought around 1963. It used this exact dishwasher. It had a big propeller in the bottom of the unit that splashed the water up on to the dishes above. It worked pretty well.

What every woman wants for Christmas

A new vacuum cleaner!

Commercials Before Computers

A computer graphics program would have really simplified this project a bunch.

In contrast, here is a present day Honda commercial that had some help from a bit of computer graphics....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxy4n0UT82o

Magic shag

Glad the explanation lays it all out, because all I saw was a scene reminiscent of our town's curbside cleanup -- a bunch of "stuff" all piled up, and a lumpy ol' rug. (Hate to criticize some art director's magnum opus!) For a vision of the appliance-laden future, I'd prefer GM's 1956 "Design for Dreaming."

Bert's delighted

He found the shelf where they keep the spare light bulbs.

Empowering Women

It has always been my belief that a man should never give a woman a gift that has an electrical cord.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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