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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Kitchen Nightmare: 1940

Kitchen Nightmare: 1940

August 1940. "Dolls in crib next to icebox of kitchen in Provincetown, Massachusetts." Medium format negative by Edwin Rosskam. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Kitchen Tool Caddy

One more Keiller marmalade jar, mine, in service as my easy access stovetop caddy since at least 1968 and still essential, unlike its sidekick match holder, long since reassigned to objet d'art duty.

Weird Painting

What's with that artwork on the wall? Looks like Edvard Munch visited the place.

Golden Days

Seeing this photo did not ring the “creepy bell” for me. Dolls don’t spook you out unless you’ve seen a lot of those films with scary dolls in them. That’s a baby buggy full of dolls- that’s all. There’s a Charlie McCarthy doll and a black baby doll among them. As for the Dundee marmalade jar, I also have two of them to keep my pens in. Back in the 1940’s a lot of people still used iceboxes (boxes with a block of ice in them). In rural areas, such as Provincetown was then, a hand pump in the kitchen might not have seemed strange. Provincetown was probably still mostly a fishing village, with a lot of summer folks and artists in season. So I thought that photo had some charm and some nostalgia. Just another take on this photo of a bygone era.

Pump Your Own

I'm 55. In the late '60's, my grandmother still had a hand-pump just like that at her kitchen sink. The sink was large and very deep, big enough for the needed bucket. She boiled her water when she needed hot water, and that included her bath. This was also 30 miles from Buffalo, NY, mind you, so things could get chilly.

That said, her farm kitchen was spiffy, it merely had no upgrades since 1925.

Growing up

Growing up in the fifties we had refrigerators, but everyone including me called them Ice Boxes.

Dundee pencil jar

I use a treasured Dundee jar, inherited from my Dad, as a pencil holder as well.

Dundee marmalade

We have had a few of those marmalade jars holding pencils as long as I've been alive. My parents did as well. There's even a "Dundee Society."

Sadly, Keiller's is no more, absorbed into the "Hain Celestial Group", whatever that is, and the product now appears to be made in England, and comes in a boring glass jar.

sic transit...

(I still have two crockery jars, and treasure them)

It's pronounced "Keeler"

and Keiller's was the only orange marmalade my mother would buy when I was a wee tyke in Britain. I suspect it was because in the fifties it still came in stoneware crocks that she could reuse to hold bacon "drippings", to make dripping toast. I'm sure the housewife here was using it for storage as well.

Back in the good old days

When sugary soft drinks had the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Disturbing in many ways

It is not just the variety and expressions of the creepy dolls but the artwork on the wall puzzles me too. The knocked-over carton of Coke bottles and what looks like a discarded lollipop stick on the floor also lends suspense. I would be hesitant to open the icebox and the freezer.

What's in a name

That big doll in the back isn't called "Chucky" is it?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie's hiding in among the dolls!

Ask for it by name.

If you can pronounce it.

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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