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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Baby Shower: 1960

Baby Shower: 1960

This is my grandma (who is no longer alive), pregnant with my father, making this around 1960. I'm fascinated by the mural above the fireplace and the little figures on top, but perhaps someone might know what the black thing on the table is? And, of course, the big blue thing and television are awesome. Scanned from a Kodak safety negative. View full size.

Cool Wood

I love the beige wood in the coffee table. Anybody guess what it is? Some type of maple or birch? My parents have a small desk in that same wood, and it extends out into a very long table. We sometimes used it when we had a lot of people over for a dinner party.

Oh joy, a laundry cart! Just what every woman wants!

Great looking shoes.

I can guess what she's thinking

"Put that camera down and let me go take a nap!"

Deja vu

I saw first of all the dress because I also was expecting a child in 1959 and had a dress like that (same color) and a fireplace like that and a shower like that -- way too eerie for words! I did not have a black panther!

Color TV

I think what we have here is an early color TV, which used round CRTs well into the 1960s, like our 1965 model. Round B/W CRTs were on the way out by the early 1950s. It looks like the logo above the screen reads "PHILCO," who began producing color sets in 1956. If my surmise is correct, this was a rare family, perhaps one of those whose living rooms were invaded by friends and neighbors every Sunday night starting this year to watch "Bonanza" in Living Color.

Lovely

Your Grandma was beautiful. What a lovely expression.

One-upping the Panther Figurine

That's definitely a ceramic panther. My grandmother had one except hers was a lamp base with...wait for it...a plastic philodendron entwining the bottom. This wasn't her handiwork - it came from the store that way and was intended to give the impression that the stealthy cat was prowling the leafy undergrowth of the jungle. This lamp was placed in the most prominent place in the room: on top of the TV. Why one needs a lamp on a TV, I don't know.

[Hugely collectible. Search on eBay for "TV lamp" -- there are hundreds. Including 16 panther TV lamps. Also a website devoted to them, tvlamps.net - Dave]

Shower?

I'm guessing this was taken just after her baby shower. The item on the table looks to be a ceramic panther. The blue thing maybe a stuffed Humpty Dumpty. The gifts seem geared toward the coming baby, including the laundry cart for dirty cloth diapers.

[Hmm. Could that be why the title of this post is "Baby Shower"? - Dave]

Black thing on the table

It looks to be a statue of a black panther; they're often pictured slinking around like that. My mom had one eerily similar to your grandma's that was also kept on a table. In fact, before I read the text, the statue was the first thing that caught my eye. Although panther statues like this are common, I'd bet my mom's and your grandma's are the very same.

The thing on the table

The big black thing on the table is a ceramic black panther. The view is a little odd, but, its head is looking towards your grandmother and father-to-be while its tail is pointing at the photographer.

The Black Panther

The thing on Gramma's coffee table looks like a fabulous fifties tchotchke, a ceramic panther planter. (Addendum: In the six minutes it took me to find the panther photo on eBay, six people beat me to the answer! Not to mention the dozens who are sure to follow.)

Black...

Panther... ceramic, glossy glaze...popular in the 50's

That thing on the table

I think that thing on the table might be a ceramic black leopard. My Mom used to have one of those on her front room coffee table....

Table-top ceramic sculpture?

My guess is that "the black thing" is a glossy-black ceramic panther (I'm guessing the face end would have a few painted-on features in white or gilt), based on the "midcentury" stuff I grew up with (I'm a bit older than your father).

BTW, someone has a vintage "Cal-Dak" laundry cart on eBay (ah, the wonders of the internet).

Nice to have a (comparatively) younger Shorpy submitter--welcome!

Black Thing

Looks like a ceramic cat (or perhaps a panther?).

And that TV looks older than the photo year. My parents bought our first TV (a tabletop Magnavox) in 1954 and the screen was larger and more square than the one shown.

Black thing & Blue Thing

I'm pretty sure the blue thing is a toy stuffed Humpty Dumpty and the black thing is a glass figurine - looks like a panther.

Figurine

Dare I say, that black object looks like a figure of a panther. Now a cliche, then an object of pride?

 
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