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Little Miss Revlon: 1957

"Christmas 1957." Having seen the boy toys at Kermy and Janet's house in Baltimore, we now move on to the girl gifts, which include Little Miss Revlon and Betsy McCall dolls as well as a Fun With Needlepoint Kit ("Make your own horse"). What else do we recognize here? 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.

"Christmas 1957." Having seen the boy toys at Kermy and Janet's house in Baltimore, we now move on to the girl gifts, which include Little Miss Revlon and Betsy McCall dolls as well as a Fun With Needlepoint Kit ("Make your own horse"). What else do we recognize here? 35mm Kodachrome slide. View full size.

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More Toy Identification

I recognize the suitcase tucked under the needlepoint kit. It is an airline stewardess kit that had a set of plastic dishes and a stewardess "cap" and wings to wear as you offered your passengers, coffee or tea???

Gurley candles

Love those Gurley/Tavern candles! You can still find them online. A friend of mine collects them and has a bunch! I also see a Candlewick dish under the side table. And there's Miss Frances from Ding Dong School on that box. This little girl and I are about the same age. So, this collection of toys and games look mighty familiar to me.

Candy Cigs - Chocolate or Pure Sugar

In Detroit in the 1950's you could get chocolate cigs with real paper wrapping. They looked pretty cool, but getting the wet paper off after a few puffs was a pain. I later switched to the pure sugar ones which had a red dye lit end. When you first opened the sugar pack, you savored the first cig letting it slowly melt away. Perhaps the second was smoked the same way, however the sugar soon kicked in and you quickly munched the rest of the pack.

Dolls and Toys

I'm also about the same age as the little girl, and I also got a Little Miss Revlon doll, although I think I got mine Christmas of '58, not '57. Mine had honey colored hair, I don't think I would have stood for a blonde! The little girl is playing with her Little Miss Revlon doll, and the Betsy McCall doll is in her lap. I love the adorable artwork for the Betsy McCall- the box graphics are adorable! But I don't think the doll was as cute as her paper doll counterpart. She also has an inexpensive Hollywood-type doll dressed as a bride. I had a number of those as a child, and they were plentiful, but not very satisfying as they had limited articulation and often the fashions were sewn on.

The box with the handle looks like it might have been a stewardess or pilot kit... there are airline 'labels' on the box. Hasbro (then known as Hassenfeld Brothers) made many of these types of kits, but that one doesn't look familiar to me. I wish I could take a peek!

By the way, that little girl is adorable! I love her cute haircut, and those freckles! And her socks brought back so many memories. I usually wore plain white socks with my mary janes and saddle shoes, but occasionally wore my fancier socks with embroidery and maybe some lace. Love the graphics on her dress.

By The Numbers

Painting by the numbers at 10 got me started, with just such a Christmas set. By 12, I was using the leftover paint for my own bits. By 14, I had won an international competition with the reward of a painting permanently hung in corporate sponsor offices in Chicago. By 20, I had another hanging beside a prominent Andrew Wyeth. By 22, I put the smelly stuff away "till my old age". Now that's here, I have acquired hundreds of brushes, countless tubes of the smelly oils, closets full of blank canvas, but still none of the patience for anything that includes "watching paint dry" (titanium white takes nearly forever).

I also have those candles, but also don't have the patience to haul them out, along with the thousands of decorations that have covered a tree only once in the last 40 years.

If I were this girl's age, or had a daughter, or grand-daughter her age, no patience would be required at all for all that "humbug". The necessary Christmas magic requires one or more children.

Choir candles

Don't know if these were sold as a set or how big the set might have been, but my mom still has these and they are set out every year. "Boy candles" in the black/white and "girl candles" in the red/white, the angels (they came in different sizes)and the Christmas trees. The trees are covered with glitter. They would be placed with the Nativity set making it look very festive. Ahhhh! Great memories!

Forget the Girly Stuff

The little red and yellow plastic airplanes caught my attention. I think I see a couple Douglas DC-6's, and possibly one red Lockheed Connie.

For decoration only

The Christmas candles. Never lit and used year after year.

Ooooh, Ginny, Ginny

I think the doll is the wedding dress is neither Betsy or Miss Revlon but a jointed doll called a Ginny doll. She came with a little wardrobe trunk for her clothes with tiny hangers for each outfit.


Didn't everyone back in the day have an Autograph book? I see a red one. This girl looks to be about the same age I was in 1957. I'm not sure what the box with the metal handle is, but it reminds me of a play nurse's kit I got that same year. Oh the memories!


Love those figurine candles. They were all over in holiday decorations of the 1950s -- I remember turkeys and pilgrims, too, all with the wicks coming out of their heads, which looks a little odd as a decoration. I wonder if anyone ever burned them? I don't remember ever doing so. They would melt into sad remnants of their former selves. Great picture though. At my house, there would have been Nancy Drew books and Ginny dolls under the tree.

I spy

what looks like a paint-by-numbers set at the top of the centre pile. I've been trying to work out what the silver object is behind the Santa on top of the needlepoint kit. It looks like a kitchen utensil.

[Clear plastic hairbrush & comb. - Dave]

Candled Choir

That was the first Christmas that I remember well, being 3 years old at the time. Janet's got quite a haul, there! I don't remember Little Miss Revlon, but I'll bet Barbie kicked her butt off the market when she became the rage, a couple years later.

I remember seeing LOTS of the choirboy and angel candles. I know my grandmother had some she put out every year.

Paint By Number

Looks like one of the highly coveted Paint By Number sets on top of the pile. I received numerous versions of these over my early years (I guess because I actually used them). I can honestly say that the end result for me was very mediocre every time I tried, even though I always started each new one with such positive enthusiasm. At least I was able to check off Artist as a future profession...

Ding Dong School

I see two boxes with the familiar "Ding Dong School" bell logo emblazoned upon them to inspire education, fun, and play. I also remember the nuns descending the stairs at grade school to the playground while ringing one, to end our playtime.

Sugar and spice

... and a pack of Camels. My grandfather was smoking by age 8, but I hope she waited a bit longer (or that if those belong to her Mom or Dad, that they quit as part of New Year Resolutions 1958).

[Candy cigarettes were an old-school stocking-stuffer. - Dave]

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