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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Christmas Dinner: 1950s

Christmas Dinner: 1950s

From the "Linda" Kodachromes, circa 1950s, somewhere in New England. A place at the table, just for you. Gravy, anyone? View full size.

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I think it's Cider

In response to Marchbanks - I believe that would be cider at the table. Iced tea would have ice in it. Also, growing up in New England we had cider from Oct till Jan It was usually mixed with something that the adults enjoyed.

Jar candle

I think you'll find in the full-sized view that the "glass of milk" in the centerpiece is a jar candle. Since it doesn't match with the other items, maybe it was brought as a gift?

Kids Table?

I bet there is a card table set up behind the camera that has all the little ones eating by themselves. Just like we did so many years ago

Four generations?

Do we have four generations at this table? That is a gift in itself!

Good Gravy!

The nice brown gravy that the head of the table is so joyfully pouring on his turkey and dressing reminds me of my own family. My great-great grandmother was from Alsace-Lorraine. She was a great cook and taught her five daughters to make delicious, brown, roasted meats and gravies. Those daughters taught their daughters, and so on and so forth! In our family, holiday dinners just don't cut it without our wonderful, brown gravy!

They do love the gravy

...and what's with those curtains?!

Hand Mashed

No smooth ready made mashed potatoes on this table I'll wager. Hand mashed, thick and lumpy is the only way to go.

Mismatched glasses

are so Fifties! And what's with the glass of milk in the middle of the table? I love the Christmas striped bow tie on "Uncle Fred" and the Christmas corsages on the old ladies, too. Very festive scene!


Almost looks like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Oh, my lost youth

The Christmas dinners of long ago: Turkey, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, green peas, creamed pearl onions ... and ... iced tea? In New England?? Seriously???

I See The Green Thingys

It seems like no family dinner was complete during the 1950s unless everybody's plate got loaded up with those huge Birdseye frozen peas. I ate millions of them as a boy.

Brings back memories

This table reminds me of the Christmas and other dinners my Mother in law used to prepare. She was an excellent cook. Years later our grown children talk to me about the meals we spent at her table. That roast and brown gravy, mashed potatoes and peas or carrots and a wonderful salad she always made with her own homemade dressing. All of us around the table like those folks enjoying a better than A+ rated restaurant meal. I always told her she should open a restaurant. Thanks for the pictures Dave and I hope you have enjoyed a very Merry Christmas today.

Not New England !

This can't be a New England Christmas dinner. No bottles of Moxie on the table! It was a staple at all our family holiday dinners back in 1950's Massachusetts.

5 years, 42 weeks

That's how long I've been a registered Shorpyite, and each day the site seems a gift. Thank you, Dave and thanks to fellow Shorpy fans. Merry Christmas to all.

Tavern Brand Candles ...

... in the centerpiece. From Socony Mobil, home of the Flying Red Horse.

We had trees and a large Santa, now lost alas.

SHORPY OLD 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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