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The Gift Cycle: 1953

The Gift Cycle: 1953

From Columbus, Georgia, comes this circa 1953 image of what seems to be a Christmas party at a laundry. Be of good CHEER, and a happy yule TIDE to ALL! 4x5 acetate negative from the News Archive. View full size.


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Angel Hair

What you see on this tree was and is called angel hair. It is made of spun glass. In the 1950's my uncle would always decorate his tree with it. Angel hair was never allowed on our tree because it was known to draw blood if you were jabbed by broken ends.
Properly applied to a tree it took on a very pleasing appearance. However, when hastily applied the tree could take on a Harpo Marx look as in this Shorpy photo.

Rock around the laundromat

That must have been one wild party judging by W. Roy's festive tie and the ratio of four goils to one guy. It's not my place to judge, but that cedar bush looks like it was decorated with laundry lint and loose threads, in keeping with the wash-a-teria theme. I appreciate the "rest of the story" revealed by commenter John J's enlightening research which makes the picture much more interesting and I can certainly relate to those much simpler times. Perhaps some of those gifts contained grits and corn meal samples which Roy sold as well as laundry detergent. Good times.


Looks like the Christmas tree is decorated with hair. Maybe the barbershop is next door?

When it comes to puns

nobody DUZ them like Dave.

Square D

Begun as McBride Manufacturing Company in 1902, the name was changed to Square D in 1917, and as of 1991 it has been a subsidiary of Schneider Electric. The most recent circuit breakers I bought for my electrical box this year are Square D, with the exact same logo as on the box in the photo (adopted circa. 1910). By the way, the sight of those old fuses makes me shudder. So many fires caused by stupid and careless people replacing them with fuses of higher amperage.

W Roy Kenimer

In the 1953 Columbus, Georgia city directory, we find W Roy and wife Ruth M. Ruth is running the Sunshine Automatic Laundry while W Roy is a salesman for Eelbeck Milling Company, a purveyor of grits and corn meal. The laundry was located on Victory Drive.

W Roy is handing out the gifts while Ruth looks on approvingly from the left. Afterwards, the entire company will sit down to Christmas brunch. If this is 1953, then this is Christmas Eve. Christmas came of Friday that year.

After brunch, W Roy and Ruth will find the City code inspector looking for a "gift" to overlook the location of the Christmas tree in front of the power distribution panel.

The lady in front reminds me of my grandmother.

Christmas in the Snow?

Or, perhaps, in Snow's, the Columbus laundry depicted a few posts ago? Part of a hard-hitting photo-journalistic exposé of the perils of ring around the collar, no doubt.

The size of the package

looks about right for a box of detergent?

So sad...

This has got to be the saddest Christmas photo I've ever seen. I'd hate to see the rest of the place if this is the only area to put up the tree. And that spray on window snow looks more like an early attempt at graffiti. Let's hope that none of those fuses blow next to that splendid tree hidden beneath the ton of angel hair. Joy to the whirl cycle.

One spark...

One spark from one of those electrical boxes on the wall would certainly yield a well lit tree!!

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