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Present Company: 1951

Present Company: 1951

"Bill, Emily & E.S. -- Dec. 25, 1951." We return to fur-friendly Blue Earth, Minnesota, for a Christmas visit from the folks last seen here last year. 35mm Kodachrome by Grace or Hubert Tuttle. View full size.


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On the cookies

Lots of Germans, Poles, Scandinavians, and Czechs in the area, so I'd wonder if some of the treats might be Kolacky. However, along the Czech highway (13) from New Prague to Waseca, the main form of Kolacky are the yeast raised and are not triangular. A German/Gentile name for them is "Mohntaschen".

That noted, a lot of the German names for these foods were "forgotten" from 1941 to 1945 for obvious reasons. In some towns, though, the grandparents can still speak Bavarian/other dialects.


This is the corner of Galbraith and Fourth St. The Tuttles lived on the NW corner. Their house appears to be gone now.

re: Don't forget the food

The triangle cakes might be the sweet version of kifli if they're more crescent shaped, or hamantaschen if they are a strict triangle. Either way, delicious!


The lady in the gray coat is wearing a make of lady's boots very popular back then called Kickerinos. As I remember my mom's, the high heels were usually carried until they were inside and then, by the closet or bedroom where the coats were kept, they would change into their inside shoes.

I can't believe the other lady has bare high heeled shoes in snow.

Minnesotans generally do not use chains in the winter. We have snowplows for that. We also learn how to drive on plowed snow covered roads, like the city street there, without them.

Back in the day we also used snow tires, though that largely disappeared in the 70's with all season radials. Studded tires made a brief appearance in the 60's but were banned by 1972 because of the road damage.

And the radio plays "Chestnuts roasting..."

So I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you!

The Canadian version

Of that car was called a Monarch. My late cousin had one in the early 1960's. It was a 1950 or '51 four door, two tone monster. The setting of that photo reminds me of the time several of us went for a ride one Dec 26th and he showed me how to do semi-controlled spins in an icy parking lot. I told him I wanted that car when he sold it, but several years later he sold it for $50 without consulting me. That's OK Richard, I still remember you fondly.

Don't Forget The Food!

I see plates in someone's hand, and, if I am not mistaken, the other lady getting more food out of the back seat.

Even in elegance, you had to bring your 'special' dish for Christmas dinner.

In our family, it is my sister-in-law's Hungarian triangle cakes filled with a nut mixture wrapped in a soft dough sprinkled with powdered sugar (yum).

(after all these years I still don't know what they are called, just triangle cakes)

My Dream Car

I agree, the driver is waiting for the ladies wearing the dead animals to unload the gifts while on a shoveled sidewalk so he can either back up in the drive or park on the street.
I'm guessing Fred is gonna back in and Bill is ready to direct him back.
Suicide doors were normal back then on 4-door cars, wearing heels was lady like, and a real man never used tire chains!

My wife said it got cold and snowed when she lived in Minesota. I was from Illinois and I remember slipping and sliding at Christmas. I was 12 then and asked Santa for a new Mercury....... or a sled.

I'm confused

My dad had a '49 Mercury four-door, but I don't remember suicide doors in the back. Were these an option?

[Standard. -tterrace]

High heels in the snow

A charming feature of cold, snowy winters in Canada is the arrival of the ladies, dressed to the nines, but with boots on and carrying their party shoes in a separate bag. To wear heels in the snow means that she knows / expects the walkway to be shovelled and that her only outdoor route will be from car to door. Nowadays, with global warming and massive amounts of salt, women wear all manner of footwear in the winter. I sometimes see women in short dresses and bare legs and heels, and think how people of yesteryear would have considered this insane.

Suicide doors

Children and adults of the last fifty or more years shall enquire, "what are suicide doors?"
Seem to recall suicide doors on mid 1960's Lincoln automobiles.

Merc driver

Are we sure the driver isn't still in the car?

Only one word

can describe the car, the clothes, the gifts...


'George, don't the salad in the trunk'

I love everything about this picture.

Winter Drivers

It looks like the car is idling and I don't see any chains on the rear tires. I was 9 years old in '51, living through the Rhode Island winters. My Dad hated putting chains on and would routinely drive about very icy, slippery roads without a second thought. I guess you just learn to drive without them.

A little off topic...

But what was the last car/sedan to have suicide doors? I've always loved champagne colored paint on any type cars!

Coming or going?

The presents are wrapped so probably just arriving, also it appears to be early in the day.

The car is running (steam from exhaust) so maybe Bill is going to park it in the street so the next guests to arrive can unload at the walkway.

Life in the Fast Lane

Suicide doors and wearing high heels in the snow. Hard core!


Love that '49 Mercury. Looks like the loaded version.
My first car was a '50 Merc. coupe. Needless to say I'd like it back now.

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