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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Mid-Century Modern: 1950

Mid-Century Modern: 1950

Los Angeles, 1950. "Herman Miller furniture showroom, 8806 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood." Designed by Charles and Ray Eames. View full size.

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Waxing real

As much money as Herman Miller made, it's entirely possible they put out fresh fruit daily in their showroom for customers.

... but you're probably right. It, like so much of the mid-century, was probably fake.

[The Eamses used actual plants, fruit and starfish in their displays. - Dave]

Wax fruit

Sometime before 1960, I went to a classmate's house and saw a bowl of wax fruit. After looking at it for about 15 seconds, I picked up an apple. The classmate yelled at me not to eat it, since it was artificial. I conclude today that he yelled because I was not the first kid to do this.

Fake Fruit is still "a thing" in my house

Wax may be passé but I have fake fruit in a lovely sage green ceramic bowl on my dining room table filled with fabric covered apples, pears, bananas and grapes. They look real and don't rot or attract/spawn weird flies. The look of fresh fruit in a bowl is very nice but not too practical, most fruit should be stored in a refrigerator.

Practice Makes Perfect

It's an early attempt at the cubicle. You don't get everything right the first time.

[Herman Miller designer Robert Propst's "Action Office" of the 1960s is regarded as the birth of the cubicle. - Dave]

Wax Fruit?

That used to be a thing. When did that cease to be a thing?

No Driftwood Visible Now

There is a vast amount of furniture and one hideous sculpture hanging from the ceiling at the present day location of the former Herman Miller showroom. The company is still in business in Los Angeles -- here are some other 1950 Herman Miller showrooms.


So, this was a 50s thing! My dad was always bringing home pieces of driftwood from his travels and we had them on the mantel and end tables and knickknack shelves. I used to play with them and pick at all the little shell and pebble pieces embedded in the open grain.

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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