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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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Birthday Party with Grandma, 1953

Birthday Party with Grandma, 1953

My cousins, Oak Park, Illinois. 1953. Tom (left) is the Birthday Boy. 35mm slide. View full size. The living room was seen earlier in this post.

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GE whiz

That's a General Electric TV, a 1951 model. I do agree that it's probably a 16 inch set as it looks almost identical to Model 16T3, but for the fact that the top appears to be flat rather than arched.

[General Electric 16T5. - Dave]

Re: It's Heeeeeeere

Great observation/comment, Vic. Who could have imagined that we'd go from an unobtrusive box to a monstrous 62-inch flat screen "devouring beast?" I remain faithful to my 32-inch Magnavox encased in a simulated wood-grain cabinet. It's a retro dinosaur!

It's Heeeeeeeere

Meanwhile, biding its sweet time against the living room wall, lurks what would become the devouring beast of the second half of the century.

Motorola TV

Grandma is right up to date with her new Motorola TV, probably made right in Oak Park. It looks to feature a 16" (measured diagonally) rectangular picture tube, which was likely made for Motorola by National Video Corp. the company that along with Motorola later introduced the first successful rectangular color CRT. Motorola's advertising jingle was sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday" using the words "Motorola TV."

Nice slice of life

Someone should have reminded them it was time to blow out the candles.

Sweetly simple treats

Looks like an angel food cake by the shape of it, with tiny cups of mints beside plates of ice cream. Perhaps someone called out to hurry up and snap the picture because those ice cream slices are just about to melt!

Compared to the mountains of trash generated by today's paper party supplies and the expensive favors and goody bags, this party looks wonderful. Everybody's enjoying cake- and time with Grandma. I love this photo.

Camera case

Unless my eyes deceive me that's a Kodak carrying case on the table behind Grandma, and that's definitely a Kodak yellow box. Slide film? It could be 8mm movie film, too.

Harlequin China

We owned this very same china which my mom bought in Woolworth's. It came in colors like Fiesta but was shaped differently, a little more streamlined, and was called the "poor man's Fiesta." I believe it was reproduced in the early 70's in different colors. Some people still call it Fiesta. All of it was made by Homer Laughlin China Co. The little goils had their hair set, no doubt in rubber curlers, the night before. By the way, I'll have a slice of that cake with my coffee please. Ain't Grandmas GRAND?


I would dearly love to have that Western Electric model 202 telephone on the table behind Granny. It was probably pushing 20 years old when this photo was taken.

Lovely birthday table set

Lovely birthday table set with Fiestaware in assorted colors. And what grandma's house would not be perfect without antimacassars on the chair? But more importantly, look at those sweet faces.

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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