stepping back in time in chester county

A lady posted a bunch of amazing photos in a local Facebook group with the following message: “I still have a couple containers of old photos to go through. Any of these folks or places look familiar to you? This album dates back to the late 30s and 40s”

With her permission I am posting the photos here. They are all of the Malvern and possibly Phoenixville area. If you know any of the people in the photos or where the homes are located, please leave a comment.

A lot of the photos are of soldiers from World War II which I find particularly poignant. It makes you wonder who came home, doesn’t it?

The irony is the era some of these photos were taken was another time when we were doing our part for our country and staying home and growing victory gardens and living through rationing.

Anyway I hope you can help identify some of these people! I thought it would be something fun for people to do in times where it’s not so much fun during the day sometimes.

Be well.

projects: another sampler pillow

Since I have time on my hands, I sewed another little sampler pillow today after doing yard work.

I picked up the sampler a while back and had wanted to make it into a pillow but hadn’t. I used some vintage trimmings I had and I think it looks pretty cute!

Just something to pass the time in our new normal of COVID19 land.

Have a good night!

antique cookbooks

I think these cookbooks can be categorized as antiques. Left to right in the photo above they were published in 1922, 1936, and 1913.

They are an education in and of themselves, as well as being their own kind of time capsule. But these cookbooks, like their vintage mid-century cousins are terrific because they give you a lot of basic techniques and recipes that are overlooked in modern cookbooks in favor of photographs and pizazz.

They are also interesting little history lessons. Next time you see old cookbooks at a rummage sale or wherever, take a look through them– you might be surprised and have fun. Not everything is on the Internet as far as recipes go.

Sometimes it is fun being a bookworm 😊

a little mini cookbook gem

Did I need this little miniature cookbook? No but this little cookbook booklet was sitting on a shelf when I went barn picking this morning.

It’s partially a little time capsule but it is also a great little how to book for making piecrust, apple dumplings, chocolate layer cake, biscuits, sour milk gingerbread and more.

These are old school recipes like your grandmother would make. Now mind you I don’t cook with lard, and I think that is part of this cookbook. It was a gimme and advertising for Armour Lard.

And this booklet was created by Fannie Farmer in 1912!

Yes you are looking at photos of the entire booklet. It’s from 1912 so no harm in sharing. Also note the letter from the Principal of the Philadelphia School of Cookery on Powelton Avenue in West Philadelphia. Needless to say I don’t even think the building exists any longer!

Enjoy!

way back when

A friend of mine brought me treasures today. Mementos of a different era. Souvenirs of a Philadelphia and surrounding area that lives no more.

First is a weekly entertainment guide printed by Majestic Press. The week of April 8, 1940. Movies that were a very big deal being shown in theatres that no longer exist. There is even an ad for a burlesque show at the Troc and a photograph of the late great Maestro Eugene Ormandy as a young man.

The other treasure won’t appeal to as many people but it appeals to some of my friends and I because we lived it in the 1980s and late 1970s is the program book from the 1963 Philadelphia Charity Ball.

It’s like a walk through Philadelphia history. The grande dames of society and their husbands.

Ads for Philadelphia businesses that no longer exist, including all the fabulous fashion and department store shopping that used to be in the Philadelphia area.

To most people this means nothing, but for me to see a Kelly for Brickwork ad is something really special. Or for financial institutions that are long gone like Butcher & Sherrard.

What is so different from the way the program has evolved is there are no pictures of debutantes in the program book. The committee got out there and sold advertising space and basically filled an entire book with it. That’s hard work. I used to help my mother get a donors for the Philadelphia Antiques Show programs years ago.

One of the things that totally made me laugh was the ad for the Bryn Mawr Trust Company. It’s completely stuffy, pompous, and sexist. The irony is I’m not sure how much they’ve evolved to in the present day.

Some of you are going to think I spent way too much time taking screenshots of old program books. But I think this is really cool. It’s a social history and the history of businesses gone by, and a way of life that no longer exists. And its total mid century ad copy as well. And I love the fashion illustrations.

But this is also from an era when there was society and it meant something. And yes that meant lots and lots of rules. It was also kind of civilized.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of area history. A time capsule of the 1940s and 1960s. Take special note of the “President’s Message.” it was written literally right after President John F Kennedy was assassinated. I wasn’t even born yet and it gave me chills.

“cooking with soup”

This cookbook. I know my readers must be so tired of me going on about my love of vintage cookbooks but this is one right out of my childhood. The edition you see above is the first edition which was from the 1960s put out by the Campbell Soup Company.

I got this at an estate sale this past weekend. As a matter fact I haunted the person holding the estate sale to make sure I would get this cookbook!

This is another one of those great shortcut bearing mid century cookbooks that had two recipes I remember from my childhood. 

One of the things I love about this cookbook other than it’s as it was when it first came out in the 1960s, are the notes found in the cookbook. The lady who owned this cookbook left notes and recipe recommendations throughout the cookbook. As a matter fact I have been peeling off now rusted paper clips of where she had marked recipes she found especially good!

One of the recipes I wanted was the original tuna n’ noodles casserole recipe. Growing up, that was the our parents are going out and leaving us with a babysitter meal. I swear my mother practically made this every single time we had a babysitter.

The other recipe was their short cut version of turkey tetrazzini. And I actually did want that recipe because we had a frozen turkey that we cooked at the end of last week and I have to figure out what to do with the leftovers.

This cookbook is like a little time capsule. It goes back to a time when everyone and everything was probably a little more innocent. Is it necessarily the healthiest cookbook in the world? No, but sometimes I wonder how hard it would be to update these recipes for a more modern kitchen.

I still think this is a cookbook that every kitchen should have a copy of. And the 1960s edition that I have is found easily on Amazon and eBay and with used book dealers just as the 1970s version.

Add a little vintage to your kitchen! You’ll be glad you did!



rainy day estate sale

Picked up some amazing vintage linens today that are already soaking in the sink! The woman who lived in this lovely little house liked to sew so I have some amazing full- coverage aprons and vintage pillowcases. I also picked up these cute little hand stitched clothes pin bags!

Another great vintage score was an entire plastic container full of trimmings and sewing notions. Lace and ribbon and different kinds of trim. This is a crafter’s delight and I will use this stuff in many ways over the years to come.

Finally, I also picked up some amazing cookbooks. I think the Amish Dutch cookbook is my favorite but running a close second was the first edition James Beard cookbook I also found.

It was a cute little house way out and beyond Strasburg Road. I was in heaven as we drove by farm after farm because it was so nice to see some stuff that hadn’t been overtaken by development. Even in the rain, Chester County is so beautiful to explore.

Stay dry!