Category Archives: 1930s

Party Hats of the 1930s

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Reid Dickie

Among the artifacts unearthed in a recent archaeological dig through the family archives, I discovered seven party hats made of crepe paper. These are part of Mom’s teaching materials from the 1930s. As a child I was never allowed to play with these which accounts for their excellent condition today.

I’m not sure if Mom made these as an assignment when she was learning to be a teacher in Winnipeg Normal School in 1932 or if they were made afterward for a school event. They are all small and medium sizes to fit children’s heads. The crepe paper pieces are stitched together. The appliques, bits of wallpaper, are glued on. Here are the other six.

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Filed under 1930s, Art Actions, Education, Family, Schools

Calendars – The People’s Art

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Reid Dickie

Tis the calendar season!

Stores have large displays of 2015 calendars, Calendar Club kiosks are popping up everywhere and businesses are keen to get their free calendar and their name on your wall. Technology hasn’t figured out a way to transcend the obvious convenience of wall and desk calendars yet. They are still a daily necessity and, thus, a perfect gift, with the right images, of course.

I got curious about the origins of picture calendars and discovered they started in Red Oak, Iowa when Edmond Osborne and Thomas Murphy, two college friends, bought a woodcut of a grand local courthouse with the intent of selling the pictures. To offset the cost of the woodcut they sold advertising around the picture and added a calendar. The first wall calendar was born. It was 1889.

The Osborne Company was formed to create and sell promotional calendars. The founders traveled around the world buying images for their calendars as well as using the work of some of America’s most renowned artists: Thomas Moran, Frederick Remington, Maxfield Parrish, Rolf Armstrong and many others. Wall calendars became the people’s art; their high-quality images often had nostalgic, erotic or humorous motifs. Images of children were and still are very popular as calendar subjects.

While I was looking through some of my mom’s teaching materials she used in the 1930s and 40s when she was a school marm in rural Manitoba, I came across six images painted by an unknown artist with copyright belonging to the Osborne Co, Newark, NJ. No other credit is given although they have a Parrish feeling to them, especially the backgrounds but that’s just a guess. The nostalgic pictures are 4 by 5 inches and each is titled. If you have any information about these images, please contact me.

The picture at the top of the post is called “The organ man singing in the rain.” Here are the other five.

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“Wind a-blowing all day long.”

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“Marching, here we come.”

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“Up in the air I go flying again.”

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“Little children saying grace.”

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“We are lucky, with a lamp before the door.”

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Filed under 1930s, Art, Images, Promotion

Oasis In Space – Found Sound Poetry and Video

        Reid Dickie

Trinidad!
And the big Mississippi
and the town Honolulu
and the lake Titicaca,
the Popocatepetl is not in Canada,
rather in Mexico, Mexico, Mexico!
Canada, Málaga, Rimini, Brindisi
Canada, Málaga, Rimini, Brindisi
Yes, Tibet, Tibet, Tibet, Tibet,
Nagasaki! Yokohama!
Nagasaki! Yokohama!

Snapshot 5 (10-11-2014 2-48 PM)So begins Ernst Toch‘s fanciful sound poem Geographical Fugue composed entirely of world place names. Toch was a prolific Austrian composer of classical music and film scores who endeavored to stretch the boundaries of music. He’s credited with singlehandedly inventing an idiom called Spoken Chorus which combines the spoken word and music creating a new form of expression. Geographical Fugue, written in 1930, caused a sensation when it was first performed and remains Toch’s most performed work even though he dismissed it as unimportant. Snapshot 1 (10-11-2014 2-44 PM)

The piece strictly follows the form of the fugue with four voices entering one at a time: tenor, alto, soprano, bass. The basic structure is that of the canon or round (Row, row, row your boat) resulting in unexpected rhythms and harmonies. Composers John Cage and Henry Cowell translated the poem from its original German.

Snapshot 2 (10-11-2014 2-45 PM)I combined Toch’s sound poetry with footage taken of the earth from the International Space Station and offered with annotations by NASA.

I found both the sound and vision at www.archive.org. Click any picture to watch my 3 minute video.

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Filed under 1930s, Guff, video art

Mid-Century Winnipeg – The Cave Supper Club

Wpg Earle Hill & His cavemen at Cave Club 1937

Taken in 1937 in Winnipeg’s Cave Supper Club (likely located where Giant Tiger is at Donald and Ellice), Earle Hill and his Cave Men are about to entertain the evening crowd. There were also Cave Supper Clubs in Vancouver and Edmonton (it was a chain). Stalactites and huge mushrooms were prominent motifs in all of them.

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Filed under 1930s, Local History, Manitoba Heritage, Music, Winnipeg

Five-horse, One-man Swather and Stooker The Good Old Days Part 22

Snapshot 2 (17-09-2014 1-33 AM)

If we could only figure out a way to combine the swather and the thresher and cut out the stooking part…click pic

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Filed under 1930s, Guff

Dance Marathon The Good Old Days Part 20

Snapshot 1 (18-09-2014 11-14 PM)

Just click the pic to swing and sway to the modern sounds of Glenda and the Slippery Floors

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The dust blows forward, the dust blows back The Good Old Days Part 19

Snapshot 2 (16-09-2014 12-50 AM)

 “Dust tastes like dust.” John Steinbeck

Click any pic for a taste.

Snapshot 1 (16-09-2014 12-57 AM)Snapshot 3 (16-09-2014 12-51 AM)

Snapshot 1 (16-09-2014 12-50 AM)

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Filed under 1930s, Guff