A friend could not resist giving me a jigsaw as they know I love the 1950s and doing jigsaws so to find them both together was perfect. The jigsaw was not square or rectangle but a special shape which made it more of a challenge as it is very difficult to do the edge first as that is usual way I start a jigsaw.


I got out my fold up card table which I use to do jigsaws, spread out the pieces and got started. It was fun working on it with all the great 1950s memories of hotrods, records, jukebox, diner and more. I remember going to a cafe and listening to the small jukebox that was at the end of each table. It was a great way to spend some time with your friends.



When I was almost finished I discovered that the jigsaw was to long for my card table as the ends hung over the edges of the table. I moved it diagonally on the table and problem solved so I could finish the jigsaw.



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Taking a photo has changed so much as you no longer have to go to the shop to buy a film then load it into the camera. You would take your photos then send them off to be developed which often took about a week. I remember waiting with excitement to get my photos back from being developed. It was always disappointing if some of your photos did not work out and all you got was a blurred photo. You got your photos back in an envelope with the negatives so you could get more printed at a later date if required. All the photos of my early childhood are in black and white. I found some old black and white holidays photos still with the negative and in the envelope from the developer.


I went on a school trip one year and had the photos developed as slides instead of photos. The slides fitted neatly into a plastic box with a yellow lid. I remember sitting through an endless slides show of someone’s holidays photos and usually the projector would breakdown a couple of times during the show. I took the photo with the old suitcases, photos with negative and round disc for putting your slides in to load in the projector some time ago as it reminded me of going on holidays as a child.



Today all you need is a mobile phone or camera to take photos and you can instantly see if you have taken a good photo. There is no more waiting a week to have the photos developed as you can go into a shop and have them printed instantly.

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When I was a kid growing up I remember Monday was always the day Mum did the washing. She had an enamel bowl which she would fill with hot water to melt the starch pellets so she could starch some of our clothes, tablecloths and tea towels. Tuesday was usually spent ironing as if you starched clothes they needed to be ironed to get out the creases. Mum would sprinkle the clothes with water when ironing them to help get out the creases. The cute plastic lady pictured below would be filled with water and the lid, which is her white hat, would be screwed back on. It had some holes in the lid so mum could sprinkle the clothes with water before ironing.


I saw an old copper and hand wringer used for washing at the same auction as the lawn mowers so I took a photo as they are great memories of a time when washing clothes was done without electricity. The old copper looked like a stand alone unit that you built a fire in the bottom to heat the water in the copper. I remember the hand wringer and how you put the edge of a piece of clothes that had just been washed between the rollers. All you had to do was turn the handle so the clothes went through the rollers squeezing out a lot of the water which meant they took less time to dry.


We had a hills hoist clothes line at home when I was growing up but I remember going to my friends house to play and her mum would hang the washing on a long line held up by a couple of wooden posts. There was a pole in the middle that you used to raise and lower the line so you could peg up the clothes then lift it up high to catch the wind to dry them.




These photos are a great reminder of washing day and all the hard work women of that time did to take care of the families laundry. The lady is not my mum but I thought they were interesting photos to share with everyone and bring back some childhood memories.

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I went to a farm clearing sale auction and saw a couple of old lawn mower. I got out the camera so I could share them with you as I enjoy seeing vintage things that have childhood memories.

The first photos are of an old push mower or that is what we called it when we were kids. I remember spending many an hour mowing the lawn with one of these old mowers pushing it around the lawn. It was quite a work out especially in the summer but a way to earn some pocket money.


The green lawnmower is an old Victa and looks very basic compared to the lawnmower of today. We live on a large block now so a ride on mower is a must as we get older.


I wonder if anyone else earned some pocket money as a child mowing the lawn and do you remember the old push lawnmowers?

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I also found these wonderful pages of fashion from the 1960s in the same magazine as the Coffee advertisement. The magazine was the Australian Home Journal February 1964 and I remember having a dress similar to one of the styles for older girls.



























The black and white page above has a picture of a Brunch coat which I think was also called a house coat. I remember seeing a couple of our neighbours in a brunch coat or house coat with plastic rollers in their hair that they had slept usually to help the curls in their perm stay in longer. I do not think it would have been very comfortable to sleep with the plastic rollers in your hair and it was definitely not a very glamorous look.

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I found this advertisement for Coffee in Australian Home Journal magazine from February 1964.

The ad reads…

Enjoy rich coffee flavour…less than a penny a cup!

It’s good! The whole family enjoys the flavor of Bushells Coffee Essence. It’s quick! Make it instantly with hot milk or hot water. It’s economical! Less than a penny a cup, so enjoy it often! Buy it sweetened or unsweetened.

So different to the many types of coffee we drink today.

I remember when Cafe-Bar Coffee machines came into the workplace when I was working in an office in the 1970s. The machine was made of white plastic and as an office junior it was my job to fill up the machine and give it a wipe over each morning. To get a cup of coffee all you had to do was put a plastic cup under the dispenser on the machine then turn the handle for Coffee which was instant powdered coffee, then Milk which was instant powdered milk, sugar if you wanted then press the button for hot water.

Now you grab a coffee from the local cafe on the way to work or go out for a coffee during the day.


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Tiddley Winks was a fun game to play with friends as it was a game for 2 , 3 or 4 players. All the players would select the set of counters they wanted to play with which comprised of a larger counter used to flick the smaller counters at the targets in the box. Everyone had a turn to flick their counters and after all counters were used the score was added up. This was repeated till someone reached the score of 500 making them the winner. It was lots of fun trying to flick the counters into the box and I remember playing it often as a child. This game has survived well over the years and still has the instructions taped inside the lid. I wonder if anyone else remembers playing this game with their family or friends?




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MAKING FRIENDS is the title of this Jolly Jig 63 large pieces Jigsaw Made in England. The details on the box are that it is special thick board and all fully interlocking. It is still in the original box with only one piece missing but it is in good condition for a child’s jigsaw puzzle from 1950s or early 1960s. It is a classic picture of children playing from this era. I remember playing with this puzzle as a child.



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There was a time when you knitted clothes for a baby but it is not done so much today as there are lots of fabulous clothes to buy for a baby that are easier to wash, have lots of bright colours and cute pictures on them. I came across some old knitting books together with a few balls of white Patons knitting wool from many years ago.



The balls of knitting wool still had the label on them and a piece of paper tucked under the label with information about the shade of the wool plus instructions on washing and drying the garment when knitted. This knitting wool was Patons Baby Wool with Nylon Made by Paton and Baldwing (Australia) Ltd. It was Shrink Resist, Patonised Finished, Mothproofed and 80% wool 20% nylon with a picture of a baby on the label. White was a very safe colour to knit baby clothes as it could be for a boy or girl.


balls of wool


The knitting books have patterns for jackets, dresses, booties and bonnets which were all items you would knit for a baby. If you had lots of time you could knit a LAYETTE for a baby which often included a Jacket, dress, bonnet, booties and a shawl to wrap baby in. A pair of knitted booties was a popular gift to make for someone expecting a baby.


I received two lovely handmade bassinet rugs from a couple of Aunties when I was expecting my first child which I treasured and used when the children were babies. I kept these rugs as they wonderful reminders of two lovely ladies who have since passed away.

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I came across this magazine from the 1950s which is a great snapshot of fashions, advertisements and what was in Women’s magazines at that time. It is The New Idea for Women dated June 19, 1957 and cost 7d (pence).

The back page is a full page advertisement for learning the piano in just 6 weeks with the Latest Home Study Lessons saying you will start to play in 30 minutes and soon you’ll be an accomplished Pianist, popular, sought after and be able to earn up to 8 pound weekly spare time playing and teaching. The course was just a few pence weekly ( it does not mention the exact cost) and it’s free if you don’t succeed (limited offer) to those who write for particulars withing the next 30 days.










The inside front cover has an advertisement for New Idea Pattern Service with a coupon at the bottom to complete with the size required and your name and address. All you need to do was fill in the coupon and enclose a 2/6 Postal Note or money order for each pattern ordered. The picture on the right is a pattern for an Enid Gilchrist party dress which you had to draft and make up the pattern yourself using the measurements in the magazine, not as easy as just buying a pattern from a shop. The home dressmakers of this time had some skill to be able to do this and I wonder how many people today could do it.










The page on the left is tips on how to look after your hair with details of The New Page-Boy look hairstyle at the bottom of the page.

The first page in the magazine lists the contents as well as an advertisement to reduce weight without drugs, very strenuous exercise or starvation diets. I read all through the ad but could not find out how you lost the weight as it was not mentioned in the ad or testimonials just that you COULD DO IT SECRETLY IN YOUR OWN ROOM and watch the bulging hips disappearing.

The magazine had a romance story ( the picture below), a serial (continuing story), recipes, a page where you could write in with a problem, handy woman page with lots of household tip and lots more.

I was surprised to see The Mere Male page (the picture below on the right) as I remember reading this in the 1970s and 80s when I bought the New Idea and did not know it had been in the magazine in the 1950s. It was a page where you could write in and share funny things a male, often your husband or son had done.

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A couple of the Mere Males in this magazine read…

Suggested to my young Mere Male that he come home a little earlier at night, as I lie awake worrying until I hear him come in. “What on earth do you lie awake for Mum?” The police would let you know if I was in an accident?”

Mere Male had a bilious attack on night and woke me saying, “Make me a cuppa. I’ve been awfully sick.” So I did. Several months later I had a bilious attack. Did he make me a cuppa? No. But he did suggest I make one for myself.

The winning Mere Male which won 1 pound 1 shilling for the contributor was…

Returning from an outing, I went into the kitchen to find parts of my Mixmaster strewn about. On asking Mere Male what he had been baking (knowing his love of food), I was completely floored when he replied, “No-thing. I’ve been mixing the paint with the Mixmaster, as it should make the paint nice and smooth.”

I hope you enjoy looking at this 1957 magazine as I found it lots of fun and an interesting look at life in the 1950s .

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