I remember learning to sew at High School and the skill has been very useful over the years. The first item we made in Sewing Class was an apron and head scarf to wear in our Cookery class which was know as Home Economics. The ability to make my own clothes was very useful when I first started working as I did not earn much money so it was a great way to save some money.  I found an old dress pattern which reminded me of making my own clothes as a teenager and I am sure I would have loved to make this very cute dress.

This pattern has the instruction sheet but unfortunately not all of the pattern pieces are still in the packet. I had forgotten that sewing patterns did not have any writing on them originally but a number or letter made with holes and holes to show were darts were to be sewn.

To everyone who learnt sewing at school or has done some sewing over the years I hope this brings back some memories. I would love to hear anyone’s memories of sewing or cooking classes at school.

My memories of cookery classes are of a very strict stern lady as a teacher and learning how to set a table, manners and lots of theory before we ever got to do any cooking.  It may have been set up that way as it took us 6 months to make the apron and headscarf in sewing classes to wear when we were cooking. The strict rule was if you forgot to bring your apron and headscarf you did not get to cook.

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Remember listening to music in the 1970’s on cassette tapes instead on a record player.

You did not have to worry about the needle jumping and scratching the record and a cassette player was more portable than a record player.

One of the problems with this new technology was the tape would get stuck or unwind and you would have a large mess of brown tape coming out of the cassette.

I remember using a pencil in one of the holes in the middle of the cassette to rewind the tape back into the cassette but when it happened once if often happened again with that cassette.

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I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles as it is a great way to keep the brain active as you get older. I was thrilled to find an ELVIS PRESLEY jigsaw puzzle recently in an Op Shop with a sticker on it that said complete. I enjoy listening to rock and roll music and Elvis is one of my favourite singers from that era so it was exciting to find the Elvis jigsaw.

It is a 550 piece jigsaw and I completed it the other night. As the sticker on the front of the box stated it was complete I am happy to report.

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In September last year I posted an article about Photos, Slides and Negatives with some memories of when you took photos then sent your film off to be developed into black and white photos or slides.

I recently came across an old slide projector and could not resist taking a couple of photos to share on Born in the Fifties. Our family had one of these slide projectors and I remember going to a Garden Club where they would have guest speaker who would bring along slides to assist in their talk.

This slide projector has a “remote control” pictured at the front. I think the projector we had at home was one you had to operate manually. There is a round cartridge in the machine which holds a lot more slides than the ones pictures in front of the machine.

In the projector is one of the long slide cassettes which takes 36 slides and the arm which makes it move along is out. The round cassette below takes 120 slides so if someone had a couple of round cassettes full of slides you were in for a long session of watching slides.

Leave a comment and share your memories of sitting through slides shows. Were they interesting or rather boring if you were watching someones endless holiday slides? Often there would be problems getting the projector to work which always made it much longer watching the slide show.


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It is time to welcome in 2017, make a couple of New Years resolutions and put up a new calendar. I am looking forward to an great year and hope to find some interesting things to share with you on Born in the Fifties.

It will be an exciting year for anyone born in 1957 as there will be a 60th birthday to celebrate. A great excuse to catch up with family and friends, have a party and lots of fun.

Just for fun I found a few events that happened in 1957 which I thought would be of interest.

Jailhouse Rock the movie starring Elvis Presley was release in 1957
The romantic movie An Affair to Remember starring Gary Grant and Deborah Kerr was also release in 1957.
Old Yeller the sad Disney Movie about a dog was released in 1957.
The Australian television quiz show Pick a Box starring Bob and Dolly Dyer aired from 1957 to 1971. I remember watching this show as a child in black and white on the television.
Australia was the first country to issue regular Christmas stamps each year from 1957.


All the best to everyone for 2017


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I came across an old Jigsaw in an op shop for the price of $1-00 so bought it as I loved the look and vintage picture. It was a Majestic Jigsaw with over 1000 pieces, fully interlocking and the measurement on the box was in inches not centimeters. The jigsaw was called The Blue Lake and the people in the foreground have a 1950s look so I am guessing it is from around that era.


It is always a risk when you buy a jigsaw from an op shop that all the pieces may not be in the box. I completed the jigsaw and found that there were 5 pieces missing but to my surprise there were 2 random pieces that did not belong to this puzzle. You can see from the picture of the completed jigsaw below the green gaps where the pieces are missing and the 2 extra pieces at the bottom.


It was fun to do a jigsaw with a great vintage picture and a little harder to do with an edge piece missing but I am always up for a challenge. I will put the jigsaw box to good use as it will make a great storage box for some of my old treasures.

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I have found a number of various styles of kitchen canister sets from different eras over the past year in Op Shops which are a great look back in time. Do you remember seeing any of these at home when you were growing up?


This set of canister were made by Vulcan and were metal, I think aluminium, with a plastic knob on the lid, possibly bakelite. I think they have been painted and have a transfer label with a cherry put on the front. When I was a kid we had a metal set of kitchen canisters that were kept on the mantel above the wood stove in the kitchen which meant they were very handy when you were cooking.


I love this set of brightly coloured plastic canisters but unfortunately when I found them the yellow one was missing the lid. Mum had tea caddy made in a similar style which was plastic and had a T on the front in the same lettering as these canisters. It was green with a cream lid the same as these which you took off when you needed to fill it up with tea.



These last 2 sets of canisters remind me of a time when brown and orange where the popular colours in home decor. The brown and cream canisters are a set of 4 ceramic canisters with great lettering on the front. The orange and brown set are plastic with lids that are plastic but were painted to look like wood.

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I recently went on holidays and while away I found some interesting old postcards in an op shop. The postcards reminded me of going on holidays years ago and making sure I bought some postcards to post back to family and friends while I was away.


The first postcard is of the Flinders Street Station corner in Melbourne from the late 1960s I think. The twin towers of Victorian Gas in the background and Central Station on the opposite corner are no longer there but are replaced by Federal Square. I moved to Melbourne when I left school to work in an office so I remember this corner as I would catch a train every day to and from work. The second postcard is from the late 1970s and features a Melbourne tram.


Some of the postcards I found had a long letter on the back that filled the postcard with small writing. My notes to family and friends on the back of a postcard was usually like the second postcard above with a short note about the holiday.


You could also buy View Folders as well as postcards to send or remember the places you saw on your holidays. They often had pictures on both sides and sometimes a place to write a note to someone you were sending them too.


It was lots of fun looking through the old postcards I found as they show what places where like as some of the things featured no longer exist or have changed.

Today when we go on holidays the mobile phone is an easy way to take some holiday photos and instantly send them to family or friends with a message. I did see some postcards for sale in souvenir shop while I was away so you can still buy them but I guess they are not a popular as they used to be.

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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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