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Weird Stuff from the '40s, '50s and '60s

Remember these items? How many of you still have some of them today?

Are you a Facebook fanatic? I think I am.  It’s a cheap way to socialize, catch up on all the gossip, and it’s a better mood elevator than a stiff shot of Starbucks.

Lately, my boomer friends have been posting an array of items from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I think these images are posted to help fend off Alzheimer’s, assuming you can remember what they are.  I love these posts, and when I look at these contraptions, I’m thrown back to our simple days on Pacoima Court. 

Who remembers Mercurochrome? From a personal standpoint, my twin sister Teresa and I used to paint ourselves silly with this stuff, much to my mother’s chagrin. Widely used as a general antiseptic, did you know that it was originally introduced to the medical profession as a urinary antiseptic? Gives new meaning to the term “piss off” doesn’t it?

How about those S&H Green Stamps? According to Wikipedia, S&H Green Stamps (also called Green Shield Stamps) were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. Our family also collected Blue Chip Stamps. In fact, I think we may have redeemed several books to buy a toaster.

Remember those 45 record inserts that allowed you to play your 45-RPM records on any turntable with a standard center post spindle? They came in a several shapes and colors. But I’ll bet I tried to use a few of them to play a guitar when I smoked a reefer. No wonder my strings broke.

Did any of you have a wringer washing machine? I remember ours, with my mom churning the clothes through the rollers like a real champ. Back then, she sure didn’t need a gym membership to stay in shape. Just doing the laundry for six kids kept her fit and trim.

What about Silly Putty? We’d always smash that flesh-colored stuff on our comics, pull it up and look in amazement at the replica on the putty. According to Wikipedia, it contains a viscoelastic liquid silicone, a type of Non-Newtonian fluid, which makes it act as a viscous liquid over a long time period but as an elastic solid over a short time period. It was originally created by accident during research into potential rubber substitutes for use by the United States in World War II. Sounds like something Superman would have liked.

Take a look at the other photos I’ve posted.  Can you remember what these items are, and how they were used? Feel free to post your memories here on Patch. 

teresa mcgrath August 22, 2012 at 01:47 PM
nice article mary....i have 2 decorative meat grinders purchased at garage sales: one for the yard, and one perched high on a shelf with other collectable kitchen items....also have the wringer portion of the washer on top of my china cabinet...they all bring back memories...the skate key for the metal skates that were color-coded to size...the 45 spindle item for stacking records...still hang clothes outside with a wooden clothespins.....
Mary McGrath August 22, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I remember some of the memorabilia in your duplex Teresa. School desk from the 60's? I've got an Etch-A-Sketch, Charlie McCarthy doll, some old lunch boxes...If I had more room, I'd probably create a theme area.....
teresa mcgrath August 22, 2012 at 08:09 PM
neat...i have 4 school desks...2 from the turn of the century and 2 more '40's era i think...yes, if i had more room and $, i'd have theme rooms and lots of vintage cars
Mary McGrath August 24, 2012 at 06:52 PM
A nostalgic house!
Barbara Krause August 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
One of my sisters would comandeer all of the S & H Green Stamps when mom shopped for our family--and that is how we received our holiday gifts. We still call her the Coupon Queen and when we four sisters gather for an activity or a meal in her area she is happily in charge of ferreting out the best discount and it always works out well.
Mary McGrath August 27, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Our mom was very economical, and these stamps really came in handy for a multitude of things...It was a fun ritual...
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