A Peek at the World 50 Years Ago ~ 1961 Better Homes and Gardens Magazines

Sometimes I never know where my next idea for a post is going to come from. Yes if I have a project I've been working on or I am going to be somewhere I think you all would like to see, I know what I will be writing about. But every so often the idea can come from right out of the proverbial blue, and today was no exception. This morning I received a comment from Michele (with one "L") from over at the sweet blog NOOK and CRANNY. So as I regularly do when I see someone new to Rosemary Lane has made a comment, I will follow that person back to see their blog and what they are all about. Well after reading Michele's comment I followed her back to her little piece of bloggyland, and she had a wonderful post up about a vintage 1953 Workbasket magazine. (Click here to read her post.) Michele (with one "L") went on to share some  of the pages from the magazine and at the end of her post she asked if you, her readers, collect any old books or magazines. Suddenly I remembered that I had four 1961 issues of Better Homes and Gardens tucked away in an upstairs closet! I had picked them up a few years ago while traveling through upstate New York in one of the antiques stores Mr. Rosemary Lane and I had been in. So thank you Michele (with one "L") for the lovely comment today, your post on the Workbasket magazine and for asking the question...

"Do you collect books/magazines like these?"

Here is a little peek at what the world was like 50 years ago through the eyes of  Better Homes and Gardens magazine!!!

Check out the blue laminate counter top with matching appliances. Nope stainless steel appliances weren't even a twinkle in old General Electric's eye! And look at the coordinating wallpaper.

Tres chic!

This next kitchen is in an add from Congoleum-Narin Vinyl Floors. I love the hounds tooth covered swivel chairs. The modern look with a traditional fabric...we are still doing the same thing with today's home designs.

The McCormick Gourmet Collection spice jars haven't changed much in the last 50 years! (Although I am pretty sure that they don't t make garlic chips anymore)

Are your arteries clogging up yet?

If you didn't care for the blue appliances in the first kitchen, how about pink ones in the laundry room?

This article appeared in the September 1961 issue.

Did you notice the author of this piece? Could it be???

Are you old enough to remember cigarette ads in magazines...the ones without the Surgeon General's warning?
 "You can take Salem out of the country but...you can't take the country out of Salem".

This is from the November issue...now that is a nice price! But sadly the offer expired over 50 years ago!!

Some more of the decor of the early 1960's.

How about this garden? I love love love that picket fence!

Now I have never heard of a burnt sugar cake but this looks like something I'd sure like to try!!!

So now let me pose to you the question...

Do you have any old magazine collections that you'd like to share???

Have a great weekend!!

If you liked this post please vote for me by clicking on the picket fence below.

Thank you!

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  1. I just loved looking at these old photos of magazines! I love those houndstooth chairs! And who wouldn't want a pink dryer!
    dee dee

  2. I loved looking thru your magazines.
    It always makes me chuckle to see the woman of the house doing chores dressed in a dress and heals, to funny! I don't know, do women do this???
    Thanks for the big shout out on my blog post, appreciate it.
    Hope you are having a sunshine Sunday.
    Michele (with one L)

  3. This post is so nostalgic. I enjoyed seeing the interior trends of the moment.

  4. This was such an interesting post to look at. I have always loved BH&G and this look back was such fun. When I bought my last house, the electric cooktop was at least 15 years old (we bought it 23 years ago) and it was sort of a brushed chrome. So that means it was maybe close to 40 years old! My Mom had turqouise in our 60's split level. Thanks for sharing.

    Robin Flies South

  5. Thanks for sharing at cowgirl up. I have several old magazines that we recently inherited from my MIL, so now I know what to do for a post, when I am stumped. Thanks for the idea.

  6. Thank you, thank you for posting these. I'm a 1961 baby and am fascinated by magazines, etc. from the time. I don't have any so it was sooo fun to have you share this. I especially loved seeing the communism one. If only people were paying attention now like they were then. Very cool. Found you at Cowgirl Up.


  7. I love your post. Can you believe those colors? The pink I remember my grandmother put a pink tub, sink etc in her hall bath...that is what the pink brought to mind. Fun post

  8. Oh my goodness!
    What a trip down memory lane!
    I was born in 1960, so many of these pictures give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the "Good Ol' Days"!
    I just LOVE the blue kitchen and that bar with the houndstooth bar chairs/stools!
    Thanks for some great memories!
    Glad I found you through "Cowgirl Up!"
    Lisa H.
    Stuff-n-Such By Lisa

  9. Such an interesting blast from the past! I shared your link on my facebook page today https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crafty-Texas-Girls/140299076008437

    So glad you shared your post at our party this week!
    :) Samantha from Cowgirl Up!

  10. Oh thank you for sharing this lovely and filled with great childhood memories images!! My mom looked so much as that lady with the girl and her cloths. My oldest are from the late 70's and early 80's, some day I will show you the cook books I made out of those days, cooking pages. I loved the pink laundry room!... although not much the blue kitchen..but the houndstooth chairs, sooo modern for today too. Hugs,

  11. I LOVE this article! I was born in September of 1961, so that made it so much more interesting to me! Thanks for posting it!

  12. Im an 80s baby but still have such a connection to the retro era. I love these pics, the wallpaper and chairs are all the rage now its funny how things come back around isnt it :)

  13. Unfortunately, I remember all this and more, we did not have the colored applianaces though,(more exspensive) everything that came out of the dryer had to be ironed, wow this takes me back, thanks, I think!

  14. These old magazines are so neat! Thanks for sharing them :)
    I love the blue fridge and pink washer/dryer set. We live in a pretty small town and a lot of the historical houses still look like this, which I think is really awesome! I was actually looking at real estate listings this morning for a post I'm working on and I was a little surprised that some houses haven't been renovated at all in so long! I love the way they look, though!

  15. a HUGE thank you for this post. We were wondering when some of the updates in our house were done. No, I'm not kidding! The home was subdivided and those metal cabinets are exactly what was in the upstairs kitchen!

    AND the flooring ad...that pattern looks almost identical to what was in the dining room that used to be a kitchen under some carpet. It goes along with some newspaper clippings we found stuffed in a hole LOL

    I think we can safely date these changes to the early 1960s :)

  16. SWEET! I love seeing the pages from vintage magazines. That blue kitchen seems fairly mod for the time, I think!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

  17. I never tire of looking at these old photos. I get so many ideas and it seems life was simpler back then. Thanks for sharing.

  18. How incredibly fun! XO, Aimee

  19. This was So Much FUN! A great post and now I want to go find old decorating mags. :D
    My eye immediately went to those chairs in the first photo. Totally cool but I would paint them something other than blue. The pink laundry appliances kind of stole my heart. Who would guess? :D and I am sure my mom and dad had an Ethan Allen rocker like the black one in one of the images.
    The ads and the George Bush article are such magnificent vistas into the past. Loved it. Thanks so much for sharing this week on BeColorful

  20. What a blast to look through these!! Hilariously, my mother-in-law had a very similar stove from the blue kitchen up until five years ago! The cook top was a "pull-out"...it was crazy. But, I kind of like the vintage blue fridge with the freezer on the bottom...how fancy!! Love the article for teaching the children, too...by G. Bush!! HA!! I would be delighted for you to share this with my readers over at Mop It Up Mondays: http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/05/mop-it-up-mondays-18.html


  21. Ack, all those kitchens are the ones we saw in the houses we looked at before we bought this one! Even the ovens! My husband and I had to laugh at the cigarette ad... "Take a puff--It's springtime!" HA! This was a great post! Thanks for the smile

  22. I so enjoyed seeing and enjoying these photos. Gosh I just had a dress on yesterday doing housework, doesn't everyone? Such a great look at nostalgia. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration over at Sunday's Best, love see what your up to!

  23. I don't collect magazines like these but do have a really old issue of Family Circle I should dig out. I remember all those appliances and more. My MIL once had a washing machine that could have the agitator removed and a different thing put in it's place and then it could be a dishwasher, if you can imagine.

  24. The burnt sugar cake you showed was one of my mother's stand-by cakes--she made it ALOT...with burnt sugar frosting of course! It IS a good cake.


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