Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Glamour of Good Housekeeping

Whilst browsing through a charity shop on Saturday I came across this March 1956  edition of  'Good Housekeeping' magazine, which has now found a home in the VK archives.

I read the magazine from cover to cover over the weekend and found it fascinating, especially when you consider that food rationing fully ended in July 1954; this explains the host of cheese recipes and the full colour advert for chocolate biscuits - food that could only be dreamt about a few years earlier.

Post war glamour is very evident throughout the magazine, ranging from girdle adverts, fashion features and also a very chic model sporting an enticing 'come hither' look for Lyons coffee of all things!

I'd quite happily squidge myself into the 'Promise' to attain a figure like this!


Perhaps the photo is more suited to a De Beers advert?!

Looking at the photo below you can see how today's fashionable furniture owes a lot to '50s design; the coat rack, sideboard, tables and lamps wouldn't look out of place in a glossy interiors mag like 'Elle Decoration'.

By the way, compare the photo to that of the Ridgways Homemaker plate and you can see a similar plant stand and lamp.

I couldn't live with a tiled living room floor like this!

What's also interesting is how the adverts played upon 'polite society', emphasizing the importance of keeping one's house and offspring clean and tidy; these ads made me chuckle:

Look at the woman on the left: Quelle horreur!

Oh, the shame of it!!

And finally, an advert that still rings true today:


  1. Those old mags are a brilliant read ....I can remember the floor in my mum's first house .... it was a mix of brown and black shiny tiles and was totally unsuitable for small children .... this was around 1960 and it was soon carpeted over!

  2. Love it! I picked up a host of mags in Hay-on-Wye recently - they are a delight! I love all the old ads :)

  3. I love old mags too! Wartime rationing certainly produced trim figures!

  4. I've got a 1950's Good Housekeeping, too. Mine's got a great feature on grooming Poodles, always useful don't you think?
    I love the old adverts the best, I'm such a domestic slattern. I'm so relived I wasn't around then what with boned corsets and obsessive cleaning. xxx

  5. Brilliant, I always pick up '40s and '50s mags if I (rarely) see them as they are such a great read, even the adverts are interesting. Golly, those "under garments" are something but you can see how they got such a wonderful silhouette in those days. Thanks for sharing the photos.
    Hen x

  6. I loved your interpretation your experience reading this magazine (especially this thing about good manners, I think you are onto something, ans I hope to read more of these in your blog soon).

  7. I love 'Housewife' Magazine, especially the wartime ones (what a surprise). I also demand one of those corsets.
    My grandmother wore this extraordinary ointment pink number with real whalebone and we took it in turns to lace her into it every day. She wore it well into the 1970s; she had a hernia and it was decided that she would be better off being laced up than operated upon. Those were the days......

  8. OoH,I love those Harpic adverts... hadn't seen them before. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Oh the social shame of having a dodgy toilet!! Hilarious!! I don't imagine many women would actually have been brave enough to tell thier house proud best friend she could brush up on her lavatorial cleaning skills!

    I'm off to buy an industial sized harpic so that I don't loose all my friends!

    p.s. I have awarded you the 'One Lovely Blog award', thank you for finding my blog so I could find yours!!

  10. I love reading the old adverts in magazines. One of the perks of my job! My friend and I read them out aloud in terribly proper clipped accents.


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