Tuesday, December 24, 2013


At the end of a troubled year in 1968, three men blasted off planet to become the first humans to orbit the moon. This historic journey paved the way for future lunar missions and at the same time gave a bruised nation some much needed relief.

The famous Earthrise photo by William Anders

Below is the original CBS broadcast from Christmas eve when the Apollo 8 crew read from the book of Genesis. This takes place at 5:10 in the video. (It always gives me goosebumps when I hear it!)

Here's an excellent Apollo 8 POV video narrated by Andrew Chaikin. It was created and released last week for the 45th anniversary. 


All of the vintage Christmas cards I've been sharing are samples taken out of this Thomas Terry catalog. Now here's some scans of the catalog with a few kitchy items!

Monday, December 23, 2013


One of my favorite Christmas movies is A Christmas Story and these slides from my found photo collection kind of capture the spirit of that film. 




Sunday, December 22, 2013


Remember when Christmas lights were big and clunky? Here are some for your holiday viewing pleasure.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Yesterday, I found two 1950s Christmas stencil packets and both have fun graphics on the front envelope. In the 1970s, we never sprayed fake snow on our windows. Do people still decorate with snow in a can these days?

Kinda neat that these stencils still have the remnants of canned snow!

The Frosti-White packet only had this one sheet of stencils.

For fun I've included a can of Moore's Snow that I found stuck way back in my grandmother's cupboard. Also click here to look at a Howdy Doody stencil packet I shared back in 2011.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


When I was five years old, I apparently wanted to grow up and become a soda jerk. That didn't happen but I had fun practicing my snow cone making skills with a classic toy, the Frosty Sno-Man Sno-cone Machine by Hasbro. Frosty showed up under the Christmas tree in 1975 and if time is correct on our colonial plastic clock; the family ate cherry flavored shaved ice for Christmas breakfast. 

We were a Sears Wishbook family and most gifts were ordered from that catalog. The Wishbook was kinda like the Amazon of the 1970s! Here's Frosty pictured in the 1975 Sears Wishbook priced at $5.44.  

It's hard to believe he survived the garage sale of '82 and the childhood toy purge of '84, but here's my original Frosty. Sure, he's a bit worn and has a few embarrassing spots of yellow snow, but overall he is still standing tall.  

The only accessory to survive is this red funnel. Frosty came with a shovel, two syrup bottles, ice crusher hat, paper cups and five flavor packs. The five flavors were cherry, pink lemonade, lime, blueberry and lemon. Also included was the Tasty Treat Sweet Shop accessories; a hat, apron and cardboard sign. I couldn't wait for summer since I wanted to set up my Tasty Treat Sweet Shop and sell snow cones to the neighborhood kids. Just like the kids in this 1970s commercial - 

Unfortunately my big snow cone business dreams melted away. The flimsy plastic hat and apron disappeared soon after Christmas along with the cardboard sign. After the syrup packs were used up, we tried Kool-Aid for a bit, but eventually the fun of making snow cones wore off. But a new type of fun was discovered and this fun was a bit more sinister!    

Frosty became a villainous monster of the toy box. That's right, I learned that you could throw a plastic toy soldier inside his hat and after a tired elbow and 100 cranks, he'd be shaved plastic.  

It was truly a horrible fate for many brave plastic army men, plastic animals and plastic cars.

Grinding and grinding! Oh the toymanities!

Frosty originally hit the toy aisles sometime in the early 1960s and its predecessor was Hasbro's Frosty-Freeze. 

1964 Newspaper Ad

Frosty originally came with ten flavor packs and even smoked a pipe. Click here to view a nice example from 1967. In 1969 the Tasty Treat Sweet Shop was introduced as seen in this example here. Another box variation can be seen here. I've scanned a few examples found in various Christmas catalogs.

1974 Sears Wishbook

1974 Spiegel Christmas Catalog 

1975 Spiegel Christmas Catalog

I believe it was in 1977 that Frosty got a total make-over as seen below in the 1978 Sears Wishbook. 

The snow cone machine has been a popular toy in many different forms.

Circus Treat Sno-Cone Maker 
1976 Sears Wishbook

Mickey Mouse Snow Cone Machine 
1978 JCPenney Christmas Catalog

Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine 
1979 JCPenney Christmas Catalog

Ice Age Sno-Cone Machine
1996 JCPenney Christmas Catalog

Other snow cone machines - Icebird, Kool-Aid, Ice Busters, Surf ShackMr. BlizzardMy Little Pony,, Sailor Moon, Mr. Snowman, Party Penguin, SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Polar Ice and probably a bunch more.

With all of these licensed sno-cone machines, I think Kenner missed the boat. Early 1980s kids could have been making snow cones from the Empire Strikes Back Wampa Sno-Cone Machine!