Friday, October 2, 2009

The Blob and I

I recently watched The Blob (dir. Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr., 1958) and communed a bit with the material culture of the dowdy world.

[Click for a larger view.]

That desk could be mine, almost: I too have an inbox, fan, and lamp, though they look nothing like these. (I have a rotary telephone too, at work.) Note the stapler, bottled ink, cigarettes, and ashtray, and the safety-themed placard in the background. The drawer seems filled with stuff, which suggests to me that this scene, like many scenes in the film, was shot on location. (Perhaps a school office?)

[Click for a larger view.]

Note the battered bookcase and the polio-themed placard. And that calendar!

[Click for a larger view.]

Did I mention that calendar? 1957 was a very big year.

The beautifully designed 2009 Field Notes calendar has something of the same feel, on a smaller scale.

[A previous post defines “the dowdy world”: “modern American culture as it was before certain forms of technology redefined everyday life.”]

Related reading
All “dowdy world” posts (Pinboard)
Time passes (Calendar pages, 1930)
Is there a pencil in The House? (Pencils in The House on 92nd Street)

comments: 6

Slywy said...

My aunt had a fan like that. Talk about "safety"!

Gunther said...

Thank you for sharing your view on the everyday items of the past and your thoughts, not only in that post!

Michael Leddy said...

Slywy, I remember a fan like that when I was a kid, but larger, more dangerous.

Gunther, thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you enjoyed some of the pencil posts here.

Gunther said...

Michael, not only your pencil posts are very interesting but also your keen observations of the material culture of the dowdy world and many other posts – your open eye and your skillful view are amazing! By the way, I have written about that on my blog yesterday.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Gunther. I saw your post, but wasn’t sure if you’d seen any of the pencil posts.

My wife Elaine has volunteered to read some of your posts for me — she’s much better than Google Translate. : )

Gunther said...

Michael, thanks to you and Elaine for undergoing that effort – I hope you like what you find!