Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gold Seal Linoleum (1955)

Reading advertisements in old Life magazines from the fifties' reminds me a lot of the back-page Highlights for Children magazine feature called "Hidden Pictures". I love these old Gold Seal Linoleum advertisements from 1955... not just for the gorgeous floors they're meant to sell, but all the little touches that keep me squinting at the fine print. Sure, the curtains, the line of the sofa arms, the wall hangings may seem mundanely modern to fifties' readers, but aren't they just EXTRAORDINARY to us poor millennials? Take a gander at some midcentury magnificence:


One, you had me at the model name: "Sequin". How did you know I would LOVE to have a thousand flecks of color scattered beneath my feet!
Do you spy:
  • The living room set in a pale turquoise-y cornflower for the chairs, and pale red for the couch?
  • Gold tea set?
  • Orange brocade pinch pleat drapes?
  • Freestanding shelf-room divider?
  • Tripod base lamp?
I especially like the color choice in throw pillows. Get it!


Here, the "Jackstraw" kitchen. Do you spy:
  • Eames wire chair esque dining room chairs?
  • Gold and black laquer tea tray with copper wok?
  • Gold dome light fixture?
  • Gold wall hanging sized clock?

Note the prevalence of redheaded models in these illustrations. Would titan hair help my chances at a linoleum dream room?

"Square Dance"... with controlled shading!!
Do you spy:
  • Red hair pin leg table with black stripe seated, practically backless chairs?
  • Built in goldenrod couch?
  • Pale blue TOTALLY MAXED OUT ON PLEATS drapes?
  • Built in make-up table, the mirror of which appears to fold down into a workspace?
  • Blue vinyl top countertops which perfectly match aforementioned drapes?
  • A small blonde child? (I totally missed her the first time!!)
"Fashion Floor"...apt enough!
Do you spy:
  • Mamie pink and grey tile in chevron pattern BE STILL MY HEART.
  • Pink and grey day bed with fish appliques!
  • Built in magazine rack?
  • Black and white paper fish lantern!
  • The fact that this apparently teenage girl is linoleum tiling her own room? I wish I were half this handy. Maybe after the jealousy subsides, I will try and be so handy!

How about this commercial scene? This could be a luncheonette of some kind... I sure wish they still had these downtown. How much classier would I feel spending my lunch hour among other young professionals ALSO having a soup and sandwich in cutesy surroundings? The modern bistro just doesn't cut it for me. Do you spy:
  • Yellow and grey flecks in the grey tile?
  • Mint green bar/ cafeteria set up/luncheon server? (Reminds me of this song title)
  • Yellow formica outdoor set with curlicue ice cream parlor chairs?
  • Green awning with white trim?

The real look of a woven rug with clever linoleum work! Junior, you do not deserve such a put-together work environment, I am pea green. Do you spy:
  • A box record player?
  • The captain's chair at Junior's desk?
  • The director's chair at stage left?
  • Scattered multi-78 albums? (see, told you he didn't deserve such a nice place to do homework! Litter bug!)
  • Tennis racquet?
  • Green plaid curtains?
  • Pinboard illustration of a thoroughbred? (Why not?)
  • White dome light fixture?
OH. MY. GOD. What do I have to do in life to deserve a kitchen this cheery?

Because I'll do it!
Do you spy:
  • The heart shaped backs of the chairs, with red seating?
  • The built-in-the-wall red table, possibly of a folding variety?
  • Strange, round knobs all over the kitchen cabinets and drawers? (What...ARE those? Seriously, my only criticism)
  • Stainless steel built in stove?
  • Green paint inside shelving which matches green fern wallpaper which matches the green fern at the window?
  • THE.BLACK. COUNTERTOP? Zing, ladies and gents! So modern!
  • White tile with black and red stripe trim at the wall?
  • Red cafe curtain over window at sink?

This is the office in which I will be secretary to 1950's Cary Grant. It is here that he might willfully ignore me as his Girl Friday and nothing more until FATE and circumstances causes me to remove my thick framed spectacles, to reveal the true beauty I've been all along! (I thought I looked okay with the spectacles, but you know how 1950's Cary Grants can be)

Do you spy:
  • A bakelite-ish maroon and cream modern clock?
  • A sliding green room divider?
  • Wire-based lamp?
  • Patterned panel drapes to stage left?
  • My heart, pining for the dimpled chin of the former Archibald Leach?


I love that I lost the captions for these photos so I can only conjecture, as in the luncheonette tableau, what's going on. Florist's shop, natch, but wouldn't this also be cute as my overly landscaped back patio? I love the "spotlight" flooring directed on the one object (a flower cart in this, but either a phonograph set up or a bar cart in my imagination's version).
Do you spy:
  • The coolest desk of them all?!
  • The gradiated, geometrical shelving on the back wall?
  • The in-wall flower cabinets?
  • The florist offering Madame a bouquet for her perusal as if it were the ladies' department at Macy's? "Do you approve?"
Ok, kiddos and kidettes, your final challenge:


I've obviously saved the best for last. Can you tell me what all YOU spy in this brimming-to-the-top-with-fascinating-objects and final Hidden Picture? What really catches your eye?

Hope you enjoyed the ocular calisthenics, have a great Thursday!


  1. Stop it before I weep! Why oh why must our flooring choices today be SO mundane? When did we become so utterly boring?

  2. Super Duper Post!!! I love every single one of these pics. Some of the design features are so classic. Why isn't this type of linoloeum tile making a comeback?

  3. WANT!!! (especially the big checker board)

    Does linoleum give people cancer or is it OK for me to want it?



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