Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dennison's Bogie Book (Vintage Halloween Decorations, 1920)

Good morning!

Continuing on the theme of "Halloweens Past", have I got a treat for you guys today! You might be sick of the color orange by the time we're through with today's post, but if you like doohickey little decorations as much as I do, gird yourself against the pumpkin color palette because these are THE. CUTEST. THINGS.


1920's Dennison's Bogie Book includes decorations for fall festivals and Thanksgiving, but believe me when I say that they pale in comparison with the crazy, crazy Halloween trimmings offered up for design and purchase in this booklet. Dennison paper goods are still in business under the umbrella of Avery-Dennison, but in 1920 as a separate entity, they were showing you how to do some SERIOUS Halloweening! The copy in the front of the book assures us that "all of the decorations shown are easy to copy and in almost every case stock goods are used". Meaning, in the year of our Lord 2012, you, too, can create these cutie crafts of yesteryear with just your own bold ambition and some simple craft supplies. You might need to make copies of some of the "seals" here (like the cat's face, the pumpkins, etc), but once you do, you can make most of these things from paper goods around the house.

First, make sure you take notice of the horrible leaf man tally card figure in the above illustration; then, let's look at some even neater stuff:

See the stompin' pumpkin man of figure 2! How about the wholly terrifying cat-favor of figure 5? In the case of #5, I vaguely remember from elementary school classroom parties these kind of party favors, where the body was kind of like a cardboard tube and inside was candy, but how special is the presentation of said candy in the favor? I say skip the photo montage at my wedding- if you could put an equal amount of time hand crafting little animals with candy inside, I would be a much happier gal. Keep stompin, pumpkin man! Keep stompin!

The girl in the inset at right has a great crepe paper crown of witches and black cats, but what I'm really loving is the bat with the fringe on her apron. It's so crazy how costumes in the twenties' were way more about doing something Halloween themed (say a dress with pumpkins and bats and witches as decoration), than "being" something (like a pumpkin, a bat, or a witch). I'm also interested in non-ironic "theme" costumes people used to wear around the same era...where a girl would dress as "liberty" or "freedom" in a red white a blue gown with a torch and all.

Figures 4 and 5 are my favorite in this assemblage. Four is "a favor for a man" made of principally crepe paper, wire, a pumpkin picture, and a pack of cigarettes (which you could also substitute for candy...think about a time in which cigarettes were so cheap that you could give away packs of them as party favors!). #5 is a "devil serving cup". I think I want to try attaching little pictures or whatever to cups at a party...think about how much more likely people would be to keep up with their drinks if their particular glass was the one with Paul McCartney or Tony Danza on it! And then you could work it into a party game somehow or maybe as a lottery ("Whoever has Tony Danza has just won this mix cd!"). Food for thought.

#5 in this one looks vaguely lascivious. I'm sayin'.

The book also has decoration ideas for whole rooms and for different kinds of events (school party, home party, civic organization party, church party, etc). How cute is that girl's dress?

LOOK. AT. THE. PUMPKIN. MEN. I am so in love I could die.

What are your Halloween plans this year? Have you put out any kooky decorations? Do you have any vintage Halloween goods lurking around the house? Tell!

Hope you aren't O.D.'d on Halloween colors...I'll see you in a less monochromatic tone tomorrow!



  1. That's some GREAT stuff! I love those chandelier thingies.

    1. I still can't get over the pumpkin men. You construct them by wrapping wire in crepe and then attaching the pumpkin decoration for the face-- I need to get up my creative gumption and make one before the season's over!

  2. oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!
    every single thing up there is amazing. i'm loving those big pumpkin men in the last picture. goodness me! and yes, all the chandeliers are amazing!
    i'm going to a halloween party on saturday night, but i doubt it will be that festive! Then we're doing rocky horror at midnight. i'm working on halloween, but i'm going to wear my costume so I feel at least a little festive.

    1. Haha, I thought of you when I first saw these!

  3. Cheeze Louise! I just checked out the Met catalog of online texts you mentioned a post or two back, Lisa. I wonder if you know that you can download PDF files to your Kindle. I have the "old-fashioned" Kindle reader, but it'll take 'em. I am going to try Husband's fancier Kindle Fire, so as to download in color. I use my USB cable and connect/download in a jiffy. I am thrilled! Thanks!!!!

    1. Oh, neat! I'm still e-reader-less but when I finally break down, you KNOW I'm going to load that sucker up with Met catalogs. Now you've got a museum's worth of fashion ON THE GO! :) Enjoy!



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