Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A longing for the past

As the 1940s drew to a close, a new era of prosperity was dawning in America. The war was over and the returning servicemen had married their sweethearts and had begun to start families of their own.

Pictured above is a typical American family of the period, the Phil Jones family of Atumwa, Iowa. Housewife Liz is the daughter of a corn and dairy farmer, and Phil is the assistant band director at Atumwa high school. They have 1.7 children and are very typical of middle-class young American families of this time period.

Just as the picture was snapped, little Chuckie was in the process of trying to gouge out his baby sister's eyes, and he has just been jokingly told by his mother that if he is not good, he will grow up to marry Camilla the horse, a popular character in children's books of the period. Chuckie is shaking his head and repeating "uh-uh, uh-uh" over and over again. Little baby Annie is in the midst of filling her diaper.

Phil makes a typical wage of $65 per week, which is more than adequate for the little family living in an upstairs apartment over the bakery. Liz is an expert seamstress, and makes many of the children's clothing herself. She blushes as Phil praises her on her cooking, and tells how he enjoys her hamburgers.

If this typical American family follows the national averages, they will have no more children.


  1. RM -

    I never knew the decorators at Buckingham Palace could leave the room so BLAND! [It must have been to make P.Phillip feel a bit more comfortable///

    -Mike Riley

  2. $65 MIGHT fill up my gas tank for a week.

  3. And what a shame that they didn't stop at the average. That would have saved at least two households' expense.

  4. Hi Mike. Yeah. Well, I don't think they actually lived in Buckingham Palace when this pic was taken. Bland though.

    Topolk. True. Pretty good wages 50 years ago when gas was, like 24 cents a gallon, though. Not to worry, cause Phil got a raise shortly after that. So that turned out cool. :)

  5. I think Liz farted, because both of the parents seem quite amused, why the little boy on the left there, not so much. No more children should be right though, we don't need anymore demon children. What an active imagination you have! :)

  6. a., I am starting to sense a pattern here. First you have this vicious idea to tie the royal family together on the back of the motorcycle, and now you advocate abstinence. Unrealistic, I say. And I am going out on a limb and guessing that you are not part of the group of Brits who with to promote the proud history of the monarchy with your tax dollars. Hmmm. I see.... :)

    Chica, not sure about the Lizfart, but I believe they are smiling because they have confidence that their circumstances will be improving shortly. And my theory is that the little boy's bad disposition is because he has a precognition that he might grow up to look like Prince Charles. Just a theory. Of course baby Anne's pinched little face never changed much. Pity.

  7. Abstinence, no. Something much more drastic. I confess to having some republican (with a small r) leanings.

  8. I quite agree. (With your yearning to become a republic, not with your regicide methods - it occurs to me that Mary, Queen of Scots spoke less offensively about her relative. At least she never advocated tying them to a motorcycle which is jumping over buses. So smug you seem now that you feel your head is secure. Especially so since you are currently hiding out in France. Ha! - at first I thought your "small r" reference was to castration. Sigh.)



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