Monday, February 21, 2011

Life this Week: February 21, 1938

Washington's Birthday Chocolate Fudge Loaf

Today, I'm exploring the February 21, 1938, issue of Life magazine, which is available on Google Books. Here's a little of what interested me:
  • First off, we have a Baker's Chocolate ad with a recipe for Martha Washington's Devil's Food Cake.  I actually baked a Chocolate Fudge Loaf from my copy of All About Home Baking, because it has the same fudge frosting, but makes an 8"x8" cake rather than a 15"x9" one.*
  • Those crazy young people are obsessed with swing music.  Here's Maxine Sullivan's "Loch Lomond" (1937):
*Washington’s Birthday Chocolate Fudge Loaf


A page from the Spring 1938 Sears catalog from What would you order?  I totally need that "Cycling Outfit."
Click to enlarge


  1. well, I'd order pretty much everything!
    what a funny trans-Atlantic baby.

    I sometimes have the feeling that we all 1930s vintage lovers would like to be transported to that age.

    If I may ask, how did your family live in the 1930s? where does your fascination with this époque come from?

  2. I still have two copies of Ferdinand - but I'd never seen the Disney short (I watched the whole thing!) Mostly what I know about my side of the family - we were dirt poor in the 30s! Your daddy's may have been a little better off!

  3. Thanks to The Grapes of Wrath, everybody knows Oklahoma wasn't a very fun place to be in the 1930s! I'll have to dig up some family photos and share them.

    The earliest memory I have related to an obsession with the 1930s was visiting a friend's house when I was in pre-school and watching Shall We Dance on TV. We only had one pair of roller skates, but we did our best to re-create Fred & Ginger's dance in Central Park. It's a wonder we didn't injure ourselves!

  4. This was a really fascinating trip back in time. It is so jarring to see the more lighthearted articles juxtaposted with articles about what was happening overseas (the article about Hitler and the Olympics, the photo of the British aristocrats traveling to Saudi Arabia regarding Britian's fight against Arab terrorists.)
    The piece about Norma Shearer and the way the movie set was set up is really eye opening. I love Hollywood movies from this period, but in the real world things were not so wonderful.

  5. Yummo on the chocolate loaf! I love how you have the recipe typed and set up in a different box to be printed..That is very cool !! :)

    and if you have a great biscuit recipe,,I expect to see it on your blog!!! :) Thanks!

  6. Laura- I think it's fascinating how Life already talks about war as a foregone conclusion in February of 1938 and we still had almost 4 years before we officially declared war. I just focused on fluff this week, but there are always really fascinating "serious" stories.

    Asthe- I'll put biscuits on my to-blog list. I have to admit that my recipe comes from an old Betty Crocker.

  7. I could use the Sailing Slacks, but I could definitely order the cycling outfit too. The chocolate loaf looks delicious!

  8. That fudge cake is mouth watering. Love what I see of your blog so far.
    I had to repost my blog on Radio City Music Hall [ some html glitch ] so your lovely comment is deleted.Sorry. Please look at it again, when u get the chance.x

  9. I LOVE how you've brought this periodical to life. I feel completely immersed in the era now.

    You know, I am ridiculous!! I sold a 30s playsuit that was VERY similar to the cycling suit you love in that ad. I'm in love with that beach ensemble!

  10. Hey Lauren thanks! If you ever want to bake something you have never heard of , I lists and lists of things we can share! I have so many recipes, i do not think i could bake all of them. Let me know what your craving..and i'll dig something out and email it to you :)


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