Category Archives: retro

Norty Blues 1

Over the years I have developed an interest in the Blues. And in their origins.

So much so that I have begun playing with the idea of creating a podcast of the Blues, from its often uncensored origins to its modern descendants.

Here is episode one.

Great Grandpa’s Life

The Minox Riga, the first true, sub-minature spy camera that saw actual use for espionage throughout the WWII and the cold war.

Invented in 1936 by Walter Zapp, it was the first to use 8x11mm film (a little smaller than your pinky’s fingernail), making it tiny enough to hide in the palm of your hand, but powerful enough to take high resolution photographs of your enemy’s top secret documents.

If Great Grandpa used one of these he would never be able to talk about it!

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Great Grandpa’s Life

Back in the 1920’s you had to keep your car looking good.

And the saddlery store had to stay in business.


From The Port Lincoln Times (South Australia) 13th April, 1928

Great Grandma’s Life

A bit of 1930’s bling

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From the Australian Women’s Weekly, 16 Sept. 1933

Great Grandpa’s Life

just before World War 1

The “Safety Razor” was all the rage


From “Punch” April 3rd, 1913

Great Grandma’s Life

Great Grandma may not have had TV or Videos to entertain her but, in 1933, there were the new-fangled “Talkies”.

And she was not averse to the eye-candy of Gary Cooper.

(The original was black and white. I added colour to make it easier to read.)

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Australian Women’s Weekly, June 10th, 1933 (Issue #1)

Great Grandpa’s Life

Long before his hair turned white and he began to use a walking stick, Great Grandpa may well have played sport.

And developed aches and pains from the overuse of muscles.

With a gratuitous pic of Hayden Bunton Snr.


Hey, didn’t we use that to free up frozen nuts as well? Before WD40?

Argus Magazine – Lets Look at Footy 1953 p12
From State Library, Victoria

Great Grandma’s Life

Mixing Rum and Milk

What else could go wrong

With all that was going on in 1941?


From Picture Post, July 5th 1941.

Gratefully stolen from the ever-generous Vintage Scans.

Great Grandpa’s Life

Back in the day, just after the First World War every working man needed a watch so he could catch the train or tram, so he could be on time to clock on at the factory and so he didn’t miss the first ball of the day at the Test Match or the bounce down at the footy.

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From The Australian Worker, 10th Apr, 1919

Great Great Grandma’s Life

Perhaps this is why Great Grandma was always grumpy –

Withdrawal!Great Great Grandma's life014

Great Grandmas Life

I remember my mother using one of these assiduously.

From “New Idea” 1967


Great Grandpa’s Life

The legendary “Police Gazette”.

From 1939.

grandpaslife04Burgled from the ever-generous and sometimes very adult Vintage Scans

Even Irving Berlin wrote about her

And Dick Powell sang

Great Grandma’s Life

Talking stockings from The American, October 1939.

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From the ever generous Vintage Scans.

Great Grandpa’s Life



From Bandwagon- The Journal of Leisure, May 1946


Great Grandma’s Life

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Detail from a Phillips’ Magnesia Creams ad. From Woman’s Fair, June 1940.

Burgled from the ever generous Vintage Scans