31 October 2009

Dennisons Bogie Book

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"In Victorian times and throughout the first three decades of the 20th century, Halloween parties were immensely popular. Because these parties were targeted specifically toward adults, many of the earliest Halloween decorations employed frightening and highly complex imagery of devils, witches, skeletons and ghosts. In later years, as the holiday became increasingly geared toward children, Halloween imagery was toned down by manufacturers to appeal to a broader market and "cute" decorations gradually replaced the scary themes. The heyday of Halloween parties in the early 1900s gave birth to a commercial market for Halloween memorabilia. Dazzlingly designed candy containers, noisemakers and decorations were imported from Germany and eagerly purchased by American hostesses planning their annual parties.

Beginning in 1909 and continuing through 1934, Dennison Manufacturing Company of Framingham, Massachusetts entered the Halloween party niche with their colorful party supply catalogs, appropriately named Bogie Books. The 1909 Dennison's Bogie Book is the first and rarest issue, with only a handful of copies extant. The profusely illustrated pages introduced the hostess to party menus, game suggestions and innovative decorating ideas all made possible with paper products manufactured and sold by Dennison."

- from bookthink.com

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7 comments:

Isabel said...

I want a gay costume. Those are rad!

electricat said...

love your post !

anja louise said...

Have you ever been to the Biltmore House in Asheville? It's a huuuuge mansion, and in the basement there is an amazing spot! The walls are all stone, it's like going into a dungeon or something. There are all kinds of amazing murals and paintings on the walls done by guests at their daughter's Halloween party (parties even?) during the 20's. So cool!

FrivolousFlapper said...

Love these!

caramelizedvintage said...

What a great catalog! I didn't know the history of Halloween parties until now!

elventryst said...

The catalog is great! I think it would be awesome to try and re-create one of those "gay costumes"--- hmmm, maybe next year:P

I just read Anja Louise's comment, and I have to second her recommendation for the Biltmore House. I remember going as a kid and that one room (a huge ballroom that they had invited guests to paint/decorate) with it's pumpkins (if I remember correctly) loom large in my memory. It captured my fancy and made me wish I could have such lavish parties.

Lacey Starr said...

This really whet my appetite for learning the history of Halloween!