Vintage polio vaccine brochures, cake toppers and more — Tikimama’s entry


Tikimama aka Lisa’s entries into our Found Objects Found Art contest…

She writes:

Hi Pam (Retro Renovation Goddess)!

Here are my entries in your wonderful contest.  First, I have a sample of some of the booklets and pamphlets I kept when going through my mother-in-law’s belongings after her death.  She was quite the hoarder, and I was delighted to find these little glimpses into the past.  The pamphlet for polio and the Salk vaccine is quite poignant to me.  It has the handwritten dates of the three shots for my m-i-l and her two brothers and “me”, which I assume is their mother.  This all reminds me of my father’s stories about how his mother was just so terrified by polio, and wouldn’t allow him to eat the ends of bananas because she had heard that it was a cause of the disease!

I love the woman who is so excited about her Farberware aluminum griddle, the industrious woman who knows all the smart things to do to make her ironing job “modern”, the beauty queen with her Q-tips (inside, the tips include “Finger Flattery” and “Dainty Do’s”), and the rarely-seen serious (but immaculately coiffed) housewife who asks us to please, please, just listen!

lisa2folino-2My other photo is of some of MaryAnn’s old cake decorating items I found buried in a box.  I wonder why she kept them for so long (a few with crumbs attached!), and whose celebrations they attended.  Were they hers?  Friends?  For her sons?  Since the one graduate is female, and she had only sons, could it have been for her high school graduation?  I’m sure the pious little boy and the altar candles must have adorned First Communion cakes for her good little Catholic boys.  And I couldn’t understand why one of the storks had a pipe cleaner sticking out of him until I found this one with naked baby attached by his own pipe cleaner. Little baby bottles – so sweet, and the rattles actually rattle!

I miss MaryAnn so much, and it’s been 12 years since her passing. Although it’s bittersweet not to be able to ask her these questions and talk with her about her memories, I love to have her things and to imagine what her life was like as a young housewife and mother in the early 60s.

Thanks for such a fun, interesting and inspiring contest.  Keep doin’ what you do, Pam!

Tikimama / Lisa

  1. Femme1 says:

    Just last week, PBS’s American Experience program featured the story of the polio vaccine. I think you can watch it on the Web, if it’s still up. I remember getting the Sabin vaccine on a sugar cube in the third grade.

  2. Barb Scott says:

    The pamphlet for the Salk vaccine brought back memories for me. I can distinctly remember (although I cannot tell you a specific year–early 1960s, maybe?) going to our local high school cafeteria in the small town that I lived in in southern Ohio and drinking a liquid polio vaccine. Isn’t that wild? I think I may have done this more than once. Funny how things like this pamphlet can jog your memory!

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