Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appeared in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2002 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Barry Cleveland, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Remember the '40s?

This continues a series on fads and fashions of the decades of the past century.

Do you remember the '40s?

The star insignia hanging in the front window of many homes, indicating that family had a loved one who was in service.

Women were delighted with the advent of nylon stockings, such an improvement over the sleazy rayon hose prior to that time. After WWII began, nylon material was used for parachutes and tents, and nylons could be secured only on the black market.

The pleated skirt, baggy sweater, bobby sox and loafers were the uniform of the school girl. Some hepcats wore zoot suits, but this quickly came to an end when the War Production Board restricted manufacturers in the amount of material which could be used in a suit. Vests and pant cuffs were considered superfluous.

New titles were Rosie the Riveter, G.I. Joe and Pin-Up girls. New lingo included radar, POW, ersatz, Eisenhower jacket, kamikaze and walkie-talkie.

"Kilroy was here" appeared as graffiti everywhere. New items on the market were Hummel figurines, TV frozen dinners, LP records, 45 rpms, rotary mowers and chemical fertilizer for lawns. People were singing "I'll Never Smile Again," "The Last Time I Saw Paris," "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and "White Christmas." Female fans
swooned everywhere for a skinny singer named Frank Sinatra.

Dr. Benjamin Spock's manual on baby care hit the market with a bang. Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was a best seller. The Howdy Doody Show was born, and Milton Berle had a hit show. "South Pacific" was a smash Broadway success.


If you are a Korean vet, or know of one, a nationwide oral history project is under way. Contact Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library, PO Box 16, Tuscola, IL 61953, or

The Genealogy Library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821.

Return to the Notes from the White County Historical Society Page

Return to the White County ILGenWeb Page

The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2002 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.