Thread Number: 73061  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
House Beautiful - Circa 1979
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Post# 964927   10/30/2017 at 00:44 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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There was a time when every home of quality had House Beautiful lying about somewhere. Ladies (and some gentlemen) consulted this bible of decorating and household arts for everything from redoing the guest room, to planning out the garden.

Looking back can only wonder what Mother and some of her peers were thinking decorating wise. Watch lots of OTA broadcast of television series from the 1970's early 1980's so these interiors look so dated.

Post# 964930 , Reply# 1   10/30/2017 at 01:10 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Oh the 70s

Were SO bad, How a country which had brought forth the wonderful modern designs of the 50s could get so tacky in only a few years!...My Mother and Aunts decorating was early American floral...EVERY damn thing had to have vines and flowers with green being the predominate color, My Aunts house STILL has lots of floral stuff, Their style is one reason I love what My Mom and her Sister called the tackiest of the tacky 50s design, Pink, turquoise , gold threads in fabric,blonde furniture and LOTS of chrome trim in the kitchen!

Post# 964931 , Reply# 2   10/30/2017 at 01:12 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
There ARE a few things

From the 50s I hate..the color yellow in any shade, about any green other than mint or turquoise.

Post# 964933 , Reply# 3   10/30/2017 at 01:20 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
What's that you say? Yellow?

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House Beautiful - circa 1976

All the yellow you can handle.

To this day yellow, avocado, gold, brunt sienna and a few other shades simply scream 1970's to one, especially in kitchens.

Post# 964934 , Reply# 4   10/30/2017 at 01:25 by johnrk (Houston)        
I Must Have Bad Taste

because I liked some of what I saw there! What I didn't like was the cluttered look of everything, and the way that so much patterned material made the rooms appear smaller. It seemed rather oppressive on a lot of it. And I never liked that Spanish provincial look. But I was reading Zen back then and my home was very 'Zen' as we put it. And all the cigarette ads! I smoked More cigarettes back then 'cause I was in college and they lasted so much longer than regular cigarettes. Of course, you could get a pneumothorax from having to suck so hard, but I guess that was part of the fun.

It's always been fun to laugh at prior decades and what was popular; remember all those damn shoulder pads in the 80's? Boy, future people will have a really good time laughing at us and all our thug/street/tough affectation.

Post# 964937 , Reply# 5   10/30/2017 at 05:04 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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This was a reaction to the modernism of the 50's, I can understand that. What I don't understand that it never went away. Still a lot of people like the 70's design including oak kitchens and lots of brown, brown, brown.

Thanks for sharing the links to the magazines. There is a whole lot of them in those archives.

Post# 964973 , Reply# 6   10/30/2017 at 10:36 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
memory joggers for sure

Thanks for posting those Laundress.
Plenty to admire, or not to. My parents had Pennsylvania House furniture.
Having been a young adult then, I got a lot of ideas from Architectural Digest, and H&G. Though I had a K Mart pocket book then, we learned how to not call the Decorating Den, and do it on a dime.
As we became more upwardly mobile, some dreams happened.
While no longer a fan of Herculon, never of oriental, I still have my Howard Miller Milano tall clock.
Traditional is always in style. The rest changes. Sometimes it comes back.
I still have my Crystal D'arques Longchamp crystal stem ware. It's from France, 24% lead. I don't have my Libbey bronze bamboo everyday glass ware.
Jeanette china and glass ware, long gone. Lee's carpet, long gone.
Food processors were a new trend.
The 60's were the wonder years. The 70's were refinements. I think the 80's became malaise.

Post# 964995 , Reply# 7   10/30/2017 at 12:52 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

While a lot of rooms -most - are what I'd call over done, this was a high end look and magazine.  What was the worst was the low end stuff.  All the frilly curtains, the Holly Hobby crap, dark dark wood looking plastic stuff and on and on.  The HB look was a bit much but the low end stuff is enough to make you retch.

Post# 965023 , Reply# 8   10/30/2017 at 15:47 by johnrk (Houston)        

My favorite will remain mid century modern, because it's what my family had, and my relatives had, when I was little. My parents had a pink sofa with little black knobbly things on it! Blonde oak all around, red linoleum kitchen counters, that speckled black linoleum in the dining room, etc.

Post# 965040 , Reply# 9   10/30/2017 at 19:09 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

A lot of the '76 magazine reminds me of the decor in my grandmas house, which had been last decorated some time in the early to mid 70s. More tasteful than the outright vomit we associate with the 70s, but to me most of it was still downright hideous...Like the translucent drop ceiling with the lights behind it in the kitchen, or the gold sofa and huge gaudy gold curtains in the living room. I was only really intrigued by the things that looked like takes on MCM.

Post# 965060 , Reply# 10   10/30/2017 at 21:57 by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        
One thing the 1976 issue proves

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is that Philco-Ford was still in the appliance business. See page 27.

The ad also gives electric rates around the country, from 8.9 cents per kW/h in New York City to 2.9 cents in Sheridan, Wyoming.

This must have been the last gasp for Philco refrigerators, though.

Post# 965061 , Reply# 11   10/30/2017 at 22:01 by leefree (Los Angeles)        
I love old magazines

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Mainly for the great ads. I have a few boxes of Life from the 60's, BH&G from the 50's (really great), and a few random titles from the 70's. I go through them every few years and can't seem to throw them out!

Post# 965081 , Reply# 12   10/31/2017 at 04:43 by iej (Ireland)        

We go trough phases and also different countries take different approaches.
A lot of European 1970s stuff was quite modernist for example.

I quite like 70s design though. It sort of combines modern and natural and it wasn’t afraid to be really bold with colour.

The 1980s were very dull in comparison.

Post# 965090 , Reply# 13   10/31/2017 at 06:36 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I worked in the library in highschool.  We had several bound volumes of old magazines from the 70's.  I'd sit in the back room on slow days and look at the ads from the year I was born - 1971.  I was amazed/amused that a brand new Mercedes was only $3995 back then!  My grandmother used to keep her old Sears catalogs.  I'd get tickled looking at the fashions that were popular, even though I can remember seeing them in person.

Post# 965095 , Reply# 14   10/31/2017 at 06:54 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Here in Europe there has always been a strong modern stream in interior design. I bought magazines back then like the Dutch Eigen Huis & Interieur and the German Haus & Garten. Even in the dark brown period there were some lighter colours. Especially Scandinavian design was often lighter, you don't want to sit in a dark interior in the winter close to the north pole.

Post# 965116 , Reply# 15   10/31/2017 at 09:12 by kd12 (Arkansas)        

Launderess, you are an absolute genius. Thank you for posting this. Had never heard of magazine before. I wish I could jump in the TARDIS and go back to '79. Harvest gold and earth-tones forever!

Post# 965142 , Reply# 16   10/31/2017 at 12:28 by johnrk (Houston)        
Design Within Reach

For others who enjoy modern design, I'd suggest 'Design Within Reach' at They have truly beautiful modern furniture. It ain't cheap, but the few things I've bought there have been of high quality and certainly worth what I paid. The catalogue is just pure eye candy.

Post# 965153 , Reply# 17   10/31/2017 at 13:17 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Did anyone notice?

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Not a single minority pictured in all those 1970's HB magazines, well outside of a few adverts. Pearl Baily for Westinghouse Appliances for a start. If there was one, certainly missed it.

It is amazing how much things changed in forty years.

Cuisinart/food processors were all the rage in 1970's and 1980's; now does anyone bother? Sears of course was all over the place, including Kenmore sewing machine adverts. Guess if one couldn't afford a decorator you simply ran your own up.

Looking at all those HB magazines put one in mind of a famous song from a 1970's musical (Company), called "The Ladies Who Lunch".

When Joanne launches into her bitter drunken tirade against those "lounging in a caftan and planning a brunch...." it was the HB crowd she was going after. The women who spent vast sums of their husband's money turning their homes and gardens into calling cards. Trying to out do each other in the Bougainvillea or rose garden department. That and or giving intimate buffets or dinner parties for "tasteful friends".

This post was last edited 10/31/2017 at 14:12
Post# 965154 , Reply# 18   10/31/2017 at 13:22 by kd12 (Arkansas)        

My Cuisinart food processor is worth its weight in gold...their coffee makers, not so much. Something about them catching fire for no reason.

Post# 965165 , Reply# 19   10/31/2017 at 14:08 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I guess you had to have been there and lived thru the 70’s to appreciate all the earth tones and yellow, LOL. Every decade has its high and low points as far as fashions and decorating. As I recall, we all thought that we were just too modern for words. No one wanted the “dated” look of the 50’s, but the 30’s and 40’s style had a certain appeal for many during the 70’s. Everyone wanted either Avocado Green or Harvast Gold appliances. I moved into a brand new apartment in 73’, the very first tenant. It had Avocado Green appliances, Hotpoint BOL, the fridge was a single door model with a freezer comartment that needed to be defrosted. And the carpet was the much sought after green shag. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

With time and maturity I’ve grown to have an appreciation for almost all time period styles. But I tend to like classic, timeless designs. I’ll always have a fondness for the designs of the 50’s, because those are the first furnishings, styles, furnishings and appliances that I can remember. I can find something good and bad about the design ideas of each decade. But that being said, the clothing fashions of the 70’s were really some of the worst. Extreme flared pants and those huge, pointed collars on mens shirts were just ugly.

Post# 965167 , Reply# 20   10/31/2017 at 14:16 by johnrk (Houston)        

I've owned Cuisinart FP's since the mid 80's. They are absolutely superb. I even have the DLC-X that holds a gallon in the work bowl. For vegans into salads, etc., it's worth the nearly $1K that it costs. But--I use my little DLC-10 size a lot more. Oh, Vitamix likes to push that their blender is an FP but it ain't. I've owned VM's since the 80's back when they were reversible saw motors, and love them though I do, they're a souped-up blender.

As with all new appliance fads out there, the mistake with Cuisinart when it first got really popular over here was that people were trying to figure out excuses for using them, for tasks unnecessarily. And there were people using one just to slice a tomato or two.

I own around 25 vintage blenders and also all the vintage blender books that were popular in the forties, fifties and sixties when they were in their heyday. The same silliness was done with blenders, including chopping veggies and making incredibly gooey, sticky dips. Not to mention various batters and doughs which were easier and cleaner by hand.

And who of us doesn't remember the microwave craze, when people were even trying to bake a decent cake in their microwave? Or in the seventies, when people were trying to do everything in the new Crock Pots?

Post# 965168 , Reply# 21   10/31/2017 at 14:20 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Interestingly, a bit of timeless fashion has come from the 70s too. Whenever I'm with my mother she's always pointing out younger people (around my age) that could have fit right into the 70s, or look like what she knew as the 70s. If I look at my aunt from the 70s she wore some of those hideous trends that people now wonder what they were thinking back then. 


The same happens in every decade really. I can't stand everything being all these shades of gray nowadays. 

Post# 965170 , Reply# 22   10/31/2017 at 14:36 by johnrk (Houston)        
the twenties

I couldn't agree more--you'd think we were back at war again with all the drab clothing. And in our cars: mostly today either mouse-fur gray, mouse-fur brown, or black. You'd think we were back in the forties.

The one style of women's fashion that I still can't buy in to is the twenties, with those flat chests and straight up-and-down dresses. They just didn't flatter anyone. I always found cloche hats cute, but once women got hairspray, that was the end of that!

When I was growing up in the late 50's and 60's, the shirtwaist dress was the thing. I never saw my mother, except on vacations, in anything at home but these. Virtually all of my schoolteachers were in shirtwaist dresses with a slip underneath and hose, of course. I can only imagine how that could've been uncomfortable down here in TX with no a/c in schools. But of course, this was back when almost all women had a waist.... My sister is a special ed teacher and I'm floored at what they're allowed to wear in her district now.

Post# 965177 , Reply# 23   10/31/2017 at 15:32 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Does Anyone Still Wear, A Hat?

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That inside joke is totally lost upon those not around during 1970's, and certainly females.

By the 1960's female hair styles had started to grow large. Then there were the masses of hair piled on created by adding wigs, falls, pieces, etc... All of which began to spell the demise of hats which women had worn when going outdoors for ages.

Final nail in that coffin came with the bouffant (aka "Big Hair") of the 1960's made popular by Jackie Kennedy. So while many women still clung to wearing gloves when going out, the hat was becoming passé.

By the 1970's with the whole "ease of movement/freedom" in women's fashions, gloves got the heave ho as well for most women, and then came the ultimate horror far as some are concerned; slacks.

You watch vintage 1970's television shows or films and it as if there was suddenly a shortage of material to make skirts. Every female young and whatever is wearing slacks. Or worse, those double knit pant suits.

Post# 965243 , Reply# 24   11/1/2017 at 01:05 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I have a few models of the VM blenders that used the reversing motors-the current VM machines don't have the reversing motors.Did like the reversing,though.It was just fun-and did do a good job.The FP and blender are both different kitchen tools-one really can't do the job of both-you need BOTH!and add a stand mixer to the group.If you had a reversing VM blender you had to hold onto it if you reversed it at high speed-it would jump!The reversing shortened brush life,too-those reversible machines used 3/4 hp-1 Hp Black&Decker router motors.BD motors weren't originally designed for the reversing.

Post# 965318 , Reply# 25   11/1/2017 at 08:05 by johnrk (Houston)        
Vita-Mix vs Blender

In the 80's I owned the VM 3600+. I kept seeing those ads touting that they could make bread and do just about everything but mow the yard. Of course, we didn't have all the YouTube and internet and all that; I just ordered it out of the back of Vegetarian Times. Well, it was a joke--and an expensive one at that. The s.s. carafe had that spigot on the side, and there was no way that spinning hot soapy water to clean the carafe would clean out flour, etc., from that spigot. I didn't like soups the consistency of snot, so never used it for 'cooking'. That motor was so loud that today's models don't come close. As you stated, when you reversed the blades it would jump visibly; if you remember, VM also warned to expect sparks part of the time! I went back to using the excellent and powerful blender on my Bosch Universal. Gave that VitaMix in the 90's to an employee who was opening a juice bar. I have the CIA edition now and enjoy it. Though I own a Nutrimill and two Messerschmidt grain mills for the Bosch mixers, I actually use the 'dry' carafe most because it's close to hand, for small amounts. I really like grinding my own coarse corn meal from field corn for cornbread. It's so sweet, nothing like the rancid crap sold in grocery stores.

My DLC-X Cuisinart, the biggest one, can knead 3 loaves' worth of dough at a time. However, particularly for whole grain doughs, the breads do better with a slow, steady action. For that, I use either one of the Bosch Universals or the Electrolux Assistent. Bosch now sells a small nylon dough hook that fits in their large food processor attachment. It's perfect for 1-loaf recipes or for pasta doughs.

Post# 965338 , Reply# 26   11/1/2017 at 09:59 by kd12 (Arkansas)        
Those 70s Colors

My local grocery store has coffee mugs in Avocado Green, Harvest Gold, Poppy Red, and Colonial Blue. I got one of each yesterday. Only thing missing was Burnt Orange.

Post# 965446 , Reply# 27   11/1/2017 at 19:33 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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The apartment building I live in was built in 1978. Cupboards and woodwork are dark. Oak,is it?

Friends of the family had one of these oven/cooktop/dishwashers. I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen (non washing machine division).

As always, thanks for a fantastic thread, Launderess!

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Post# 965665 , Reply# 28   11/2/2017 at 19:33 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Yup a Modern Maid combo... not wildly popular but not uncommon in the 70's.  Most of those I saw were in new subdivisions where the builder must have gotten a good deal to fit or offer them to first time home buyers etc. 

Post# 965669 , Reply# 29   11/2/2017 at 19:55 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Would take Spanish Provincial

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Over the French version any day of the week.

Truth to tell IMHO both styles work best when done in restraint.

Cannot abide Victorian or Edwardian period decorating carried to extreme. All that clutter and so forth to the point getting across room is like running an obstacle course.

Like Hyacinth Bucket, English Cottage interiors are right up my street. Again done with taste and restraint you can't go wrong, can you?

Post# 965685 , Reply# 30   11/2/2017 at 22:16 by johnrk (Houston)        

I always liked Elizabeth's home better...

Post# 965727 , Reply# 31   11/3/2017 at 06:11 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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I'll take Violet's home. A sauna, a swimmingpool and room for a pony! lol

Post# 965735 , Reply# 32   11/3/2017 at 07:50 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
A few minor comments:

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Giuliano Bugialli is still around and quite a famous Italian chef/cook book writer.

In the 1970's and well into recent times North Carolina was *the* spot for fine furniture manufactures and other decorating. Henredon, Baker, along with many others were down there; and those "in the know" would go down (or send their decorators) to get things at discount prices. IIRC however much production today has moved to Asia (where else?), but the showrooms remain.


Never saw a Modern Maid range, nor that Jenn-Air "grill range" either. When did Corning stop making that 3 in 1 range? Did it sell well?

Post# 965755 , Reply# 33   11/3/2017 at 09:47 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
What they showed of Elizabeth's house

besides the piano room.
Did she ever entertain? They showed more of Onslow and Rose's. Early and post WW2 council housing like in Becontree in east London near Daggenham. Working class enclave for war Blitzed and run down Bethnal Green. Way better housing than tower blocks.

Post# 965778 , Reply# 34   11/3/2017 at 11:17 by johnrk (Houston)        
That's it

I never saw more of Elizabeth's house than the parlor but I sure liked it better than Hyacinth's. I like the outside of her home better, also. As for Onslow and Daisy and Rose? Well, I still remember the episode where Hyacinth and Daisy were in Daisy's kitchen and she was doing dishes...

I do adore that series, first saw it in the 90's on PBS, have owned the boxed set for a long time. I have to be in the right mood for it, like "Vicar of Dibley", "Dad's Army", "Waiting For God", "To The Manor Born", etc. I do so love Penelope Keith, I first saw her in "The Norman Chronicles" way back when, when we were both younger, and was captivated by her.

To me the ultimate in an 'uncomfortable' home is still the one that Howard Roark designed and built in "The Fountainhead"--at least, as was shown in the Cooper/Massey/Neal movie. I never thought of Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, he seemed to old and just didn't fit my mental vision. Didn't really think of Raymond Massey as Gail Wynand either; but then, Ms. Rosenbaum herself picked them...

Post# 965808 , Reply# 35   11/3/2017 at 13:53 by washerboy (Little Rock Arkansas)        
About the only thing I miss from the 70's

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is my 30 inch waist and 42 inch chest!!! Fashion, home decor, cars and appliances were just plain ugly or werid. I still cring when I see anything Harvest Gold, Avocado Green, Almond or god forbid Coppertone. May my sweet momma rip and god love her she tried to decorate. We had earth tones from floor to ceiling, and the fake "greenery" was everywhere...even as a teenager I would think "geez..we live in the south...why are there fake ferns beside the potty". Our house always reeked of Winstons from my chain smoking father; I'm sure I went to school everyday smelling like an ash tray. For me...I loved all the periods prior to the 70' seemed as though things had intrest. I hate to dish on the 70's..but lets not forget the 80's weren't much better. To this day I'm not sure what color Mauve (sp?) and Teal are, and floral crap everywhere. But on the is in the eye of the beholder; and everyone should surround themselves with beauty

Post# 965908 , Reply# 36   11/4/2017 at 01:53 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I have always wanted the Cusinart DLX-C food processor-but never have bought one.Use their other models instead-the Cusinart food processors now are a JOKE-CHEAP geared universal motor instead of the ruff-tuff induction one that stopped when you let go of the pulse button.If you have an older Cusinart food processor-CHERISH it!!!You won't be able to get another.
I still have my VM reversing blenders-use them on occasion-Agree the claims on these machines are overblown-Blendtec does the same.Face it folks,----ITS A BLENDER!!!!!!NOT a food processor,lawn mower,ice cream maker,Dough kneader,and so on!Dough kneading in any of these is a GOOD way of burning out the motor!These blenders can grind grain OK so you can use it in a bread machine or regular mixer or food processor.Again none of these machines will replace the others-you need the BIG THREE-Mixer,food processor,blender in order to do your KP duties with ease.

Post# 965933 , Reply# 37   11/4/2017 at 07:50 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
John K,

the house for Howard Roark in Fountainhead was based on Falling Water by Frank Loyd Wright.

Post# 965952 , Reply# 38   11/4/2017 at 09:11 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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The number of cigarette adverts is indeed amazing. Thanks for posting the mags!

Regarding Patricia Routledge characters and country mansions, this link might be of interest...


Post# 966253 , Reply# 39   11/5/2017 at 18:33 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
What one has never understood about British homes

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Is the thing about corridors, walls and doors.

Take the Bucket's house; here on this side of pond that first floor would have likely been opened up (no wall creating a corridor) leaving the living and dining room areas open.

Even on that standard of lower to middle class homes "two up and two down" you still have entryway into a narrow corridor with front parlor and dining/backroom walled off. Seems rather claustrophobic to one.

What one liked about the house in "As Time Goes By" is at least they opened things up a bit for the main rooms. Though that back kitchen seems rather cramped. Have had debates with others and think that at one time the kitchen was below stairs, but was moved to first floor and carved out of space.

Lionel and Jean home was in Holland Park (or Shepard's Bush depending upon how you want to look at things), and was likely built as a home for middle to upper class. Either way in it's day there would have been servants something that began to wane post WWI and certainly WWII. So in order to get hot meals on table and save going up and down all those stairs many older homes moved kitchens upstairs.

Now we do have the other famous example of a Holland Park home; Eddie Monsoon's place in Ab Fab. Despite being ever so glam and fab Eds left her kitchen in the basement where it was when house was built. Hence nearly *all* the action in Ab Fab takes place in Eddie's kitchen, which in real life would have been very inconvenient.

Post# 966270 , Reply# 40   11/5/2017 at 19:47 by johnrk (Houston)        

Did you watch the series, "Back In Time For Dinner" with the Robshaw family? Captivating and I wish I'd saved it to hard drive as the BBC has forced it off of YouTube now.

Interesting as they went from 1900 through the 90's at how the same home changed.

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