VINTAGE STYLE: Lismore Library assistants Shonelle Piggott and Hecate Hadley admire an original summer cotton dress from the 1950s at Black Angel boutique.
VINTAGE STYLE: Lismore Library assistants Shonelle Piggott and Hecate Hadley admire an original summer cotton dress from the 1950s at Black Angel boutique.

Talking '50s frocks

"MLA complains about quality of nylon" was the main headline in the Armidale Express front page on September 7, 1955.

Almost 60 years later, History Week 2012 will bring back those nylon and polyester-related headlines to the Lismore City Library with the talk "you can take a frock to the market..."

The curator of the Museum of Printing in Armidale, Benjamin Thorn, will talk about clothing advertising from the 1950s in regional NSW on Tuesday, September 11, from 6.30pm at the library in Magellan Street .

"I am bringing up half a dozen printing blocks so people can see them, plus some newspapers from the era," he said.

The talk will be interesting for both fashionistas and those interested in media and print advertising, according to Mr Thorn.

"It is very interesting to see what was advertised and some of the baroque language that was used to describe them," he said.

Asked for an example of such 'baroque' language, Mr Thorn reads from the Armidale Express front page from 1955: "A Labor member complained in the Legislative Assembly yesterday about the quality of nylon stockings. He said that many of the stockings were of poor quality and did not wear well."

The Labor MLA, Mr JE Kale, of Armidale, asked the Minister for Labor, Mr Lando, to "do something about it".

According to the media reports, Minister Lando replied that "the CSIRO may be able to do something about it".

Stories and pieces of history like this one will be the fabric of this year's History Week, with a very appropriate theme: 'Threads'.

The History Council of NSW has been running History Week for the past 15 years to share stories showing that history is interesting, relevant and all around us.


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