Oh, how I miss childhood sometimes!
I was raised in a house where Halloween was the pinnacle of the year, as far as holidays were concerned. In my mom's heyday, she gave away over 500 hand-packed, hand-tied goody bags to trick-or-treaters in just a few hours. I grew up in a tiny town, so that was pretty much every kid within a 10 mile radius. And she did it standing beside a cauldron with dry ice, full green face makeup (with applied nose and chin), corn shocks, hay bales, the scary music soundtrack...You name it, she had it. Even now, my mom would be dressed as a witch 24/7 if she could get away with it.
|From The Heirloom Shop on Etsy|
As the years passed, and the trick-or-treaters dwindled near where she now lives, my mom turned to collecting vintage Halloween goodies as a way to show her love for the holiday. She has a pretty big collection, but the one elusive thing is a papier-mache Jack O' Lantern. We've just never found the right one -- for the right price.
Most of the earlier Halloween items (from the 1920s through the 1930s), were geared towards adults -- creepier faces, darker themes, and adult figures in the design. But it changed with the years. According to Jason Walcott's Vintage Halloween website (http://www.jawarts.com/HalloweenSite/HalloweenIndex.html), "...a marked shift can be noticed as you look at Halloween items from the 1920s through the 1940s—the imagery gradually gets less threatening and more cute as manufacturers were marketing their items more for families/kids than adults."
There are two main types of vintage paper pumpkin lanterns. German lanterns were made mainly from 1920 to 1935, and have a smoother, cardboard finish. They were molded in halves and then joined by sewing or stapling. The lanterns were hand painted, and then a tissue paper face was inserted inside. Through the late 1930s and 40s, the second type was more popular, and is known as the American Pulp Lantern. Much like egg carton material, paper pulp was pressed into a pumpkin mold and left to dry. Then, like the German lanterns, they were painted and given a paper face insert. The "Choir Boy" style face became popular through the 1950s. These tend to be very non-scary and cute -- named "Choir Boy" for their open mouths. They look like they are singing.
These simple paper lanterns were the precursor to what every kid carries with them on Halloween night -- the classic, plastic Jack O' Lantern candy container!
|From In With the Old on Etsy|