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Real Modern


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Table of Contents

Contents Preface 9 Introduction 11 1 Home comforts 21 2 Clean and fresh 65 3 Daily dressing 99 4 School days 139 5 Working worlds 175 6 Getting around 207 7 Going shopping 241 8 Fun and games 271 9 Out on the town 311 10 Rituals and traditions 345 Acknowledgements 383 Notes 384 Bibliography 398 Image credits 408 Index 420

About the Author

Bronwyn Labrum is an associate professor in the School of Design at Massey University and was formerly curator of history and textiles at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She is the author of Women's History (1993), and co-editor of Fragments: New Zealand Social and Cultural History (2000) and Looking Flash: Clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand (2007). She has also written widely about New Zealand's cultural and social history, welfare and medical history, museums and material culture. She has a long-standing interest in the mid-twentieth century and its objects.


Impressive, interesting and beautifully written, Real Modern represents a valuable contribution to New Zealand history. For those who lived through the 1950s and 60s this book brings back powerful and intimate memories of daily life; for those who did not, it reveals a fascinating and surprising world.' Jock Phillips
'Joyful is the perfect word to sum up this book. Somehow weve been led to believe that New Zealand at this time was cautious, stodgy and dull, but Real Modern shows it was anything but. The New Zealand in this book is witty, inventive, adventurous and eager for new experiences. And the clothes were just gorgeous. Real Modern does more than diligently record the familiar objects of the 1950s and 1960s; it captures the feeling of what it was like to live then Catherine Robertson
Like an archaeological dig, objects give us meaning to an era in history. From the fabrics to the furniture, the Three Flowers talcum powder to the Vance Vivian shops, Bronwyn's book Real Modern does just that for the 50s and 60s in New Zealand. Real Modern takes us beyond the usual kiwiana and retro labels. A fascinating read. Wallace Chapman
Delicious, disturbing, surprising. Real Modern takes us to the world of things we once loved and dreams we could believe. On every page a discovery and rediscovery of a uniquely New Zealand era, when luxury came by way of the consolette tv, bikini chair, island bench and Loxene shampoo. A book where history unfolds in the glorious panorama of everyday life. Professor Charlotte Macdonald

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