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carole lombard 03

Looking back: January 1932

Posted by vp19 on 2011.01.05 at 01:10
Current mood: surprisedsurprised


Today, we're inaugurating a new feature at "Carole & Co.", one we intend to run each month that I think will delight Carole Lombard fans. It's through a resource that's fairly new to me -- the "news" section at google.com. Through it, you can access newspapers from past and present regarding all sorts of subjects.

Some of the papers charge a fee, such as the Tribune Co. properties (the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant) or the New York Times. But thankfully, many other papers involved in the project are free.

We're going to use this to examine Carole Lombard, and while much of what you'll see may not be very significant, it is fun to find. We will look at newspaper items dealing with Lombard each month, beginning in January 1932. (That should give us 10 years' worth of material, assuming this blog can last through December 2020!)

The image above isn't from Google News; it's from the Jan. 30, 1932 Motion Picture Herald -- an ad from Paramount promoting Carole's upcoming release, "No One Man"...just to get you in the mood.

The first item ran 79 years ago today (Jan. 5) in the upstate New York paper, the Schenectady Gazette:



Under the headline "Striking Creation," this syndicated item shows Lombard "in a frock that glitters," red and silver on a black background. It's simple yet elegant, and as this photo indicates, Carole looked splendid in it.

"Elegant" and "splendid" probably aren't the proper adjectives for the outfit Milwaukee Journal readers found Lombard in on Jan. 9, 1932:



No, she's not in training to be a bubble dancer, nor is she wearing a bunch of tiny balloons. Here's what it's all about, according to the caption:

All Balled Up In New Style
Pajamas are yesterday's mode; the bathing jacket is today's -- and Carole Lombard, screen star, introduces this startling new fashion in a forthcoming production. The jacket for beach wear comprises many yards of white jersey trimmed with innumerable balls of white yarn.


Well, "startling" is accurate, and so is "balled up"...if it's a euphemism for a somewhat, uh, stronger term. Just how did Carole keep a straight face while modeling this? (And it's probably safe to say this unorthodox style was not a favorite on beaches throughout the summer of 1932.)

Check back next month for a variety of Lombard items, circa February 1932. Hey, you may find another early thirties version of "what not to wear."

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