My Grandma’s Personal Scrapbooks of Hollywood Movie Stars from the 1930’s & Vintage Books


handed down from my grandma vintage books from the 1930's and 1940s as well as personal scrapbooks of movie stars from the 30's, DSC_0286

My mom has a slew of filled-to-the-brim boxes of goodies in her garage that she has saved for me over the years, waiting for me to settle into a place long enough to hand them down. Thanks Mom! Over the last year, she has been able to do so because we’re finally in a home large enough to house all my saved treasures. Most recently, she brought over this vintage suitcase full of vintage books which belonged to her mother, my grandmother.

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Vintage Dick Tracy book, Vintage Annie book, vintage books, DSC_0300

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When I first opened the suitcase I remembered why I asked her to save them all for me …because old books are really incredible with details you don’t see in new books {unless they’re meant to look old}. But as I started removing one after the other to inspect each, my eyes darted to the two composition books quietly hiding in the tight space along the edge.

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I quickly pulled them out thinking they were some kind of journal or diary how nosy of me, I know but upon opening them found clippings of “movie stars” she admired from her time. One journal says her name, Florence Mattina, Movie Stars, September 22, 1934. Born in 1917, she must have been around around 17 years old when she spent countless hours snipping and glueing and captioning the pages of these books. I mean, I know there was no internet or television then so people had to entertain themselves but this still took a lot of time. I’m fairly sure I have a similar style scrapbook dating back to my eleventh year on the planet that is full of Johnny Depp clippings. I should find that!

These were in her possession in 1934. 1934! It was a different world then. That just blows me away …so I thought I’d share. All the images at the time were in black and white …my grandma colored in the lips and eyes and sometimes the hair as well as added eyelashes & makeup. She added her own color to the black and white images.

composition books from the 1930's, old hollywood movie stars, DSC_0337

There are pages and pages and pages of Hollywood movie stars, men, women, couples, fashion …I just chose some of my favorites and still this post is photo heavy. Obviously there were no computers then, thus, no photoshop, but they sure found a way to blur out the wrinkles and lines on the men and the women. So even before photoshopping, there was photoshopping.

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Old Hollywood Movie Stars, old magazines, magazines from the 1930's, black and white photography, vintage photos, DSC_0376

Old Hollywood Movie Stars, old magazines, magazines from the 1930's, women's hair in the 30's, DSC_0384

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Old Hollywood Movie Stars, old magazines, magazines from the 1930's, DSC_0379

Old Hollywood Movie Stars, old magazines, magazines from the 1930's, DSC_0392

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While many of the photos had a cyan, magenta, or yellow tint to them, this final shot of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was the only one in full color.

Old Hollywood Movie Stars, old magazines, magazines from the 1930's, fred astaire and ginger rogers, DSC_0367

Looking through these scrapbooks, knowing my Grandma created them when she was just a girl, got me thinking about her and missing her terribly. She passed away in the early 2000’s and it seems the older I get the more I wish she were around to talk to. Her family moved from Italy to the East Coast where she remained until she met my Grandpa {from Germany} then moved to the West Coast shortly after. I think she had dreams of “Hollywood” and fame but moved out here for health reasons, or so we were told.

There are so many unanswered questions from past generations, don’t you think? They didn’t seem to be as open with or want to talk about “life” as much as we currently do now. My Grandma had a hysterectomy in her 30’s, though I’m not sure why. It could have been anything back then? She and my Grandpa adopted my mom when my mom was an infant and my uncle when he was a young boy. Now that I’m not getting pregnant, it seems we have that in common and I wish she were here to chat with about why she couldn’t have kids of her own. Obviously the husband and I have considered adoption as well, given our situation.

Being that she was 100% Italian, I wish she were here to know my husband, who is also Italian. She would love him up and he would love her food & that would make her love him even more. I seem to wear so many of her clothes and jewelry proudly but only wish I could show her …she would be so excited to know how much I appreciate it all.

I suppose she knew then though because I’d spend hours looking through her closet and jewelry drawers and reading her fashion magazines when I was a kid. And looking back, she must have known …she always pointed to her platinum and pave diamond wedding band and with a wink and a smirk would say “This is for you”. Miss you Nana 😉


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LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

74 Comments

  • Katie

    March 15, 2011 |

    Thats so amazing you have those to look through! I have jewelry from both of my grandmothers and love having it in my collection and pulling it out to wear some days. I wish they were still alive, I think of all the things now that I never got to ask them.

  • vixi

    March 15, 2011 |

    Wow! Waht a fabuloud find!! and dont the vintage books have the greatest smell to them…i love the way the smell!! <3!
    xoxo

  • Amber's Notebook

    March 15, 2011 |

    Omg what a treasure!!! What an amazing thing to have. Seems like your grandma is looking down on you.

    http://www.ambersnotebook.com/

  • { aggie }

    March 15, 2011 |

    Wow those are AMAZING! They are bits and pieces of Hollywood history.

    The 30s and 40s are definitely a much, much different time, and thanks so sharing them here in your blog 😀

  • allison

    March 15, 2011 |

    wow! this is so special, how lucky you are to have this piece of your grandmother.. enjoy them:)

  • Kimberly

    March 15, 2011 |

    Thank you Maegan for sharing a part of your grandmother with your followers. Memories are a wonderful thing when we look back on our lives. Enjoy those memories with a happy heart.

  • Deborah

    March 15, 2011 |

    Two of my FAVORITE things; old books and vintage suitcases.

    That photo of the blond woman in the striped shirt with red lips is fantastic. I wonder who she is?

    I saw a shot or two of Jean Harlow. I was rather obsessed with her (and Marilyn) when I was a teen.

  • Marisa

    March 15, 2011 |

    Wow this is so special!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Rachael

    March 15, 2011 |

    This is very special, what treasures!

    And duh, I totally have a little composition book just like that with hundreds of clippings of Leo and Kate. I know.

    Also, I have a whole box filled with X-files stuff and David Duchovny … gosh I was a weird teenager.

    I think all of this is so special. When my Gram passed, she had already been in a care facility for years and my mom and aunts had already gone through all of her important things, of which I didn’t get to see or touch. I hope one day my mom shares some of it with me, even if only I can see and touch it. Right now I think her pain is too great and she has them stashed away out of sight.

    Again, this is amazing stuff and thank you for showing us all of it.

  • Katie

    March 15, 2011 |

    What an incredible collection of photographs. I love them even more for being cut out and glued into a notebook. Such a treasure. You lucky lady. Your grandmother seemed to be glamorous just like you. My Mom is slowly giving me bits of my uncles collection of old hollywood star magazines and photos. It’s so precious to me. Must make sure I take very good care of them so I can continue to pass them on.xx

  • Sara Pierce

    March 15, 2011 |

    When I saw the title I was so hoping there would be a photo of Fred and Ginger. I love them. I’m actually related to Ginger Rogers through my mother’s father!
    beautiful photos and what special treasures!

  • Lil

    March 15, 2011 |

    This is amazing!
    I’m a big journaller/scrapbooker so this makes me really happy that turnouts can last this long. What beautiful pictures! Great find. X

  • Behind the Lashes

    March 15, 2011 |

    What an incredible thing to find!! My gmom has some books on old movie stars that she’s tried to give me, but just like you I don’t really have the room but NOW after seeing your unique journals makes me want to run over to her and exclaim YES I WILL TAKE THEM!!! hahaha

  • Andi

    March 15, 2011 |

    This is amazing! What an incredible gift. Those books and photos are just beyond words. I’ve always been fascinated with that time period.

  • Tierney

    March 15, 2011 |

    This is such an awesome post–you don’t even know. I collect old books (I specifically look for one with interesting spines and cover detail) and that is an amazing treasure trove you have!

    I also love the personal things inside from your grandmother. I love finding the original owner’s notes and thoughts in the margins of those old books.

    And finally (since I’m rambling) I love old Hollywood stars. Like you said, they’re not retouched, and in most cases, they’re more beautiful than the majority of women today.

    Yay!

  • Leah

    March 15, 2011 |

    Those books are irreplaceable! What a great way to reminisce. I lost my Grandfather the year I started dating my BF (7 years ago) and I always wished he would have known him. We just have to remember to pass on the wonderful stories that made them the loving grandparents that we knew.

    xo L.

  • anon

    March 15, 2011 |

    awesome post. thanks for sharing. i completely agree about our grandparents not sharing much about their lives. my grandmother died a few years ago, and i miss her like crazy. i know so little about her life. how cool would it be if you and hubby adopted children like your grandparents did?

  • Rachael

    March 15, 2011 |

    Those books are making me swoon in a serious way. There’s nothing I love more than the look/feel/smell of beautiful old books. You’re so luck to have them!
    And the scrapbooks are incredible – what a connexion to have with your grandmother as a young girl. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Rachael
    http://everydayconfetti.blogspot.com

  • Julie

    March 15, 2011 |

    my grandma passed away back in November at the age of 90. As we were cleaning out her house we came across several of her old movie star scrap books that look almost just like this. it must have been “the thing to do” back then. it’s fun to remember my grandma as a young girl pilfering through the latest magazines and clipping the photos, much like I did with my issues of YM and Sassy!

  • Allie

    March 15, 2011 |

    that is so cool that you have these things to look through! I’m a huge fan of classic movies, and I love the fashions from back then. Your Grandma sounds like an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing this little part of her.

    http://www.thevanitylair.com/

  • House of Hemingway

    March 15, 2011 |

    A true treasure, and what’s best is that it’s a family treasure. I hope you consider adoption because I can really see you being an amazing mom and passing on these treasures to your children.

    Luce

    http://www.houseofhemingway.blogspot.com

  • Gwen

    March 15, 2011 |

    I think this collection is amazing!!! I have a few old school books from my grandma and grandpa that I’ve wrapped up and placed in a box for Ellie. You are so much like your Grandma with your love of fashion. 🙂 I never realized it until a few years ago that I am alot like my grandma also. And I really think that makes me miss her more. Thank you for sharing this collection of scrapbooks with us.

  • *amanda*

    March 15, 2011 |

    I’ve been thinking about my Nana, too. She died in 2002, and I’d do anything to have her back with me.

    This post is so beautiful, I can’t even describe. ♥ ♥

  • Marisa

    March 15, 2011 |

    Wow that is so amazing your grandma was one cool lady! I love all those hairstyles…if only I was better at doing my hair. What a great find!

  • AJ

    March 15, 2011 |

    Get stuff! I am in love with old Hollywood Glam! I watch the Dorothy Dandridge story twice over the weekend…just to look at the fashion and the elegance and grace the women had back then…I would love to have history in my hands like that! Your Nana left you a great treasure…enjoy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Holly

    March 15, 2011 |

    dude, i obviously dont need to tell you how cool your grandma was. but wow! these are amazing finds.

  • Marinka

    March 15, 2011 |

    I love all those old books, they are really nice. I especially love the smell of old books 🙂
    Cute vintage pictures, I never noticed that they used a little photoshopping ^^

  • MG

    March 15, 2011 |

    That’s so fantastic that you have memories like those!

  • Nineteen Zero Six

    March 15, 2011 |

    What an amazing treasure to have!

    www,nineteenzerosix.com

  • Annie

    March 15, 2011 |

    wow i think i can look at those notebooks for hours on end!

    my mom did the same when she was younger. her black and white pictures had colors on lips too

  • Kris

    March 15, 2011 |

    What a treasure! I’m not an old lady yet but am definitely kicking myself for not saving some of the CRAZY collages that I made as a teen with movie stars. I was so obsessed when I was younger with Hollywood. Now I’m in the business behind the scenes and HATE IT… isn’t that sad?

  • Cathy

    March 15, 2011 |

    Gold, sheer gold!!!

  • Mary Ann

    March 15, 2011 |

    Great finds!! All the hair/makeup and style inspiration – I love it!

  • CHEARLY

    March 15, 2011 |

    I love your pictures..! what a beautiful discovery you made 🙂
    Old Photographs make me in a so romantic mood…. I love!

  • Daniella

    March 15, 2011 |

    Omg amazing. I wish my grandmother had something like that at I could inherit 🙂

  • k

    March 15, 2011 |

    Maegan, this post made me feel so teary. I completely understand how you wish you could have all those conversations with your grandma. You’re already so lucky for having even known her while she was alive. I’ve never met any of my grandparents while they were alive and well, and they didn’t leave anything as precious as those books behind for us. Anyway, you’re carrying on your grandma’s legacy by sharing a piece of her with us. 🙂

  • HillsRus

    March 15, 2011 |

    What a fun collection and piece of your grandma that you are able to have! Both of my grandma’s passed away when I was 18 and I also treasure anything I have that was theirs.
    So I’ve been wanting to share something with you for a while, and as I read this post I knew that I needed to share it with you now. I don’t know if you are religious or not, but in my religion we believe that when we die we are reunited with our loved ones. How fantastic is that? I know that in heaven I will get to know my loved ones that I didn’t get to know here on earth. I will be with my family forever. Please go to Mormon.org and learn more about the LDS faith. I promise you it will be well worth your time.

  • Loren

    March 15, 2011 |

    What an amazing piece of history you have!! I love this post, so sweet

  • socialitedreams

    March 15, 2011 |

    what a touching, sweet post….i really enjoyed reading it and may she rest in peace…seems like a cool lady! love the scrap books

  • drollgirl

    March 15, 2011 |

    this post is so radical! you are so connected to her in so many ways!!!

  • Higgenbottom

    March 15, 2011 |

    this is such a sweet post! i love reading about such wonderful memories. i’m so happy that you had such a fantastic, loving, and stylish grandma.

  • Sing

    March 15, 2011 |

    Those are so cool!

  • Marie a la Mode

    March 16, 2011 |

    Your Grandmother’s collection is freakin’ AMAZING! It’s so wonderful she passed these down. There’s so much history right there!

  • Gaby_fez

    March 16, 2011 |

    Wow,Que reliquia!!…. 🙂

  • modanista junkie

    March 16, 2011 |

    How fabulous is this!!! It’s great to have these memories, and be able to share them with friends and family. The photos look amazing! Memories like these are irreplaceable, and should always be cherished.

    xoxo,
    melrod

  • Jennah Watters

    March 16, 2011 |

    I lost all my grandparents in high school, also in the early 2000s. I wish I had more of their things (always jealous of your grandma’s jewelry etc), but the circumstances of all of their deaths meant that just didn’t happen. Since I lost them in high school, I too fell like I never really got to know them as adults, and I miss that. One set of them were big gardeners, so since I’m into that now, I constantly think of what they’d say about my garden. These scrapbooks are SUCH a cool thing to have!

  • Kellie

    March 16, 2011 |

    What an amazing treasure to come across! I love the iconic beauties in the photos as well as the fashion! Why is it that they always look so much more fashionable back then than anyone does now? Must be the jeggings. (But I won’t judge b/c I have a pair. Gasp!) 🙂

  • Amanda

    March 16, 2011 |

    Wow those are definitely worth savouring. I wish someone in my family had left something like that! Those vintage books remind me of my boyfriend – he likes to go to 2nd hand bookstores and find old treasures.

  • Mrs.Grinder

    March 16, 2011 |

    just found your blog, it’s amazing. loving every second of it! i think i just read through atleast the last year and a half of your life haha, amazing. loving the DIY & outfit shots. LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.

  • JMay

    March 16, 2011 |

    Maegan, this is so so cool! I have a box full of old journals that I hope my grandkids will look through one day.

    I love how naturally beautiful these women looked. I loved this post!!!

  • CAROLINE

    March 16, 2011 |

    What a charming little post. This is exactly why I don’t ever want to throw my things away and feel a little sad whenever my mum goes, ‘I used to have…’

  • Collections

    March 16, 2011 |

    wow this box of goodies is great! I love looking through my parents/ grandparents old things and photographs.

    http://www.fashionablecollections.blogspot.com

  • Chandra

    March 16, 2011 |

    I feel the same about my grandmother. I wish she was here all of the time as life goes on and I grow further away from the last time I saw her…she passed away in 2000 and your story is so similar to mine. Came from back east and moved to Hollywood. Thank you for keeping her memory fresh in my mind!

  • anh

    March 16, 2011 |

    great post maegan.

  • María Silvia

    March 16, 2011 |

    Wow, Maegan, I am speechless.

  • tootie

    March 16, 2011 |

    I love this post! What priceless treasures and memories of your grandma. Thanks for sharing!

  • Huda

    March 16, 2011 |

    what a gift to have from your grandmother. I have my granny’s wedding dress & jewelry in traditional East African style. Asked her when I was 9yrs old if she dies, I would like that…and she laughed and gave it to mom to keep it for me.

  • DM

    March 16, 2011 |

    Ooooh Wow! I love finding old family treasures… I recently found my great-great-grandmother’s wedding dress (actually a trunk full of her old things). She was a seamstress and a slave in Mississippi. Back then people of color weren’t allowed to marry legally, so she made this dress and they had their own little “ceremony”. I’d always heard the story, but now I have pieces of the day! It’s awesome…

  • Down and Out Chic

    March 16, 2011 |

    what an absolute treasure! i bet she had no idea when she was making these scrapbooks or reading those books that her grand daughter would one day have them. this warms my heart.

  • Ann + Robert

    March 16, 2011 |

    Hi Maegan – I got teary reading this post. I lost my dear Gran a little over a year ago and miss her so much.

    I always enjoy reading your blog.. thanks!

    Ann

  • Anna

    March 16, 2011 |

    What an amazing collection to look at. I feel the same way about my grandparents. They died too early in my life for me to ask them the important questions and really get to know them. I miss them so much. I think it is lovely that you wear your grandma’s things. It keep a little part of her alive.

  • Mon

    March 16, 2011 |

    Wow, this post is beautiful, it gave me goosebumps, looking at the books, scrapbooks, etc. I can imagine what you felt finding them.

    Mon,
    http://foursistersfourstyles.blogspot.com

  • Kujaku

    March 17, 2011 |

    Thanks so much for sharing such personal memories. This really is a treasure trove you’ve presented with this post.

    My grandmother passed away 4 years ago, so I know what you mean about wishing you could speak with her again. I still have dreams about being at her house every now and then.

  • Meagan @ Style-Edition

    March 17, 2011 |

    your grandma was officially SO cool.
    Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to know mine very well but I have a collection of her jewelry that is extra special 🙂

  • Amy

    March 17, 2011 |

    What a treasure – so happy you have these books!

  • Poppy

    March 18, 2011 |

    That was a sweet post, makes me miss my Nana too. Her books & celebrity books are so cool, it’s so great that you get to have them in your home now.

  • Chessa!

    March 18, 2011 |

    it’s so wonderful that you have these. love the sentiment and reading your memories. x

  • Jessica

    March 18, 2011 |

    What an amazing discovery!

    You’re so right about our grandparents’ generation not opening up about their lives. I have SO many questions I wish I could’ve asked them all before they passed – many of which I never would have known to ask at the age I was then.

    My mother and I recently started a “never ending email” in which we ask each other one question at a time and keep going back and forth. Not only have we learned a lot about each other but we keep realizing just how important it is to pass even the smallest life lessons along – there are so many things we’ve both taught each other, it’s quite wonderful!

    I’m sure your grandmother is smiling down, SO proud of you – and no doubt she’s teaching you lessons in her own way 🙂

  • Nonflammable

    March 18, 2011 |

    Just maybe your best post ever, in mop.

  • Mutiboko

    March 19, 2011 |

    The smell alone of old hand me down books can be so nostalgic… What a great gift your Grandma has left you. Wonderful post!

  • DianaCirne

    March 22, 2011 |

    You have a really treasure here, beautiful books and the collages.. But the more treasury thing is the love you have for your grandmother. Love is the most treasury thing we have in life.

  • Leigh

    March 24, 2011 |

    You are so lucky to have these treasures! Wow. Thanks for sharing.

  • Keyna b

    April 13, 2011 |

    This is a beautiful post. My Ouma (Afrikaans for Grandmother) passed away in 1999 and I still miss her all the time.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Dave

    February 15, 2013 |

    What a fantastic piece of photographic history 🙂