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Diary From 1957 Found In Thrift Store Shows What A Housewife’s Life Was Like Back Then (Updated)
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Entertainment, History1 year ago

Diary From 1957 Found In Thrift Store Shows What A Housewife’s Life Was Like Back Then (Updated)

There is a certain kind of thrill whenever people go to a thrift store. Those who frequent them know that feeling all too well—the anticipation of finding a bargain and the joy of actually finding it.

But it doesn’t have to necessarily be something beautiful or practical that you might be looking for. Perhaps it can also be an oddity, a thing that you would have never expected in a thrift store, but ended up finding it regardless.

Well, this TikToker ran into one such oddity—a 1950s diary of a woman from the south-central US, detailing the things she did every day. And, turns out, their interest in learning what life was like back then was shared with the internet as people there were also keen on knowing.

More Info: TikTok

Thrift stores can surprise you with the things you can find there on sale, like this diary from 1957

Image credits: otherworlddesign

So, TikToker @otherworlddesign recently stumbled upon a vintage diary in a thrift store. In particular, it was a used diary—one that already had been filled up with writings from cover to cover—from 1957.

After reading it, the TikToker deduced that it belonged to a housewife named Nellie from Oklahoma. While personal things like these do often end up in thrift stores due to things like spring cleaning or moving, it’s not known how this particular diary ended up as a deal on the shelves.

The diary quickly spawned an entire TikTok channel dedicated to exploring entries from the diary. Every few days or so, it posts a single entry from a particular day. Since the diary is pocket-sized, the entries were short, ranging from several words to a handful of sentences.

But, it’s no ordinary diary—someone wrote in it for a full year, and this TikToker shared some entries

@otherworlddesignReply to @lindsayosterhoff I found out her name is Nellie! ##thrifted ##thriftshop ##diary ##1950s♬ Heart & Soul – 1940s Music

For the most part, it detailed the things Nellie did or happened to her throughout the days. While some entries are a complete mood affair, like “didn’t do anything but eat all day,” others were more detailed and eventful, like her going to a wedding: “Today is a colored wedding and it’s just as beautiful as the others.”

It seems that the diary used to belong to a housewife named Nellie from Oklahoma

Image credits: otherworlddesign

The diary serves as an insight into what life was like back in 1957. It often refers to very 1950s names like Winnie, Jinks, and Garland. One entry details Nellie’s trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, saying how a coffee and a pie cost 31 cents, and how supper cost 55 cents, which is $2.90 and $5.15 today respectively.

It also refers to retailers of the time—like Safeway and T.G. FYI, Safeway is still around today, it’s a supermarket company, while T.G., or TG&Y in full, was a variety store that went defunct in 2001. Incidentally, it was headquartered in Oklahoma, where our heroine lived.

Heck, there was even one instance where Nellie told a whole story of how she snuck up to her friend Vicky poking at a fox hole and scared her half to death. Sounds like good times!

The diary provides insightful glimpses into the daily life of a housewife in 1957

Image credits: otherworlddesign

PLOT TWIST: some months later since the original posting of this article, the TikToker, with the power of this social medium, got his hands on two other diaries by Nellie, from about 20 years earlier. And the whole channel also inspired a movement of sorts where the internet got engaged in figuring out the particular of Nellie.

It got to such a point that Otherworlddesign posted a 4-video long explanation (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) on what they managed to find out about Nellie. Turns out, she had a husband named Samuel, was a mother of 6, and after her husband was hit by a train, institutionalized, and eventually passed away, she turned to making alcohol to make ends meet.

Because there was a nation-wide prohibition on alcohol between 1920 and 1933, Nellie was busted. This did not stop her from continuing on this path, but the Judge eventually made an example of her and turned the case nation-wide.

In an interesting turn of events, the TikToker got his hands on two more diaries by Nellie, and her story became rather grim

@otherworlddesignThis are 100% Nellies!! Please give @claireclaireh some love for reaching out to me!! Thank you!! ##thriftshop ##diary ##1930s ##1950s♬ Star Dust – 1930s Music

The TikToker never posted entries from the diaries about it, but it turns out Nellie’s husband died tragically in an asylum and she turned to making booze

Some of the latest entries in the channel document the TikToker’s journey to visit Nellie’s grave

Image credits: @otherworlddesign

The channel has been going viral since the start. The videos collectively have tens of millions of views, with almost 4 million likes and nearly 340,000 followers. And the videos keep coming out every few days or so with a new diary entry.

You can check out more on the now-viral TikTok channel, but before you go, tell us your thoughts on this in the comment section below!

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Helen Haley
Community Member
1 year ago

No wonder women's lib caught fire in the 70's. This was excruciating and it was a best case scenario.

BusLady
Community Member
1 year ago

@Signie: Perhaps Winnie was just boring company or really obnoxious.

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King Joffrey
Community Member
1 year ago

For a naturally lazy bastard like me, this doesn't sound too bad...

Susan Green
Community Member
1 year ago

HAHA

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Kusotare
Community Member
1 year ago

My wife found her grandmother's diary, and it was filled with similar day-to-day comments. Scattered throughout are entries that just say, "Pooped." We disagree on what that meant. My wife thinks it means her grandmother was tired that day. I think her grandmother was commenting on her regularity.

Judit Thoma
Community Member
7 months ago

As someone who sometimes has digestion problems, I think you're right, she was keeping track :D

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Helen Haley
Community Member
1 year ago

No wonder women's lib caught fire in the 70's. This was excruciating and it was a best case scenario.

BusLady
Community Member
1 year ago

@Signie: Perhaps Winnie was just boring company or really obnoxious.

Load More Replies...
King Joffrey
Community Member
1 year ago

For a naturally lazy bastard like me, this doesn't sound too bad...

Susan Green
Community Member
1 year ago

HAHA

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Kusotare
Community Member
1 year ago

My wife found her grandmother's diary, and it was filled with similar day-to-day comments. Scattered throughout are entries that just say, "Pooped." We disagree on what that meant. My wife thinks it means her grandmother was tired that day. I think her grandmother was commenting on her regularity.

Judit Thoma
Community Member
7 months ago

As someone who sometimes has digestion problems, I think you're right, she was keeping track :D

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