1. Putting aside Len’s failure to teach his children, is a kit like this crazy or not?

    In the 1950 song Frosty the Snowman, Frosty has a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal (and, crucially, an old silk hat). These were all things pretty readily available in 1950 (well, maybe not the silk hat, but that obviously was special). I grew up on a farm and lived in a house heated by coal, so I too had ready access to large quantities of coal and corncobs. However, a modern city child has likely seen neither. Even buttons were more common then, when there was more sewing, although I don’t think the button component would be much of an issue even today.

    However, the point in 1950 was that children used inexpensive and readily available resources to decorate their snowman. Is there really a need for a kit to make a snowman that looks just like one made 70 years ago? I would think it would be more satisfying to come up with modern counterparts.

  2. The kid reading “First we roll a big snowball” is just a small side joke. The main joke is that “kids today” are so dependent on consumer goods that they need all kids of fancy equipment and molds to do simple tasks that we just did ourselves in “the good old days.”

    Len’s snowmen might have required some outside tools, like a hat. But not things like face molds. And he would have used sticks, or rocks, not pre-bought plastic pieces. That shows that Len had determination and ingenuity or something, not like kids today, amirite?

  3. By the way, “snowman kit” is not just something made up by the cartoonist. A search for “snowman kit” on Amazon produces an amazingly large number of hits.

    Since the kids are probably not buying snowman kits, this one likely was purchased by an adult, presumably Len’s wife.

  4. The problem, Winter, is that sometimes the “side joke” takes away from from the primary joke.

    What’s commonly known as the “@$!# Squirrel Syndrome.”

  5. Not quite on topic, but one year my younger brother made a snowwoman in the back yard and the neighbors didn’t let their kids play in their own back yards for a week or so.

  6. @Usual John: How many of those kits are actually for making snowmen out of snow rather than craft projects?

  7. Oh, you get two hats, a top hat and a derby. So your snowman can alternate between being Scrooge and Stan Laurel.

  8. Bill – as I have learned since we started Robert’s, err, our hobby of reenacting – coal and charcoal are not the same thing. Coal has to be mined from a coal mine. Along with that one does not cook on the wood fire in a fireplace, but on the charcoal that forms from the burnt wood and drops to the bottom. This charcoal, which is more like the ash that modern commercial charcoal burns down to, is then moved about on the hearth with a small shovel (I point at the fireplace with my hand pointing – a small boy wanted to know how I did not burn my hand moving the charcoal with it – now I always mention the shovel) making mounds called “burners” on the hearth to cook with. So technically your son was using charcoal not coal.

    I also have learned that in London there were charcoal makers who would make and sell the charcoal in period.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.