Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Shmoo

A vintage Shmoo pin

This is a shmoo.  Shmoos were a benevolent fictional character invented by cartoonist Al Capp for his Li'l Abner comic strip in 1948.  Apparently they were intended as a social satire about society at the time.  I won't go into what the shmoo was intended to represent or what people think it was intended to represent in post war society, but Wikepedia has a great history of the shmoo if you want to read more.  The shmoo character only ran in the comic strip for a few months, but it became wildly popular throughout society, including on college campuses, and its image was everywhere, including jewelry.  Think "Hello Kitty" popularity tenfold, or maybe times ten thousand!  This pin belonged to my grandmother.  She must have been about 40 years old when shmoos made their debut in pop culture, so it's amusing to me that she had one of these.  I can not imagine her wearing this pin.  Raymond Yard and Tiffany were more her style.   Perhaps it was a gag gift, or maybe it belonged to one of her children, who would have been teenagers at the time.  But, she saved it for years and eventually gave it to me when I was a kid. 

Close up of the shmoo's face

If any readers have shmoo items, especially accessories, we'd love to see!

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