We love Halloween at the Museum and we weren't able to decorate the past couple of years, so this year we thought we'd try something new. Instead of displaying decorations strictly from the 1930s-1950s (the era we focus on in the Museum house) we decided to stretch our time period to include items from the 1960s and 1970s, too! After all, 1970 was over 50 years ago!
This change allows us to include a different kind of seasonal decoration - blow molds! These bright and cheery pumpkins and other shapes are manufactured by a process wherein melted plastic is blown into a mold using air pressure. The resulting lightweight plastic shapes are then used as they are, like pumpkin candy pails, or they're lit from the inside with a small light bulb to create a special spooky glow! The first blow mold intended for outdoor use was actually not a seasonal, lit up decoration, at all - it was the iconic Pink Flamingo. It was created in 1957 by Don Featherstone, an artist who worked for Union Products, one of the companies that would go on to produce dozens of blow molds for every holiday.
Blow molds of pumpkins, ghosts, and witches have been increasingly sought after by collectors along with other holiday blow molds like Santas, reindeer, snowmen, and even turkeys and pilgrims for Thanksgiving. Retailers have recently caught on to this renewed demand and are manufacturing and selling blow molds all over again! Most of the blow molds on display at the Museum are on loan from a private collection. See one of the groupings in the photo below.
We're calling our display in the Museum house Halloween Hijinks. It will be lit at night and we're leaving the blinds open, so visitors will be able to see the glow from outside anytime. If you'd like to tour the inside of the house, just visit Eventbrite to reserve your spot on an upcoming Sunday.
For more information about how Halloween has been celebrated over the years in Greenbelt, visit the Museum blog post on the subject. Did you grow up in Greenbelt? Did your family decorate for holidays? What were some of your other Halloween traditions or favorite memories? We'd love to hear from you, send an email to email@example.com