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Thanksgiving miscellany: The Whipple Pin-up

November 26, 2014

As we’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, the North of Boston region has a very rich history.  From great literature, to visits from George Washington and military firsts, it’s no wonder that in the 1940s, Life Magazine photographer Walter Sanders was inspired to capture the region’s historical significance.  In summer 1944, Sanders (and model Rose-Ellen Cameron) staged a historic-inspired photo shoot at the Whipple House in Ipswich.  This was the result:

Photo by Walter Sanders

We can only assume that 1944 was a very different time.

According to the article published in the October 2, 1944 issue of Life:

“During the late summer heat wave in Massachusetts LIFE Photographer Walter Sanders took pictures of the Whipple House, historic landmark in Ipswich.  Powers Model Rose-Ellen Cameron, posing as a young Purtain, sweltered under a very modest and heavy dress.  The low, antique ceilings and white-hot floodlights made matters worse.  When the ordeal was finally over, Rose-Ellen was delighted.  “I’m so happy I could jump out that window and kick sky-high,” she remarked.  She did and the pictures below are the result.”

We won’t post the aforementioned pictures below as it becomes painfully obvious that Miss Cameron, well, didn’t have much else on under her “modest and heavy dress.”

We’re still not entirely sure what the purpose of this photo shoot was or whatever happened to the “serious” photos of a demure Puritan girl modeling in a historic home, but we like think that this bit of Thanksgiving “cheesecake” boosted the morale of a soldier or two stationed abroad fighting World War II.  Who needs Betty Grable when you can have Pilgrim Girl?


Looks like we spoke too soon about Walter Sanders and Betty Grable… Photo:

You can check out the full Life article here –
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