54a-Station Break-In the News 1934: The Dionne Quintuplets, Part 2


This posting is a continuation of 54a-Station Break-In the News 1934: The Dionne Quintuplets, Part 1 .  After the material on the Dionne Quintuplets is completed, Uncle Sammy and I share our childhood memories of products, toys and famous people in the news who were an important part of our childhoods.  This is followed by the Resources section where you will find links to all sources used for this posting.

Dionne Quintuplets:  Return to home and then out on their own

In 1943 the Mr. and Mrs. Dionne won custody of their daughters. The move back home was not the joyous occasion one might think. The Quintuplets were treated badly as their siblings showed signs of jealousy and their parents were constantly berating them. Yet Mr. and Mrs. Dionne thought enough of the money their daughters had made to live off of it without any qualms. When the quintuplets turned 18 they all left home and cut off ties with their family. As of 2014 only Cecilie and Annette remained alive.

Discussion with Uncle Sammy on Sunday, February 21, 2016 11-11:50 a.m.

Uncle Sammy and I discussed the cartoon characters and pop stars of our childhood that captured our imaginations. We attribute the fascination the public had with the Dionne Quintuplets part of the great desire people had for escape during the Great Depression. The fascination Uncle Sammy and I had for our favorites developed during different decades. In many ways they show the growing influence of radio, movies and then television marketing to children.

Mid-1940s to Early 1950s: Uncle Sammy’s favorites


Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney, 1951. Publicity photo. See remarks with link in Resources section.

Ventriloquist Paul Winchell was one of Uncle Sammy’s favorite TV personalities in the early 1950s. Winchell created a puppet (also called a ventriloquist dummy or ventriloquist figure)named Jerry Mahoney which he used in his act during appearances on radio in the early 1940s. Uncle Sammy had a Jerry Mahoney puppet.

Uncle Sammy was a fan of another ventriloquist known as Buffalo Bill (Bob Smith) and his puppet Howdy Doody. The puppet’s name is derived from the mid-western manner of saying, “How do you do?” Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bill made their first TV appearance in 1947 and quickly became a hit with children. Merchandise related to Howdy and his friends began to appear at Macy’s Department Store in New York City.

Uncle Sammy still remembers with great enjoyment the other characters on “The Howdy Doody” show such as Clarabell the Clown and Princess Summerfallwinterspring. “Howdy Doody” aired on Saturday mornings.

Other TV shows Uncle Sammy loved were “Buster Brown” which aired in the early 1950s after a successful run on radio throughout the 1940s. Buster is a very mischevious little boy with a talking dog named Tige. Uncle Sammy remembers another character named Froggy that he also liked on the show.

Mid-1950s to Early 1960s: EmilyAnn’s favorites

I was a picky eater so Mom and Dad were happy when there were foods I took a liking to. If I was going to have corn flakes for breakfast it had to be Kellogs cornflakes because I loved the brightly colored graphic on the box of a rooster named Cornelius. I liked it even better when canned peaches were added to the cereal.

Another favorite character was the Trix Rabbit. He enjoyed telling children about the yummy fruit flavored cereal and the importance of a good breakfast. The Trix Rabbit never got to enjoy a bowl of cereal, though, since “Trix is for kids!” as the cartoon children always said. I wanted a Trix Rabbit toy so I could have the Rabbit enjoy breakfast with me. I do not think a toy was made but around the early 1960s General Mills offered a Trix Night Light. My parents sent in a check for $1 along with a box top (or two) from Trix cereal. It was a happy day when the nightlight arrived.

I remember plugging that nightlight in each night and going to sleep with the smiling rabbit casting a soft glow into my dark room. Each morning I unplugged the nightlight and hid it in one of my dresser drawers.


Annette Funicello in 1975 holding a photo of herself when she was a Mousketeer. Publicity photo. See remarks at link provided in Resources section.

My favorite child star, and later teenage movie star, was Annette Funicello who appeared as a Mousketeer in the “Mickey Mouse Club” show on TV. It was the fact she was an Italian-American and born in upstate New York that made me feel so good about my heritage. My parents couldn’t see any appeal to her but I thought she was marvelous just because she was born in New York. It was true, I’d say, she wasn’t from Brooklyn. BUT she is Italian-American, I’d add. Even more important to me was that Annette had a very friendly, upbeat and positive personality. This impression was verified while researching for this posting. In many places I read that she always worked well with other actors and actresses. I also read that Annette enjoyed a good relationship with the press.


Dionne Quintuplets photo of mother and babies 1934
Wikimedia Commons
Date:  May 28, 1934
Note:  Hyperlink would not paste into WordPress

“Red Cross Aid Asked for Quintuplets; Five Girls Sleeping in One Basket”

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tuesday, May 29, 1934
Page 1 http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/58261273/

The Story of the Dionne Quintuplets
By Dennis Gaffney
Posted: 3.23.09 PBS Antiques Roadshow http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/fts/wichita_200803A12.html

The Dionne Quintuplets (1934-36)
Pathe films YouTube


Latest Pictures of The Dionne Quintuplets (1936)
Britsh Pathe


Note: Check out the Quints’ feeding time. These little girls were so sweet.

The Dionne Quintuplets
“A Day at Home” (1937)


Canadian Encyclopedia
The Dionne Quintuplets


Dionne Quintuplets
Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionne_quintuplets

Allan Roy Dafoe
Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Roy_Dafoe

Resources: Dionne Quints Spoons and Shirley Temple Glassware (with photos)

Blue Cobalt Shirley Temple Glassware
Originals and reproductions: http://www.shirleytempledolls.com/collectibles/collectibles1.html

Background information: https://www.kovels.com/price-guide/shirley-temple.html

Dionne Quintuplet Spoons with photo
Grey roots Museum and Archives Blog
“The Dionne Quintuplets (Sisters) and their Spoons”
May 20, 2015 by GreyRootsMuseum


Resources: Annette Funicello, Trix and Kellogs Corn Flakes

Publicity photo of Annette Funicello in 1975
Wikimedia Commons
Note:  Link would not paste into WordPress.

Annette Funicello
Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annette_Funicello

Annette Funicello Memorial Website  http://annetteconnection.com/

Breakfast Cereal Characters

Bio of Cornelius “Corny” the Kellogs Rooster
This PDF file includes a very cute graphic of Corny.


Trix (cereal)
Also describes the creation of Tricks (or Trix) the Rabbit


Resources: Paul Winchell, Jerry Mahoney, Howdy Doody and Buster Brown

Buster Brown
Wikipedia   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Brown

Howdy Doody
Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howdy_Doody

Paul Winchell
Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Winchell

Publicity Photo of Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney
Wikimedia Commons
Note:  Link would not paste into WordPress.

Resources: YouTube Videos

Jerry Mahoney: If I was you

Annette Funicello-Annette Ballet

Annette dancing on an episode of the Mickey Mouse Show






6 thoughts on “54a-Station Break-In the News 1934: The Dionne Quintuplets, Part 2

    1. Hi Amy! I forgot about many of the Mouseketeers. In my childhood I sometimes thought they were the contemporaries of the Little Rascals. I actually believed the Rascals were acting out a 1930 series but were really kids in the 1950s. Thanks for sharing your favorites with me. Here’s a fun clip from YouTube…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, as later postings will show, my Mom took the loss of her baby brother very badly. The sense of mortality and passing of time were very much a part of her awareness. She passed that on to me even when I was a child. Her motto in high school was “Tempus fugus”. Time flies.


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