Dennison’s Bogie Book

Dennison's Bogie Book

My colleagues and I of Never Was wish you all a Happy Halloween, and we hope you have had an enjoyable spooky season!

Today, I’m going to delve into the world of vintage Halloween with a little piece of diesel-era history.

We have seen many things canceled in 2020, including Halloween parties. This book, however, takes us back to bygone times when Halloween celebrations were new and hip, providing a window into the Halloween that was — and hopefully can be again.

Dennison’s Bogie Book was first published in 1920s and has since been republished in various formats. Recently it has been restored by Israel Escamilla, and while you can access, and download, this for free in PDF here, you can also own your own copy for around €10.

I bought a physical reproduction copy and will be reviewing that, but trust me, the PDF will suit you fine if you would rather not spend the money.

As a little Halloween history piece, this is good fun to have. It describes the settings for parties in a variety of venues, ranging from your own home to (school) dances and parish halls. There are tips for menus, décor, costumes and much, much more. It’s a glimpse in a spooky past everyone can enjoy, and if you are looking to throw a dieselpunk-style Halloween party in the future with some historical elements, or if you simply love Halloween, this would be an excellent place to start.

You might have seen this, or pages thereof, floating about the web before. Just last year, Rachel Maksy reproduced a Halloween costume from it on YouTube, and she is not the only one.

There are a few downsides, though. The work is riddled with typos. Of course, this is a reproduction, but still.

Some googling has also led me to realize that not all pages of the original have been included. These might belong to a later edition, which had more content, but I still feel it’s a missed opportunity not to add them with an additional note. Some of those pages are reproduced here, as well as excerpts from the PDF, so you can have them for your own reference. But unfortunately I couldn’t find larger versions.

Nonetheless, if you are a fan of Halloween or 1920s history, I would recommend looking into this, especially as you don’t even have to pay for it!

If you’re only a casual observer, I would spend my time on the thankfully enormous variety of Halloween content available on the world wide web.

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