Eyeglasses and Spectacles of the Past

Many of us who wear glasses everyday will probably find ourselves relating to these two sentences. “But take the subject all in all, and consider it in all its phases, it cannot be denied that the invention of spectacles was one of the most useful to the human family.” “Many a man and woman to-day in all quarters of the known world owes the pleasure of existence to the use of scientifically more »

A European Tour on Bicycle

While browsing the Collections Search Center for an interesting trade catalog to highlight on the Blog, I came across this one from 1894. The only illustration in the entire catalog is on the front cover but that’s not what caught my eye. Instead, it was two words in the first paragraph: “photographic souvenirs.”

A Look Back at Sleds

With large parts of the U.S.  experiencing so much snow recently, this seemed like the perfect time to take a look at one of our trade catalogs about sleds. Catalogue of Paris Manufacturing Co. is from 1890 and shows several pages of sleds. Though these have a slightly different appearance than sleds of today, some of us might remember ones that looked similar to these.

Braving the Cold

Would these coats have kept you warm during the frigid temperatures much of the US experienced recently? Fall and Winter Catalogue No. 74 for the seasons of 1916-1917 by Bellas Hess & Co. illustrates several winter coats.

Holiday Costumes: The Snowball, Fairy, and Poinsettia

What holiday do you think of when someone mentions costumes? Halloween? But have you ever thought of a costume for the holiday season at this time of year? The 1923 Dennison’s Christmas Book by Dennison Mfg. Co. gives three suggestions for holiday costumes.

Turning Heads in 1916 and 1917

Wondering what the styles and trends were almost a century ago? This Bellas Hess & Co. trade catalog gives us an idea of what fashion was like ninety-seven years ago. Fall and Winter Catalogue No. 74 is from the seasons of 1916-1917. It includes a variety of clothing and accessories such as dresses, blouses and skirts, suits, hats, and more.

Summer Camp in 1909

Last month, we highlighted a trade catalog featuring a combination bed sheet, tent and sleeping bag. This month, we decided to continue with the camping theme and highlight a 1909 booklet about a boys’ summer camp in Maine, Camps Megunticook & Aroosticook.

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