You’re at the movies. Suddenly someone is trying to climb over you to get to the aisle. So you stand or half stand, maybe knocking over some of your popcorn and blocking the view of the people behind you. A few minutes later, you get up again to let the person back in the row. Have you ever wished for an easier way for everyone involved? How about a chair that swivels?
A quick glance at this Butler Brothers catalog, Special Catalogue of Baby Carriages, makes it seem like it is just that–a catalog of baby carriages. But after looking more closely, the page showing the “Baby McKee” Carriage stands out. The description reads, “One that is good enough for any president’s grandchild.” Seeing that led to a little research.
“Machinery soon grows old.” We can all relate to that especially since we know how quickly technology changes. But when do you think that sentence was written? It was actually the first sentence in this 1901 trade catalog by American Writing Machine Co. The catalog advertised the New Century typewriter.
Imagine commuting to work on a streetcar like this one! Its open design made it easy to quickly load and off-load passengers, but the disadvantages were quickly felt during rainy weather. This trade catalog by J. G. Brill Co. describes how the patented round corner seat-end panel made open streetcars more pleasant to ride, even on rainy days.
Cars are part of our everyday lives. For many of us, it would be hard to imagine life without cars. So it’s not surprising to browse the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library and find catalogs by automobile manufacturers. Let’s take a look at one of these catalogs, a catalog describing the 1910 car models for Peerless Motor Car Co.
Have you heard of a cake with a bean baked into it and the man who finds the bean becomes King for the night? That is just one tradition associated with Twelfth Night, but there are many more customs and traditions for this holiday. Several items mentioning Twelfth Night are located at the National Museum of American History Library, like the 1923 Dennison’s Christmas Book by Dennison Mfg. Co.
Do you make your own holiday decorations? Have you ever wanted to make your own decorations? Or do you remember making decorations and gifts in school as a child? This 1923 booklet, Dennison’s Christmas Book, by Dennison Manufacturing Co. includes suggestions for Christmas, New Year, and Twelfth Night parties. For now, let’s take a look at the Christmas decorations.