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.
We all scream for ice cream! Without question, ice cream is one of the most popular treats in America, but do you know much about its history? According to Laura B. Weiss, author of Ice Cream: A Global History, iced drinks can be traced back to at least the ancient Greeks and Romans. But many historians believe that the emperors of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China may have been the first to eat a frozen milk-like confection — made with fermented cow, goat or buffalo milk which had camphor added to make it flake like snow. Italians generally are credited with inventing ice cream as we know it today, popularizing a concoction of sugar, flavorings (often fruit like lemon or strawberry), and ice or snow sometime in the mid-seventeenth century. Ice cream was particularly favored by the French aristocracy in the 1800s, and Thomas Jefferson is said to have gained an appreciation for the treat while serving as US ambassador to France from 1784-1789.
Did you know the 1876 Centennial Bell and the 1893 Columbian Liberty Bell both weighed thirteen thousand pounds? Do you know why? The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes a Meneely Bell Co. catalog which answers that question and more.
This post was written by Cathy Rae Smith who had a 2011-2012 Graduate Research Assistantship at the National Museum of American History Library. “Style, Comfort, Economy” touted the full color exposition pamphlet for Royal Worcester WCC Corsets. The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago gave attendees an opportunity to see the leading products and advances of the time–including this company’s fully boned, tightly laced corsets described as offering “great FLEXIBILITY, always comfortable.”