A Homemade Christmas

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.

The Weight of a Bell

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.

“Comfortable Corsets” Circa 1893

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.”

A Three Month Tour…in 1908

This post was written by Cathy Rae Smith, who had a 2011-2012 Graduate Research Assistantship at the National Museum of American History Library, and Alexia MacClain, a SIL staff member at the National Museum of American History Library. “Encumber yourself with as little baggage as possible.”  Though this holds true today, it was offered as advice to the traveler joining one of Althouse’s Select Foreign Tours in 1908.  Let’s revisit an era of leisurely steamship travel in which the motto boasted, “Even the very best is none too good for our guests.”

Taking a Trip Back in Time with the Camera

Today with digital cameras, it has become so easy to take lots of photos and instantly see the pictures.  But let’s take a trip back in time to 1897 when cameras were a little different.

A Look Back at Barber Shops

Has a red, white, and blue pole near a store ever caught your eye?  It’s happened to me.  I see the red, white, and blue pole but I don’t need to look at the sign.  I know it means there must be a barber shop behind that window. We might be familiar with how barber shops looked later in the twentieth century.  But what were they like in the first decade of the twentieth century?  What did barber shop furniture look like over a hundred years ago?  This trade catalog by Theo. A. Kochs Co. gives us the chance to go back to 1903 for a glimpse into barber shops of the past.

The Watch Factories of America

The inner workings of the watches are illustrated, from self-winding watches to spring wind-ups, as well as the quaintly named Trenton Movement and the Auburndale Rotary.

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