As winter winds down and spring approaches, outdoor activities start to look more appealing. How did people a 100 years ago spend their free time outside? The National Museum of American History Library’s Trade Literature Collection offers a few clues to some very recognizable pastimes.
Scouring toy catalogs and selecting their favorites is a holiday tradition for some children. We took a look in our collections to see what children might have selected in 1868. As you might expect, toys from 1868 are quite different from 21st Century toys. This trade catalog gives us a glimpse into playtime for children in 1868. Even though at first glance these toys appear rather simple compared to those of today, they still have some basic similarities.
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.