Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Trip to 1906


It's been a pig of a week at work, so today seemed ideal to sit in our lovely sunroom and take a little trip through this bound edition of Ladies Home Journal in 1906 - before WWI and commercial radio, but well within the memory of the Civil War. The book holds the whole year together, making for a fascinating look at what was important to women over a hundred years ago through the seasons.

What I find interesting are some of the things that are consistent to today. On the "no surprise" side is the focus on fashion, crafting, homelife, cooking, child-rearing, beauty tips, and the latest ideas from Europe, for example. There are articles on inexpensive vacations (Houseboat trips for $1 a Day), and wonderful "Tastefull vs. Tasteless" colums for clothing, hats, drapery, and interior design. This was the period where America was starting to shake free the excesses of Victoriana, at least in architecture and interior design, so I found myself enthralled by both sides of the column.

I was more surprised by the regular feature called "Beautiful America?" where they called out wealthy towns with blighted areas and challenged their improvement. There is sheet music in each issue, a stark reminder of one of those things that is truly lost in modern life -- music played by family members.

Amusingly, there is a regular column that is essentially the musings of a "plain country woman" wherein she disparages the modernity espoused by the rest of the magazine. The lamenting of a passing way of life is endemic in every generation, from the Ancient Greeks and Romans and beyond, yet every one greets it anew. Funny.

But you're looking to see some of the treasures lurking in the busted binding, are you not? Below are some little bits I captured:

From gorgeous Irish Crochet...

And stuff to make with those pesky leftover corks....

To some particularly lovely closures...
I LOVE this jacket and would wear it without changing a thing about it...
And a clever vest design...

To some doilies to while away the summer...

And one of my favorites, these amazing handmade buttons...
And a spread of fashion of the day...

And fantastic beadwork purses...
Enjoy!

1 comment:

Christina said...

It goes to show how times may change but the main issues of our lives are pretty much the same at any time.

Those handmade buttons look amazing!

Thanks for the tips on the sewing machine. I am thinking of getting a Brother. The old one I have will be pretty expensive to repair, as I think the problem is the motor. As I get closer to making a choice, I'll be hitting you up for ideas.