The Old West Barber Shop Blog Series continues. This article includes images of historic barber chairs, an antique towel steamer (and hot water dispenser), line art of the era illustrating the pedestal used in lieu of a barber’s chair, images from mail-order catalogues showing tools of the trade available for home purchase, and patents for barber chairs and devices. This series’ upcoming posts will detail Victorian-era men’s hairstyles, bath houses, bath tubs, shower baths, ingenious furniture-bath-tub combinations, and ladies’ hair salons.
Victorian Americans wore ingenious devices beneath their clothing to hold their stockings (hose) up. Because garters / hose supporters aren’t as romantic and enticing as corsets or even Union Suits, I’ve yet to see a fictional piece of the era that so much as mentions them. This article contains images of items offered for sale in the 1895 and 1897 editions of the Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogs, as well as price comparisons from then to now. Such contraptions were worn by men, women, children, and even babies. Who knew?
Throughout the 19th century, ladies undergarments remained quite similar. Drawers (or bloomers), yesteryear’s most related item to today’s panties, ranged from knee- to ankle-length, were constructed of various fabrics, and were held up by a button or drawstring, with an open crotch.
Item listings in vintage catalogs and magazines illustrate the standard items available via mail-order throughout the United States Victorian era.
Open discussion of a woman’s menstrual cycle (and hygiene needs) are a relatively new development, but women have been coping without modern feminine hygiene products for millennia. The Victorian-era American women had many conveniences for their day, including ready-made, catalog-ready products marketed specifically for them. Hygiene often included douching with specially designed syringes. The timing of the first truly disposable product just might surprise you. This article contains images from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog and Montgomery, Ward & Co. catalog of the day.
How did 19th century folks go about ordering something from Montgomery Ward or Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogues? How was payment sent? What about delivery options?