Pop Quiz! Were screen doors (and window screens) invented BEFORE or AFTER 1870? Do you know?
This article includes images of the screen doors on historic homes (taken recently), images from Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalog and Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog, as well as historical information about why and how screens were invented during the Victorian era, as well as a solid answer about whether these household basics were invented before or after 1870. The answer just might surprise you.
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.
I’ve read books where the intrepid hero has to reuse brown paper the mercantile owner used to wrap a purchase in order to leave the heroine an all-important note. I read another novel where a would-be bride’s employer deducted the cost of paper and envelope from her wages. Was paper that expensive? Did expense translate to scarcity?