While bath tubs of various styles were available in cities by the mid-nineteenth century, the American Old West didn’t have easy access to delivery of such finery until after the Transcontinental Railway in 1869 (followed by additional railroads bringing delivery nearer to home) eliminated freight by horse-drawn wagon. Historic images of Montgomery Ward & Co. catalogs and Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs illustrate available options–some of which are simply too ingenious to miss! Who knew a kitchen sink so easily doubled as a bath tub? Or that a five-and-a-half-foot bathtub could fold up? Price comparisons (then to now) show why it took a good long while for most folks to afford more than a public bath (next post) or a bowl and pitcher to make do.
Men’s hairstyles of the Victorian Era are identified in photographs from the era, including one barber school’s style plate images. Includes vintage recipes for styling products like Bay Rum and Macassar oil.
The popularity of stereoscopes and image viewing began in the early 19th century and persisted into the 20th. Victorian Americans enjoyed viewing three-dimensional paintings, drawings, and photographs of people and far-away places as well as images that reminded them of home. Stereoscopes were one of many new inventions the well-to-do enjoyed for entertainment.
LABOR DAY was born of the circumstances within our Victorian-era United States Industrial Revolution. Unions wanted safer working conditions and 12- to 16-hour work days shortened to 8- or 9-hours. Strikes and protests lead to reform, and from the first Labor Day parade in 1882 peaceful Labor’s Holidays began to take root state by state until in 1894, Labor Day was declared by the President of the United States as a Federal Holiday. This article contains newspaper accounts from era papers, vintage photographs, and a dash of American history surrounding summer’s last hurrah.
Along with just about anything a late 19th century household could desire to obtain, Sears, Roebuck & Co. offered telephones for sale. Sears offered the newest telephone technology…until the turn of the century. The 1902 catalog is devoid of telephones. Any idea why?