Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Drunkard's Wife

A big part of the reading in a woman's life was poetry. Poems appear every few pages throughout all the ladies' magazines of the the 1800's and early 1900's. In among the short stories, serial stories, and needlework and fashion pages poems are inserted everywhere. The following is one of the many poems in the December, 1874, issue of Wood's Household Magazine ( there was no author listed). It's kind of a stand by your man piece.

The Drunkard's Wife

The mystic shadows of the night

Have shrouded all in gloom,

But there is one her watch doth keep

Within a cheerless room.

The dying embers on the hearth

Burn with a feeble power,

And the old clock in solemn tone

Speaks out the midnight hour.

All, all are wrapped in slumbers soft,

Save, she, the wretched wife;

Oh, who dare say a woman's love

Is not the pearl of life?

The candle now is flickering,

The embers grow more dim,

Yet with throbbing brow and heart

She watches still for him.

At last she hears a footstep nigh,

Her soul is filled with bliss,

She hastens with her outstretched arms

To greet him with a kiss.

She welcomes him with eyes of love,

With smiles that are divine;

Oh, God! he reels--he cannot stand,

He is o'ercome with wine.

Night after night she watches thus;

Her frame grows thin and weak;

Yet still to him, the cause of all,

Complaints she will not speak;

And when at last the lamp of life

No more its light doth shed,

And he who swore to cherish her

Is absent from the dead,

She chide him not, but did forgive

With her expiring breath.

Oh, woman, when she truly loves,

Is faithful unto death.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Going Cross-Eyed

I've been scanning and editing photos ALL day for a project I'm working on until I think I'm going cross-eyed. Just thought I'd share a few with you before I shut it all down for the day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Helps for Housekeepers

In the old Modern Priscilla they had a regular feature called "Helps for Housekeepers". It kind of makes me think of "Hints from Heloise" that was in my newspaper during my growing up years. Do "Hints from Heloise" columns still exist? Anyway...I thought I would share with you a few that were in the July 1916 issue.

To Clean White Combs
Everyone who possesses a Persian ivory toilet-set knows how hard it is to clean the comb. I find by using alcohol and an old toothbrush that it can be done in a very short time. The brush goes in between the teeth and the alcohol quickly removes the dirt.--Miss K. B. R.

To Remove Color from White Goods
When washing shirt-waists or middles which have colored collar and cuffs, the color will sometimes run into the white goods. To remove this stain place the article in very sour buttermilk for four to five days, keeping the goods well under the milk. The color will disappear from the white goods and the colored collar and cuffs will remain as before. I have tried this in a number of cases of different articles and find it entirely satisfactory.--Mrs. C. R. T.
A Use for Old Hot Water Bags
Cut old hot water bags in to round mats. These can be used under flower-pots to prevent the moisture from staining the table.-- Mrs. H. H. B.
A Perfect Way to Launder Curtains
After shaking out the loose dirt cover curtains with cold water. Cut up half a bar of good white soap, add a large tablespoon of borax and melt to a jelly with hot water. Take this from the stove and add half a cup of kerosene. Make a thick hot suds with part of this mixture and boiling water. Squeeze curtains from cold water and dip one at a time into the hot suds. The dirt will simply run out. Put through a second lighter suds, rinse in hot water, starch, adding a little bluing, and put on stretchers. The result is curtains that look almost like new and are not worn out in washing. With two large pans this can be done in bathroom or kitchen. This mixture is sufficient for four pairs of curtains.--A. K.
To Clean Black Straw Hats
To clean black straw hats and make them look like new, take two-thirds of olive oil and one-third of jet black ink. Mix them well together and go all over the hat, using a small brush. It will clean it perfectly and if slightly faded will bring back the color.--A. E. H.
Gas Economy
I have to cook the Baby's gruel for at least two hours in the double boiler, and I discovered that beets and many other things take about the same length of time, so I put them in the bottom of the boiler. The result is very satisfactory.--Mrs. G. V. H.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Knitted Sweater Vest

Sorry, but, unfortunately, I've had to delay adding the pattern for the knitted corset cover.
I haven't been able to verify the correct conversion for the knitting needles used to today's US needle sizes. I hope to have that for you next week. I will try, try, try!
So, today I am giving you the pattern for this great knitted sweater vest from 1919. Hope you enjoy it. The pattern link is on the sidebar to the right. Happy knitting!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's in the Mail?

Mail time! I received some more postcards and cabinet photos in the mail this week and thought I would share a few with you. The first one is a flapper girl that I have named Adoree. I'm working on a project to turn my pictures into prints, postcards, and posters and Adoree is going to be in that group. The first poster has been printed and is on it's way to me. I can't wait for it to get here and have my fingers crossed that it will come out good. If not, it will be back to the drawing board!

I like to imagine that the young girl in the second photo is getting ready to go to a dance. Maybe her prom! Did they have proms back then? I don't know. I'll have to research that.

I fell in love with the picture of this little boy and just knew I had to buy it. I call him Dapper Danny. From the look of him I'm sure he grew up to be a charmer and the ladies must have loved him.

I think the last picture may be a wedding picture. They didn't always wear veils back then so it's hard to know. I love old wedding pictures and have recently bought some lovely ones to frame and put on my wall. When they arrive I will share some with you.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed these photos. I'm working on a knitting pattern for a corset cover that I will be posting in the next few days. So, please come back!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obesity Cure

Are you TOO FAT? That seems to have been the worry even back in 1898. Do you suppose our current day diet aids stem from this product? I can't imagine what must be in this, but you can get a sample box FREE (in a plain sealed package) upon the receipt of 4 cents to cover postage, packing, etc. Mrs. Helen Weber , in the upper right hand corner, reduced her weight by 40 lbs. "without sickness or any inconvenience whatever". And Mrs E. Brown, in the upper left corner, says "It's an excellent flesh reducer, and improved my health wonderfully." This was thought to be needed because "obesity predisposes to Heart Trouble, Paralysis, Liver Disease, Constipation, Rheumatism, Apoplexy, Etc., and is not only dangerous, but extremely annoying to people of refined taste." Heaven forbid, we should be annoying to people of refined taste! I, personally, find many people of refined taste annoying! They also offer $100 in Gold to anyone who can prove that any of their testimonials is not genuine. I wonder if that offer is still good?
As I spend hours going through old magazines and books, I often think to myself that no matter how evolved we think we are today, we really haven't changed at all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Whooo! Hooo!!! I just won an auction for 27 issues of "The Ladies World" published between 1895 and 1900! I'm jumpin' up and down!!! I'll be bringing you some of the articles from these wonderful magazines pretty soon. For now I'll just show you a valentine that I came across yesterday in going through some boxes. It's really beautiful when you open it up. I guess I'll have to get the camera out and take some pics so I can show you.