Description : Tea gowns, bleached damask, and yards of flannel and pillow-case lace, stereoscopes, books of gospel hymns and ballroom gems, the New Improved Singer Sewing Machine, side saddles, anti-freezing well pumps, Windsor Stoves, milk skimmers, straight-edged razors, high-button shoes, woven cane carpet beaters, spittoons, the Studebaker Road Cart, commodes and washstands, the "Fire Fly" single wheel hoe, cultivator, and plow combined, flat irons, and ice cream freezers. What man, woman, or child of the 1890s could resist these offerings of the Montgomery Ward catalogue, the one book that was read avidly, year after year, by millions of Americans on farms and in small towns across the nation? The Montgomery Ward catalogue provides one of the few irrefutably accurate pictures of what life was "really like" in the gay nineties, for it described and illustrated almost anything that anybody could possibly need or want in the way of "store-bought" goods. In fact, in that pre-department store era, it was usually the only source for such goods. Imagine if Montgomery Ward had issued an illustrated catalogue in the days of Louis XIV, or Elizabeth I, or Charlemagne: what insights would we have into the daily life of the "common folk," the farmers and shopkeeper, housewives and schoolchildren . . . what sources of information for historians and scholars, collectors and dealers, what models for artists and designers. In 1895, Montgomery Ward was the oldest, largest, and most representative mail-order house in the country. The brainchild of a former traveling salesman, it issued its first catalogue in 1872, a one-page listing of items. By 1895, the catalogue, reprinted here, had grown to 624 pages and listed some 25,000 items, almost all of them illustrated with live drawings. Montgomery Ward was by then a multi-million dollar business that profoundly affected the American economy; and since it reached the most isolated farms and backwoods cabins, its effect on American culture was almost as great. Now once again available, it is our truest, most unbiased record of the spirit of the 1890s. An introduction on the history of the Montgomery Ward Company and its catalogue has been prepared especially for this edition by Boris Emmet, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins), a foremost expert on retail merchandising. His monumental work Catalogues and Counters has long been recognized as a landmark in the study of American economic history.
Description : Drawing on the latest scholarship, this comprehensive, lavishly illustrated survey tells the story of the evolution of American furniture from the 17th century to the present. Not viewed in isolation, furniture is placed in its broader cultural, historic, and aesthetic context. The focus is not only on the urban masterpieces of 18th century William and Mary, Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal styles but also on the work of numerous rural cabinetmakers. Special chapters explore Windsor chairs, Shaker, and Pennsylvania German furniture which do not follow the mainstream style progression. Picturesque and anti-classical explain Victorian furniture including Rococo, Renaissance, and Eastlake. Mission and Arts and Crafts furniture introduce the 20th century. Another chapter identifies the eclectic revivals such as Early American that dominated the mass market throughout much of the 20th century. After World War II American designers created many of the Mid-Century Modern icons that are much sought after by collectors today. The rise of studio furniture and furniture as art which include some of the most creative and imaginative furniture produced in the 20th and 21st centuries caps the review of four centuries of American furniture. A final chapter advises on how to evaluate the authenticity of both traditional and modern furniture and how to preserve it for posterity. With over 800 photos including 24 pages of color, this fully illustrated text is the authoritative reference work.
Description : Describes how American culture changed during the Gilded Age, covering such topics as food, recreation, fashion, music, art, literature, travel, and the world of youth.
Description : Lush allegorical ladies, Grecian maids and Victorian maidens, Indians, Japanese, dancers, housewives, courtesans; women dancing, smiling, working, weeping, flirting — an unusually rich sourcebook of poses, costumes, clothing, everyday life. 488 illustrations.
Description : Over 350 illustrations of different foods, people eating, utensils, banquets, menus, wine lists. Beautifully reproduced 19th-century line drawings depict every conceivable activity concerned with the preparation, display, and consumption of food and drink.
Description : Quadrupeds, snakes, mollusks and crustaceans, birds, fish, and insects depicted realistically and fancifully, plus such fantasy creatures as unicorns, dragons, and basilisks. Indispensable volume of royalty-free graphics for commercial artists.
Description : 2,300 quaint images of vintage 19th-century items: fans, corsets, toiletry kits, sewing machine, meat grinder, typewriter, ice cream freezer, lantern — all arranged according to category.
Description : In this era of tweets and blogs, it is easy to assume that the self-obsessive recording of daily minutiae is a recent phenomenon. But Americans have been navel-gazing since nearly the beginning of the republic. The daily planner—variously called the daily diary, commercial diary, and portable account book—first emerged in colonial times as a means of telling time, tracking finances, locating the nearest inn, and even planning for the coming winter. They were carried by everyone from George Washington to the soldiers who fought the Civil War. And by the twentieth century, this document had become ubiquitous in the American home as a way of recording a great deal more than simple accounts. In this appealing history of the daily act of self-reckoning, Molly McCarthy explores just how vital these unassuming and easily overlooked stationery staples are to those who use them. From their origins in almanacs and blank books through the nineteenth century and on to the enduring legacy of written introspection, McCarthy has penned an exquisite biography of an almost ubiquitous document that has borne witness to American lives in all of their complexity and mundanity.
Description : This is the only encyclopedia and social history of swearing and foul language in the English-speaking world. It covers the various social dynamics that generate swearing, foul language, and insults in the entire range of the English language. While the emphasis is on American and British English, the different major global varieties, such as Australian, Canadian, South African, and Caribbean English are also covered. A-Z entries cover the full range of swearing and foul language in English, including fascinating details on the history and origins of each term and the social context in which it found expression. Categories include blasphemy, obscenity, profanity, the categorization of women and races, and modal varieties, such as the ritual insults of Renaissance flyting and modern sounding or playing the dozens. Entries cover the historical dimension of the language, from Anglo-Saxon heroic oaths and the surprising power of medieval profanity, to the strict censorship of the Renaissance and the vibrant, modern language of the streets. Social factors, such as stereotyping, xenophobia, and the dynamics of ethnic slurs, as well as age and gender differences in swearing are also addressed, along with the major taboo words and the complex and changing nature of religious, sexual, and racial taboos.