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Archive for the ‘Victorian Ladies’ Category

“Hello Harry.  We have given up football I I guess.  I had some time Thursday night.  Was over south of slater.  She ask all about you.  Will explain all when you come home.  We had a baseball workout last night I think.  We will fall or they fall from 11-2.”

The Fair Weather Fan

I read the above antique postcard message recently, which mentioned giving up football.  I know a little of how the writer must have felt.  Professional football has just started, and already I can’t wait for the humiliation to be over with.  My team, the Vikings, are 0-2 so far this pre-season.  OK, I’ll admit it.  I’m a fair weather Vikings fan.  Maybe I’ll change; maybe not.  I don’t think the writer would’ve been a fair weather fan though with an attitude of “we fall or they fall”.

Football, then Romance

The above message also mentioned a certain female someone asking after Mr. Harry Harrison of Toledo, Iowa – the recipient of the antique postcard.  Her name wasn’t mentioned, so we can only assume Harry knew whom the writer was referring to.  Let’s hope his bubble (romantic?) wasn’t busted when the writer explained all regarding that female someone.  I tend to think not as she cared enough to ask after Harry.

1912 Antique Bathing Beauty Postcard artist signed by C. Ryan

1912 Antique Bathing Beauty Postcard artist signed by C. Ryan

(Many more antique postcards, including artist signed, can be found in my store – Remember When Vintage Postcards.)

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I am fascinated with Victorian fashions.  My many blog posts on the subject attest to that.  I believe Victorian fashions have more personality and style than many of today’s fashions.  Sorry Lady Gaga.  However, today’s blog post is about the opposite.  It is about a piece of clothing with no personality or style.  This blog post is about a Victorian era hat called a “mob cap”. 

The mob cap is simple and serves a basic function – to keep a servant’s hair clean.  The woman in the below vintage postcard is wearing a hat similar to a mop cap (minus the flowers).  It looks rather plain in comparison to other Victorian era hats with feathers and ribbons. 

Lady vintage postcard published by Ullman

1913 vintage postcard published by Ullman of lady wearing hat similar to a mob cap.

* More vintage postcards of woman wearing Victorian fashions can be found in my web store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

* Be sure to stop back in a couple of days to find out a postcard message’s contribution to winter in April 1909 Redwood Falls, MN.

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Real Photo Postcard, Lady in Winter Coat

AZO Real Photo Postcard, Lady in Winter Coat

I have noticed an increased interest in blog posts relating to woman’s vintage fashions.  The above fashion related real photo postcard was another find from the same collection as the postcard for the Camp Logan blog post.  The lady is wearing a thick and heavy coat.  The high buttoned collar looks snug, which should help in winter.  The fur muff is bigger than others I have seen.  I wonder if a bigger muff was unusual?

Found another real photo postcard of two ladies wearing uniquely styled large hats and warm winter coats:

real photo postcard, ladies in large hats

1904 - 1918 real photo postcard of ladies wearing large hats

** You can find the above real photo postcards and others  for sale in our store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

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I came across an unusual (for me) old vintage postcard of a dressed grasshopper being kicked by a lady’s legs.  It wasn’t the unusual  image of the grasshopper that caught my eye, but the adornment on the lady’s legs. 

It looks like the lady is wearing embroidered stockings.  I did some research on Victorian clothing and found out embroidery on lady’s stockings wasn’t unusual.  I am wondering how the stockings stood up against wear and tear.  Did they run just as easily as today’s nylons?  Shame if they did as this piece of Victorian clothing is really quite beautiful. 

Funny how it is sometimes the small detail on a postcard that catches a collector’s eye. 

1911 Vintage Postcard Copyrighted by L.H.

You can find more unusual fantasy postcards in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.

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Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil was a liniment formulated by Dr. S.N. Thomas in the late 1840s.  Per Joe Nickel, a snake oil expert, it contained: spirits of turpentine, camphor, oil of tar, red thyme, and fish oil specially processed.  Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil claimed to cure ailments such as toothache in 5 minutes, backache in 2 hours, deafness (?) in 2 days, and coughs in 20 minutes.

Dr. Thomas' Eclectric Oil Trade Card

What Are Liniments?

Liniments are strong smelling, watery substances rubbed onto, not into, the skin to relieve sore and stiff muscles.  Rubbing them on too vigorously has been known to cause blisters, since they contain skin irritants.  Why would people be willing to put irritants on their skin?  Think about it.  Turpentine?  Oil of Tar?  Ben Gay is a liniment that contains many of the same ingredients as Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil.  I use it when I can’t stand a back ache anymore.  It is my belief that pain has an amazing ability to get people to try cures they might not otherwise try if they knew what these so called “cures” were made of.

Road to Success

Dr. Thomas homemade Eclectric Oil was a smashing success. In the 1880s, he sold the name and formula to Excelsior Botanical Company.  Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil then appeared in the Farmer’s Almanac as Excelsior Eclectric Oil.  When Foster, Milburn & Co., of Buffalo acquired Excelsior Eclectric Oil a few years later, it was again marketed as Dr. S.N. Thomas’ Eclectic Oil.  It became successful in both domestic and international markets.

Canadian Law Doesn’t Stop Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil

Northrop & Lyman, a Canadian pharmaceutical firm established in 1854, licensed the rights in Canada from Foster, Milburn & Co.  They sold literally millions of bottles of Eclectric Oil until the 1908 Proprietary or Patent Medicine Act was passed in Canada. This law didn’t stop the sale of Eclectric Oil as it did so many other patent medicines.  Nope.  This liniment was sold right up until the end of World War II.

You can find more great Victorian trade cards at Remember When Vintage Postcards.

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Clark's ONT Cotton Thread Trade CardI missed last week’s weekly ephemera trivia, so thought I’d catch up with this blog post.

It’s Napoleon’s Fault

Ever wonder where the expression, “the bogey man is coming to get you!” came from?  It turns out Napoleon is responsible. 

Napoleon’s nickname “bogey” (from Bonaparte – boney to bogey) resulted from an act of revenge.  He blockaded Britain’s coast in the very early 1800’s due to the defeat of his fleet at Trafalgar.  This resulted in the serious depletion of imported silk thread in Britain.  The price of smuggled silk thread skyrocketed.  That was naughty Napoleon.  We women needed that silk thread for all those pretty Victorian fashions.

Weekly Ephemera Trivia:

Patrick Clark came to the rescue of British ladies by inventing hand sewing thread (2-4 cord) from a material readily available – cotton.  Patrick’s grandson, George, later invented a six-cord thread strong enough for sewing machines (circa mid-1800).  It was called ONT, which stood for “Our New Thread”. 

(Information from Sewalot.com)

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Dr. Morse's Indian Root Pills Trade Card This patent medicine Victorian trade card was part of a lot I bought recently.  I was curious about who Nellie Bly was, so googled her.  What I found was a web site full of other Nellie Bly trade cards as well as links to information on her.

Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, aka Nellie Bly, was a woman journalist who gained world fame when she beat fictional character, Phileas Fogg’s record for traveling around the world with a time of 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds.

You can find more wonderful victorian trade cards with great graphics in my store.

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