Here is my second installment of “Shopping Through the Ages”. To read last week’s post, click here.

This week, I found some great buys in the 1897 Sears, Roebuck, & Co. catalog.  Come shopping with me!

Let’s start with men’s fashion. These guys look very dignified.  I wonder if my ancestors dressed this stylish.  Even farmers had to dress up and go to church, right? Can’t you picture these men strolling through Central Park?  I’m sure many of our hardworking ancestors were wearing the clothing to the right.








The catalog includes pages and pages of different styles and fabrics.  It is a daunting task to choose the perfect outfit. If you can’t make up your mind, why not have it all?  The Reversible Revolving Bosom is the answer to your problem.  “You can amuse your friends by changing the color and pattern of your shirt at a moment’s notice”.  Wow.  I’m sure this was a big seller. 🙂 This was probably my favorite find from 1897 – just for the pure absurdity of it.  Isn’t it hilarious?

Let’s move on to some fashion for women. Aren’t these tea gowns lovely?  1897 is definitely still in the poofy shoulders era.  I suppose the big arms make your waist appear even smaller.  I thought the “collarettes” were quite interesting too – sort of in between a cape and a scarf.

Maybe you were too skinny though and needed a bit more padding in the spots that count.  No fear!  Sears had you covered. Literally.

I thought these “fascinators” were well,  fascinating.  They look very exotic.  I’m not sure where you would wear one of these.

And how about these poor little boys?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such frilly blouses as the ones to the left – even on a girl.  I think they would have been laughed off the playground wearing these to school, don’t you?  The second outfit isn’t quite as girly, but reminds me a lot of Little Lord Fauntleroy. And look at the poor saggy baby diaper.  I used cloth on my own for a number of years, so I can understand!

One of my favorite departments is medicine.I always find the medicinal ads so fun to read. “Nerve and Brain Pills”, “Pink Pills for Pale People”, “Female Pills”, “Arsenic Complexion Wafers” “Obesity Powders”, “Pasteur’s Microbe Killer”.  I am very thankful for modern medicine!undefinedundefined
It’s fun to see what new contraptions they had in the kitchen too.  What about this gasoline stove?  Apparently “any child can operate it”.  Would you want your child operating a gasoline stove?

Have you ever heard of a polyopticon?  I hadn’t. It appears to be kind of like a slide projector, except not slides.  If I understood right, you use pictures.

Anyone up for a game? This sounds….interesting.

There were some very odd flavors of chewing gum.  Not sure if my kids would go for these…

Anyone up for some light reading? I wonder why this didn’t become a classic.

Need some exercise?  How about a trapeze bar?

Or a football?

Or maybe a new baseball uniform?

On a more serious and somber note, have you ever seen one of these grave guards before?  I wonder how sturdy they were and if they lasted through the years.

I posted this a few months back, but I had to include it here also.  Dog Power. Am I the only one that finds this funny?  Dogs churning butter.

I lived for three years in Alaska without one of those automatic ice makers (it was there but for some reason it wasn’t hooked up).  I was annoyed that I had to use ice cube trays.  I should be thankful that I didn’t have to “shred” my own ice. 🙂

Have you ever heard of a lamp chimney stove?  It was a small “stove” that fit onto the top of a lamp.  You could then boil water on your lamp.  This looks really dangerous to me.  Boiling water, balancing on the top of a lamp.  I can’t decide which one of my kids would be the first to knock it over, but I know that I definitely would have passed on this one.

Maybe you’re thinking of repainting your dining room.  How about some lead paint?

And lastly, I’ll leave you with this “Wood Butcher’s Set”.  My husband is quite the carpenter, so I don’t think this small set would be adequate for him.  I however am mechanically challenged and I would definitely “butcher” the wood.  Have you ever heard this term before?

I’ll see you next week, when we go shopping through the 1898 catalog. 🙂

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Well, all of my worldly possessions have been boxed up and are being put onto a truck and driven to El Paso today.  I could care less if my TV breaks or my shoes get lost.  I’m praying that all of my genealogy documents and pictures make it though.  It always makes me nervous having to transport them across the country.

Oh, and that reminds me, I need to add the dates we lived here in Savannah to Legacy (only 11 months by the way!!).  I always wondered why my ancestors moved around so much and wished that I had exact dates for when they were at different places.  I’ve since realized that it’s hard for me to remember when we’ve moved from place to place over the past 12 years we’ve been married (this is move #6).  I’ve since started keeping track of that for my own descendants (and for myself!). 🙂

You would think that I was super busy this week with preparing for the move and that I didn’t have any time to surf the internet.  I was busy earlier this week, but as our things were being packed up these past two days, I kept out the way (with the kids) and let Andy handle dealing with the movers.  I took the kids to a place called “Monkey Joe’s” yesterday and blissfully sat on my laptop for three and a half hours while the kids bounced and played and ate pizza until they collapsed.

Here are some of my favorite finds this week:

  • The post “The Culprits Detected” over at Luxegen Genealogy has really made me think about all of the extra “stuff” in my sidebar.  Is my webpage taking way too long to load?  When I have a some free time, I’m going to run my blog through the tests and see what I an do to improve my load time.  I am thinking that I might create a “page” to put all of the links/etc. on so that they’re still there if you want to see them, but they won’t cause the site to be so slow.
  • I loved this tea party photo at Climbing My Family Tree (my “twin” site – we share the same name).
  • Jaisa, of Creative Gene, has a great Technology Review posted this week.  I love reading about what gadgets and sites others use in their research.
  • Head over to Curbow-Montoya Family and read Judy’s post entitled “July 18th – One Day in 1949 –”  It’s beautifully written.
  • Kerry from Clue Wagon will have you in tears with her post Breaking News: Scientists Pinpoint the Origins of Piles of Genea-Crap.
  • Since I home school my children, I always try to incorporate their ancestors into our history studies.  I want them to see that history was experienced by “real” people.  Someday, I would love to teach some basic genealogy classes to either a homeschooling co-op or maybe a Girl Scout troop.  I want kids to get excited about their ancestry.  Professor Dru over at Find Your Folks had a great post  – “The Thrill of Teaching Historical Research and Genealogy to Youth” – about the classes she’s currently teaching to young people. So inspiring!
  • Cheryl didn’t make it to the final cut for The Great Swedish Adventure. 🙁  She did make it incredibly far though!  Many of us have enjoyed following her experience and are very proud of her.  Head over to Heritage Happens to give her a pat on the back.
  • My good friend Cherie, over at Have You Seen My Roots?, did us all a favor and created a blank 1900 census sheet which we can type on and save!! She’s a genius. 🙂
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This is the “Pewsey Salt Dish” which was given to us by my mother-in-law.
It belonged to someone in the Pewsey family – perhaps Rosanna Jeanette Pewsey Hollingsworth.  She was born in Canada in 1851.  Both of her parents, David Charles Pewsey and Alpharetta Althier Harmer were originally from England.

It is fairly small. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to.  I don’t own a “salt dish” in my own tableware set.  Do you?

Apparently, these were used before people had salt and pepper shakers.  You could take a pinch of salt from the dish.


I love the raised pattern just inside the rim.undefined

I had originally thought that this piece may have been brought with the Pewsey family from England.  After doing some research, I realize that could not be true.

It was made by Johnson Brothers in England.  From what information I could find online, this company began in 1882.  The Pewseys left England in 1843.  David died in 1887 and Alpharetta in 1891.  It still may have belonged to them.undefined

I did some more sleuthing on and Ebay.  I found that the pattern is called “Lace”  You will notice the name above the Johnson Bros stamp.  It appears that there is a newer pattern which is also called Lace, and so (Older) seems to be added to the description for this above pattern.

I couldn’t seem to figure out when this was produced though.  Are you a china expert?  Any ideas?

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Klara Petronella Henrietta was the ninth child of Carl Magnus Klarstrom and Christina Elisabeth Bennberg.

She was born in Lenhovda, Kronoberg, Sweden on 22 Aug 1885.

She moved with her family to Alem in 1889 and then on to Gavle in 1890.  Her father died that same year, when she was only five years old.

Klara, like most of her siblings, decided to immigrate to the United States. Did she go to be close to her older siblings?  Did she need a job?  Probably both.  It seems like there were many young Swedish immigrants settling in urban areas during this time period  – mostly for economic reasons.

She arrived in America in 1898 at the age of 13  and settled in the Boston area – where a few of her sisters were already living.

Can you imagine traveling from Sweden to America without your parents at this age?  And knowing that you were going to be working when you got there? She was traveling with her older sister Olga (21), who had already lived in Boston from 1892-1897.  The passenger list said they were headed to their sister Marie Johnson/Johanson’s in Dorchester.

I have an almost 12 year old myself and I can’t even fathom sending her across the ocean to work.  Different times, I know.

In the 1900 census, she was 14 years old and working as the only servant in the family of Albert Smith, a printer in Boston.  I wonder if she was lonely or if she had time to visit with her sisters.

Did her sisters help her get her job?  They had worked as servants before their marriages also.

In 1910, at 24, she was one of five servants living with the family of Robert McQuillen in Dedham, Norfolk, MA.  At least ten years of being a servant.  It doesn’t sound like any fun to me.  I suppose one has to earn a living though.  I’ve noticed that many of the servants in the Boston area were Swedish.  I wonder why.  Were the Swedes better servants than say, the Irish or Germans?

At least she seems to have moved up in the world – to a family with 5 servants rather than one.  She was a “maid”.  It appears there was also a waitress, cook, seamstress, and coachman in the household.

I wonder which was more work – being an only servant in a smaller house or one of many servants in a bigger home.  I think I’d rather be in the larger home with some company. What about you?

Klara eventually escaped servitude by marrying Ellis N. Silver, a plumber,  on 28 August 1911 in Boston.

They had a daughter Christine on 1 July 1912 and another daughter Olga in about 1917.

In the 1920 census, they were living in Boston.

They had a son Robert in about  1926 and were still living in Boston in 1930.

And that’s all I have on Klara.

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