What She Wore…Wednesday February 26, 1908

on February 25, 2020

Fresh from New York City (and The Evening World newspaper), it’s Bloomingdales, selling $18 & $20 Taffeta and Satin Foulard Dresses at – – – $10.75!

 

 

What She Wore…Wednesday February 19, 1947

on February 25, 2020

Ladies! Here’s a Well-Cut Frock from the Fort Myers, Florida News-Press!

“Here’s a most attractive tub frock with just the practical features you need for workaday wear: Front-button closing, easy fullness below the shoulder yoke, action back, big pockets and a sash to fit the waistline.”

Just in time for Saint Valentine’s Day…Stinky Vinegar Valentines!

on February 14, 2020

The feast of Saint Valentine of Rome was designated in the year 496.

The date? February 14th, of course.

About 900 years later, Saint Valentine and his feast day (already celebrated with food, drink, jousting, poetry, singing, and dancing) somehow became associated with romance, passion, and love.

And so began the need to send Saint Valentine’s greetings—letters, cards, and books that were chock full of flowers, hearts, rhyming verse, sly suggestions and outright innuendos, and plump cherubs, puppies, and babies!

During the 19th century—when my historical mystery Fanny Newcomb & the Irish Channel Ripper is set—cards and postcards celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day reached a new height of romantic expression.

But in the mid-19th century and continuing into the mid-20th century, many valentines took a darker, meaner, and even stinkier turn for the worse.

What? You haven’t heard of Vinegar Valentines?

Bitter, caustic, and often downright nasty, Vinegar Valentines were created to offend and insult the recipient.

Vinegar Valentines consisted of two elements: first of all, they had graphics that included slimy animals like snakes and slugs or grotesque caricatures of men and women. Secondly, these missives included a rude rhyme or mean quotation.

And although my Fanny Newcomb would never ever, ever-ever-ever send out a Vinegar Valentine, I still thought you’d like to see a few stinkers for yourself.

The Serpent

The Saleslady

The Suffragette

Mr. Bald Head

(and I admit it! I’m glad that there were Vinegar Valentines for men also!)


 

The Surgeon

(A Civil War Vinegar Valentine)

 

Fortunately, Vinegar Valentines went out of style long ago, and today I can wish you a very happy Saint Valentine’s Day with a sweet postcard full of hearts and happy thoughts!

Happy Valentines Day from FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER!

 

 

 

 

What She Wore…Wednesday February 12, 1919

on February 12, 2020

The (Munster, Indiana) Times suggests that Your Valentine wants 51-Gauge Crepe Ringless Chiffons @ 59 cents a pair.

“51-gauge beautiful chiffons–aristocrats of the hosiery world–available at this extremely low price only because of tiny irregularities!”

 

Just what would these chiffons costs if there were no irregularities at all?

It’s Giveaway Time…for 48 hours or so…

on February 5, 2020

The very kind and wonderful storyteller Suzanne Adair has invited me to share how to “hold history in your hands” in this week’s Relevant History blog.

And…here’s Suzanne’s scoop on the FANNY NEWCOMB giveaway:

“A big thanks to Ana Brazil! She’ll give away a packet of four reproduction postcards and one original postcard of Italian Headquarters, plus a paperback copy of Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper, to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week (available Tuesday 4 February). I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Friday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available in the US only.”

For a little preview, here are a few of my postcards that are not in the Relevant History publication:

   

 

and here’s a larger view of the postcard that Kerry wants to know more about.

 

This postcard was printed after 1908, which is the date that the Southern Railroad Depot (the large monumental building with a rounded arch entrance on Canal and Basin Streets) was completed.

What She Wore…Wednesday February 5, 1919

on February 5, 2020

“A Well Proportioned Figure is Always Attractive!” (So says the Wichita (Kansas) Daily Eagle of February 5, 1919.)

“Good-looking women vary in type, but their proportions are always good. Great numbers of them wear Nemo Corsets.

NEMO CORSETS, $3.50 and up.

NEMO BRASSIERES, $1.00, $1/50 and up.”

What She Wore…Wednesday January 29, 1936

on January 29, 2020

What she wore AFTER she “made this model at home” from The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana):

“Why is the morning brighter? Because it’s both pleasant and easy to slip into this crisp and youthful house frock, knowing one is smartly and becomingly attired for “at home” hours. Truly a beginner’s fashion, with but five easy pieces to cut and fit together, it takes practically no time to run it up on the machine and the cost is just next to nothing at all. Hasn’t the yoke a decorative zig-zag cut? It’s easy and inexpensive to accent, too, with a quartet of bright shiny buttons. Beauticians and other such professionals will find it as practical a uniform as the housewife does a duty frock. Choose pre-shrunk broadcloth or poplin.”

What She Wore…Wednesday January 15, 1908

on January 15, 2020

 

What She Wore underneath it all–courtsey of the Davenport (Iowa) Democrat and Leader–is so luscious that I just have to include the second half of the advertisement!

 

What She Wore…Wednesday January 15, 1896

on January 15, 2020

 

You might already know that most of the clothing advertisements in late 19th Century newspapers did not display many illustrations. And so it was in the Wednesday January 15 1896 issue of the Valley Spirit from Chambersburg, PA–the clothing advertisements were text only.

The Battle Ax Plug Tobacco advertisement was another story. It featured a smiling carriage pusher wearing exuberant mutton-sleeves, the fullest-skirt-ever, and a veiled & be-ribboned hat. FASHION!

What She Wore…Wednesday January 8, 1936

on January 8, 2020

From the pages of the Miami (Florida) Daily News

“The restaurant ensemble which caused such a furor when first shown in Paris promises to continue in favor throughout the winter months. Velvet is the favored fabric for these costumes, and while many of them are entirely of that material, in so far as gown and jacket are concerned, some of the smartest have bodices of brocade, lame and other rich fabrics. These are particularly nice for those occasions when the wearer wishes to dine informally and then go on to a more formal function—for, with the removal of the jacket, the dress is then a distinctly evening affair.”