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.”

What She Wore…Wednesday January 1, 1913

on January 1, 2020


From the pages of the Oakland (California) Tribune…women are wearing “splendid plain tailored suits” a la Titanic or My Fair Lady. Underneath them they’re wearing silk petticoats.

Men are wearing “suits with two and three button fronts with box, regular and form fitting  backs, with the new shoulders and new lapels”.


Mom Brazil’s Crullers

on December 22, 2019

Makes about 55 Ping Pong ball-sized crullers.


  • 4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs plus 1 extra yoke
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for the fryer (about 2 quarts)
  • Bowl of cinnamon sugar
  1. In a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, & salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yoke, & sugar.
  4. Add the vanilla, melted butter, & milk to the egg mixture.
  5. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture to make a dough.
  6. Chill the dough in the frig for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the frig and use a tablespoon to create a ball of dough.
  8. Add 6-8 balls of dough into the deep-fryer.*
  9. Fry for 3-5 minutes until golden brown, flipping over in the oil half way through.
  10. Remove the crullers from the fryer and place on a paper towel.
  11. After 1 minute resting, roll the crullers in a bowl of cinnamon sugar.
  12. Place sugared crullers on a wire rack to cool.
  13. After they are entirely cool, store in a tin.

*For best results, at step 8., start by adding only one ball of dough to the deep fryer. At 4 minutes, cut into the cruller at 4 minutes. It should be entirely dry at the core. Adjust your fry time accordingly.


Well, this is sobering….

on December 18, 2019

I just got my “Ana’s Year in Books” email from Goodreads and I only read 4,413 pages across 14 books.

14 books over 12 months! What a slouch!

I know I read more than 14 books this year; I just didn’t report them on Goodreads. I like this Goodreads feature–especially since we’re going to be discussing our year-end favorite books later this month on Paper Lantern Writers–but I’m going to have to get better about reporting my reads.

ALSO…it would be great if Goodreads could tell me how many pages I’ve written during 2019. And I’m sure it’s more than 4,413!