Category Archives: 1920s

Mary Colter–Architect of the Southwest

You don’t have to spend much time at the south rim of the Grand Canyon to hear the name Mary Colter (1869-1958).  She designed Bright Angel Lodge, the Hopi House, and the Lookout Studio, which fits into the walls of … Continue reading

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Edith Wharton in Knits, 1920s

If you have read any of Edith Wharton’s novels, you know that she was extremely interested in clothes.  Lily Bart’s decline in House of Mirth is indicated when she can no longer afford to keep up with fashion.  In The … Continue reading

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New Archives to Explore—Textile Records at Cornell University

Not everyone gets excited when they hear the word “archive,” but I do.  And combine “archive” with “textiles” and my blood really starts rushing. Recently, the history librarian at my university sent me news that Cornell University Library has acquired … Continue reading

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A Woman in a Feathered Boa, 1920s

Feathered boas go in and out of style.  Searching on the wonderful home economics site Hearth, I found instructions on how to clean them in a housekeeping guide from 1908. You shake them out and then dip them in gasoline! … Continue reading

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Myrtle Bell Moten and Friends, 1929

I didn’t want to let black history month slip by without a post.  These women aren’t old, but I liked their outfits so much I wanted to include them.  The snapshot comes from the collection of the Moten family, prosperous … Continue reading

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Fur and the Older Woman in the 1920s

As I learned during a winter in Moscow with a borrowed muskrat coat, the primary reason to wear fur is to keep warm.  But in advice literature aimed at older women, fur was said to possess additional magic features.  Its … Continue reading

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Grandmothers in Kerchiefs at Ellis Island

Immigrants and refugees are on my mind, so I sought out images from Ellis Island taken by the great American photographer Lewis Hine.  These particular photos come from the New York Public Library. The old women traveled to the US … Continue reading

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Ann Frity and Daughters, 1926

You can really see the family resemblance in this photo of Ann Firty and her three daughters—Bell, Gertrude and Wynn.  All the relevant family information is penciled on the back of this snapshot, as well as the location of Quincy, … Continue reading

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Opening Night at Fashion Island, 1967

Fashion Island is a fancy outdoor mall in my neck of the woods. My husband, who has become interested in local history, found this photo on the Irvine Company website. Note the Mickey Mouse shaped balloons. It’s not too far … Continue reading

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On a Treasure Hunt at the Chicago History Museum

Working in an archive is like looking for vintage treasures in an overstuffed warehouse.  You might have some idea of what you want to find, but you need to keep an open mind.  Since my daughter lives in Chicago, I … Continue reading

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