What is this household object from early 1900s rural Russia?

What is this household object from early 1900s rural Russia?

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At the Kalashnikov museum in Izhevsk, one of the exhibits includes this item:

It is a yoke-shaped square bar of light, unvarnished wood, roughly 100 cm long, with rounded corners. There is a hole about 5 cm in diameter drilled vertically through the center of the bar. The two raised ends of the yoke are each pierced by a rod of dark metal, which splits into four smaller rods which spread out at a 30° angle and extend about 20 cm high. In one of the split metal rods is cradled a small piece of rough wood, with black scorch marks at both ends. There are also some scorch marks on the yoke, directly below one of the metal rods.

The exhibit shows objects from Mikhail Kalashnikov's mother's household in the early 1900s:

I recognize a spinning wheel, bowl and spoon, sewing machine, several pieces of woven fabric, and a small vase with some dried flowers.

What is the yoke shaped object called and what was it used for?

It's a Cветец (Svetetz), a device for holding a primitive torch called a Лучина (Luchina - splinter) or Rushlight, really just a splinter of wood or a piece of plant fiber dipped in grease.

The Svetetz would need to be placed in a pool of water to prevent dropped ashes from starting a fire, so that could explain the raised yoke-like sides of the wooden piece. I can't find any pictures of another svetetz with a wooden part shaped this way, but the metal clips are pretty unmistakeable, as is the partially burned splinter.

What was American life like in 1900?

I was wondering if you could please educate me on something:

I’d like to get a perspective of what daily life was like in rural/farming communities and towns in America from 1900-1905. I’d like to specifically know what made individuals’ lives difficult. How were individuals affected by things like the efflux of people to cities because of the 2nd Industrial Revolution, famine, poverty, or worsening farming conditions?
Thank you for your attention and the wonderful work that you do,

As the United States entered a new century, its people could generally look back on the past few decades as being rich with inventiveness, progress and success, with more to look forward to. The « rags to riches » mythos had become reality for enough people, such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, to encourage multitudes more. The rise of a new wealthy industrial class and a growing middle class contrasted with millions of laborers working for 1 to 2 dollars per 14-16 hour day, which contributed to the rise of the first labor unions. Thousands of Americans were migrating from the farms to the cities, only to find thousands more immigrating from foreign lands with the same hopes, leading to a succession of ethnic groups encountering resentment in the New World, as well as pitifully low wages that drove about a third of them back to their home countries. Many stuck it out, however, because of the seemingly endless opportunities promised by life in the United States.

American farmers, however, entered the new century feeling victimized and left behind by events. Although the number of farms in the country had doubled between 1865 and 1900, the percentage of American involved in farming dropped from 60 percent in 1860 to 37 percent in 1900. Farms were becoming more specialized and commercialized, and more dependent on machines to keep up production. Due to a static money supply in the 1870s and 1880s, combined with monopolies among the manufacturers and the railroads that shipped the farm goods, farmers often were unable to afford the machines they needed and were driven out of business. There were also heavy taxes on property, including farmland, but none on profits from stocks and bonds. Competition with foodstuffs imported from countries such as Argentina, Canada and Russia also held down food prices to the detriment of American farmers. The occasional drought and other natural disasters only exacerbated an already deteriorating situation American farmers faced by 1900.

More details can be found in the attached blogs :

As well as a list of books covering the era :

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Etymology and the Mythical Stone Woman Edit

Skagway was derived from sha-ka-ԍéi, a Tlingit idiom which figuratively refers to rough seas in the Taiya Inlet, that are caused by strong north winds. [5] Literally, sha-ka-ԍéi means beautiful woman. [6] The word is a gerund (verbal noun), derived from the Tlingit finite verb theme -sha-ka-li-ԍéi, which means, in the case of a woman, to be beautiful. [7]

The reason for its figurative meaning is that Sha-ka-ԍéi or Skagway is the nickname of Kanagoo, a mythical woman who transformed herself into stone at Skagway bay and who (according to legend) now causes the strong, channeled winds which blow toward Haines, Alaska. [8] The rough seas caused by these winds have therefore been referred to by the use of Kanagoo's nickname, which is Sha-ka-ԍéi or Skagway. [9]

The Kanagoo stone formation is Face Mountain, which is seen from Skagway bay. The Tlingit name for Face Mountain is Kanagoo Yahaayí [Kanagoo's Image/Soul]. [10]

Early Skagway Edit

One prominent resident of early Skagway was William "Billy" Moore, a former steamboat captain. As a member of an 1887 boundary survey expedition, he had made the first recorded investigation of the pass over the Coast Mountains, which later became known as White Pass. He believed that gold lay in the Klondike because it had been found in similar mountain ranges in South America, Mexico, California, and British Columbia. In 1887, he and his son, J. Bernard "Ben" Moore, claimed a 160-acre (650,000 m 2 ) homestead at the mouth of the Skagway River in Alaska. Moore settled in this area because he believed it provided the most direct route to the potential goldfields. They built a log cabin, a sawmill, and a wharf in anticipation of future gold prospectors passing through. [ citation needed ]

The boundary between Canada and the United States along the Alaska Panhandle was only vaguely defined then (see Alaska boundary dispute). There were overlapping land claims from the United States' purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 and British claims along the coast. Canada requested a survey after British Columbia united with it in 1871, but the idea was rejected by the United States as being too costly, given the area's remoteness, sparse settlement, and limited economic or strategic interest. [ citation needed ]

The Klondike gold rush changed everything. In 1896, gold was found in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory. On July 29, 1897, the steamer Queen docked at Moore's wharf with the first boat load of prospectors. More ships brought thousands of hopeful miners into the new town and prepared for the 500-mile journey to the gold fields in Canada. Moore was overrun by lot jumping prospectors and had his land stolen from him and sold to others. [11]

The population of the general area increased enormously and reached 30,000, composed largely of American prospectors. Some realized how difficult the trek ahead would be en route to the gold fields, and chose to stay behind to supply goods and services to miners. Within weeks, stores, saloons, and offices lined the muddy streets of Skagway. The population was estimated at 8,000 residents during the spring of 1898 with approximately 1,000 prospective miners passing through town each week. By June 1898, with a population between 8,000 and 10,000, Skagway was the largest city in Alaska. [12]

Due to the sudden influx of visitors to Skagway, some town residents began offering miners transportation services to aid them in their journeys to the Yukon, often at highly inflated rates. A group of miners upset with the treatment organized a town council to help protect their interests. But as the members of the council moved north to try their own hands at mining, control of the town reverted to the more unscrupulous, most notably Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. [ citation needed ]

Between 1897 and 1898, Skagway was a lawless town, described by one member of the North-West Mounted Police as "little better than a hell on earth." Fights, prostitutes and liquor were ever-present on Skagway's streets, and con man "Soapy" Smith, who had risen to considerable power, did little to stop it. Smith was a sophisticated swindler who liked to think of himself as a kind and generous benefactor to the needy. He was gracious to some, giving money to widows and halting lynchings, while simultaneously operating a ring of thieves who swindled prospectors with cards, dice, and the shell game. His telegraph office charged five dollars to send a message anywhere in the world. Consequently, unknowing prospectors sent news to their families back home without realizing there was no telegraph service to or from Skagway until 1901. [13] Smith also controlled a comprehensive spy network, a private militia called the Skaguay Military Company, the town newspaper, the Deputy U.S. Marshal's office and an array of thieves and con-men who roamed about the town. Smith was shot and killed by Frank Reid and Jesse Murphy on July 8, 1898, in the famed Shootout on Juneau Wharf. Smith managed to return fire — some accounts claim the two men fired their weapons simultaneously — and Frank Reid died from his wounds twelve days later. Jesse Murphy is accredited as the man responsible for killing Smith. [14]

Smith and Reid are now interred at the Klondike Gold Rush Cemetery, also known as "Skagway's Boot Hill." [15]

The prospectors' journey began for many when they climbed the mountains over the White Pass above Skagway and onward across the Canada–US border to Bennett Lake, or one of its neighboring lakes, where they built barges and floated down the Yukon River to the gold fields around Dawson City. Others disembarked at nearby Dyea, northwest of Skagway, and crossed northward on the Chilkoot Pass, an existing Tlingit trade route to reach the lakes. The Dyea route fell out of favor when larger ships began to arrive, as its harbor was too shallow for them except at high tide. Officials in Canada began requiring that each prospector entering Canada on the north side of the White Pass bring with him one ton (909 kg) of supplies, to ensure that he did not starve during the winter. This placed a large burden on the prospectors and the pack animals climbing the steep pass. [ citation needed ]

In 1898, a 14-mile, steam-operated aerial tramway was constructed up the Skagway side of the White Pass, easing the burden of those prospectors who could afford the fee to use it. The Chilkoot Trail tramways also began to operate in the Chilkoot Pass above Dyea. In 1896, before the Klondike gold rush had begun, a group of investors saw an opportunity for a railroad over that route. It was not until May 1898 that the White Pass and Yukon Route began laying narrow gauge railroad tracks in Skagway. The railroad depot was constructed between September and December 1898. This destroyed the viability of Dyea, as Skagway had both the deep-water port and the railroad. Construction of McCabe College, the first school in Alaska to offer a college preparatory high school curriculum, began in 1899. The school was completed in 1900. [ citation needed ]

By 1899, the stream of gold-seekers had diminished and Skagway's economy began to collapse. By 1900, when the railroad was completed, the gold rush was nearly over. In 1900, Skagway was incorporated as the first city in the Alaska Territory. Much of the history of Skagway was saved by early residents such as Martin Itjen, who ran a tour bus around the historical town. He was responsible for saving and maintaining the gold- rush cemetery from complete loss. He purchased Soapy Smith's saloon (Jeff Smith's Parlor) from going the way of the wrecking ball, and placed many early artifacts of the city's early history inside and opened Skagway's first museum. [16]

In July 1923, President Warren G. Harding visited Skagway while on his historic tour through Alaska. Harding was the first President of the United States to travel and tour Alaska while in office. [17] [18] The Canol pipeline was extended to Skagway in the 1940s where oil was shipped in by sea and pumped north.

Skagway is located in a narrow glaciated valley at the head of the Taiya Inlet, the north end of the Lynn Canal, which is the most northern fjord on the Inside Passage on the south coast of Alaska. [20] It is in the Alaska panhandle 90 miles northwest of Juneau, Alaska's capital city.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 464 square miles (1,200 km 2 ), of which 452 square miles (1,170 km 2 ) is land and 12 square miles (31 km 2 ) (2.5%) is water. [19] It is currently the smallest borough in Alaska, having taken the title away from Bristol Bay Borough at its creation. [ citation needed ]

Adjacent boroughs Edit

National protected areas Edit

Climate Edit

Skagway has a subarctic/humid continental climate (Köppen Dsb). It is in the rain shadow of the coastal mountains, and though not as pronounced as the rain shadow in Southcentral Alaska in the valley of the Susitna River, this still allows it to receive only half as much precipitation as Juneau and only a sixth as much as Yakutat. Although winters are too cold for the classification, precipitation patterns resemble a mediterranean climate due to the summer precipitation minimum. The highest temperature recorded in Skagway is 92 °F or 33.3 °C in three separate years, most recently in 1975, and the lowest is −24 °F or −31.1 °C on February 2, 1947.

Climate data for Skagway, Alaska
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 52
Average high °F (°C) 26.9
Daily mean °F (°C) 22.0
Average low °F (°C) 17.3
Record low °F (°C) −15
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.17
Average snowfall inches (cm) 14.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 9 9 10 8 8 8 9 13 16 18 13 12 133
Source: Western Regional Climate Centre [21]
Historical population
Census Pop.
1910872 −72.0%
1920494 −43.3%
1930492 −0.4%
1940634 28.9%
1950758 19.6%
1960659 −13.1%
1970675 2.4%
1980768 13.8%
1990692 −9.9%
2000862 24.6%
2010968 12.3%
2019 (est.)1,183 [2] 22.2%
U.S. Decennial Census [22]
1790-1960 [23] 1900-1990 [24]
1990-2000 [25] 2010-2018 [3]

Skagway first appeared on the 1900 U.S. Census, having incorporated as a city that same year. It was the 2nd largest city in Alaska, behind fellow Gold Rush boomtown Nome. It reported 3,117 residents, of which 2,845 were White, 113 were Native Americans, 98 were Black and 61 were Asian. [26] It rapidly declined to 872 residents by 1910, falling to the 8th largest city. It reported 802 Whites, 61 Native Americans and 9 Others. [27] It would be 90 years (until 2000) before it would almost reach that population again (862). It fell to 15th largest community overall in 1920. By 1930, it bottomed out at 492 residents, although it rose to 13th largest in the state. In 1940, it fell to 16th. By 1950, 19th. 1960, it tied for 29th place (16th largest incorporated). In 1970, it dropped to 45th (24th largest incorporated). In 1980, it rose to 35th place. In 1990, it fell to 53rd place. In 2000, it was at 60th place overall (29th largest incorporated). In 2007, with the creation of the Skagway Municipality out of Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon, it ceased to be an incorporated city and became a census-designated place (CDP). As of 2010, it is the 71st largest community in Alaska.

As of the census [28] of 2000, there were 862 people, 401 households, and 214 families residing in the city. The population density was 1.9 people per square mile (0.7/km 2 ). There were 502 housing units at an average density of 1.1 per square mile (0.4/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 92.34% White, 3.02% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 3.02% from two or more races. 2.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 401 households, out of which 23.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 4.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.4% were non-families. 36.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city, the population was distributed with 20.5% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years old. For every 100 females, there were 109.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.7 males.

Personal income Edit

The median income for a household in the city was $49,375, and the median income for a family was $62,188. Males had a median income of $44,583 versus $30,956 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,700. About 1.0% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including none of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.

Power from the people: Rural Electrification brought more than lights

Imagine your daily life without electricity. Cooking and heating clothes irons on wood stoves, pumping water by hand, reading and working under kerosene lamps. Many people in rural America lived that life until well into the 20th century. Most only received electricity by choosing to work together with their neighbors and participate in electrical cooperatives, or co-ops for short.

Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and other inventors began introducing practical electric power systems in the 1880s. By the 1920s most cities and towns in America received electricity from either privately owned or municipal utility companies. Running wires into the countryside where there might be only a few people per square mile seemed uneconomical for either investors or tax-payers. By 1932 only about 10% of rural America was electrified, and about half of those people had to buy their own country-home power plants. This electrical divide fueled the difference in standards of living between city and farm, hampering rural Americans’ ability to participate in the life of their modernizing country.

Electricity would improve the efficiency of work and the comforts of home life in rural areas, encouraging more Americans to stay on family farms. Franklin D. Roosevelt made this issue part of his 1932 presidential campaign and worked with Congress to establish the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). Rather than simply build power systems, the REA made loans to electric cooperatives that were repaid over 30 years. Country folk came together, organized cooperatives, and provided labor to build the systems that they ultimately came to own.

Having electricity is one thing knowing how to use it is another. To help people learn the new technology, REA hired advisors like Louisan Mamer (1910-2005) from southern Illinois. For decades, Mamer and her colleagues traveled around the country staging what they referred to an "electric circus." They taught people who had never used electricity how to operate and maintain equipment, cook and do household chores with electricity, and use the system safely.

Having grown up on a farm, Mamer understood first-hand how difficult rural life could be and how people might feel pressure to abandon farming. After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, she taught home economics and began writing about the topic. Joining REA soon after the agency’s establishment, Mamer not only traveled as a Home Electrification Specialist but also wrote training documents and vetted program materials. We have collected about a dozen appliances from Mamer along with her paper files documenting much of her work in the 1940s and '50s.

World War II interrupted the work of the REA. When President Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Bill in September 1944, Roosevelt said, "From the point of view of raising the living standards of rural America and providing a more efficient form of farm management, one of the most important projects interrupted by the war is the extension of rural electrification."

President Roosevelt went on to explain that participation in rural electrification must be wide and not limited to areas with greater resources: "It is particularly important that extensions of rural electrification be planned in such a way as to provide service on an area basis. The practice has been too frequent in the past for private utility companies to undertake to serve only the more prosperous and more populous rural sections. As a result, families in less favored and in sparsely settled sections were left unserved. I believe that our postwar rural electrification program should bring modern service of electric power to the farm families in the back country."

The rural communities that established, built, and now own their cooperatives have continued to reap benefits from their participation. In the years after most of rural America electrified, the REA (now the Rural Utilities Service) continued working to bring telephone lines and later broadband Internet connections to the countryside. Hundreds of rural cooperatives throughout the country continue to provide power and other services for their participating members. It is a legacy that Louisan Mamer and her colleagues would be proud of.

Hal Wallace is the associate curator of the Electricity Collections at the National Museum of American History and a member of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative. Learn more about New Deal programs, including the REA, in our American Enterprise online exhibition.

Worse than Reconstruction?

“We have become so used to [the post office] that it presses little in our thoughts—until it is missed. For the same reason we do not always appreciate the value of the postmistress. And yet while there are no monuments to her and while she has not been eulogized in Congress, she is very close to popular affections. The writers of romance weave their spells around her, and she figures in many American novels that have to do with real life.” 1

This is some of the language used by Postmaster General George Cortelyou in 1906 to praise the large force of “postmistresses 2 ” serving the United States Post Office Department. He was not alone in believing that the “clean and honorable” 3 postmaster position suited women by introducing them to the workings of the government while keeping them involved with their communities. Furthermore, “no part of the Government’s work comes more in contact with the home and family than the postal service.” 4

Female rural free delivery carrier with her wagon

Since the 1800s, the Post Office Department successfully employed postmasters and women entered the twentieth century with nearly ten percent of existing postmaster positions. Cortelyou claimed that the Post Office was the largest and fairest employer of women, “with the exception of the public-school system.” He boasted (inaccurately) that the Department paid the same salaries to both men and women.

The Post Office Department was not as hospitable to women as Cortelyou presented it to be. Just four years earlier in 1902, The New York Times reported that many civil service employers (including the Post Office) requested only names from the male register. Even though more women took and passed the exam, this system kept many women from being hired. An official defended this policy as being beneficial for everyone involved:

“Every time a woman is appointed to a clerkship in one of the departments she lessens the chances of marriage for herself and deprives some worthy man of the chance to take unto himself and raise a family. And in addition to that the men make far better clerks, They complain less, do more work, and work overtime if need be without grumbling.” 5

Marriage could be an issue for female postal employees. In the early 1900s, Postmaster General Henry Payne did not approve of married women working because he believed that they should be supported by their husbands. In 1902, Payne ordered that, “a classified woman employee in the postal service who shall change her name by marriage will not be reappointed.” In certain post offices, female clerks already employed in the Post Office were required to “send in a written statement setting forth whether she is married or single, the name of her husband, if she has one, and his occupation.” 6 These orders discouraged married women from finding employment in the post office and single female employees from marrying if they wanted to keep their jobs. Rather than finding a job in the post office that would keep women “in contact with the home and family,” 3 Payne advocated that married woman “stay at home and attend to their household duties.” 7 Payne also cited financial influences behind his decision. Since it was possible that a woman could marry another government employee, the government could potentially pay a single family two salaries. He believed it was “enough for the government to pay a salary to one member of a family.” 8

Men surrounding a rural post office

The early twentieth century provided ambitious women with opportunities to begin carrying the mail. By 1899, only three years after the experiments with rural free delivery began, the Official Register of the United States recorded eleven women working as substitutes for male family members. This method of finding employment is similar to how many female postmasters found their jobs in the early 1800s. In 1900, Miss Ethel Hill reversed this trend, when she became the first woman listed as a full time rural free delivery carrier with her father recorded as her substitute. 9

Unlike postmaster positions, rural free delivery was not seen as a normative extension of the feminine domain. The job was “not supposed to be attractive to women,” as, “the Post Office [did] not encourage their employment as such.” 10 However, the “hardships that accompany the work” did not prevent “an increasing number of women from invading the rural delivery field.” 11 Many citizens, including those of Alexandria, Virginia vigorously opposed to the prospect of female letter carriers and at least one man voiced the opinion was that it was ‘worse than reconstruction.’ 12

In 1904, Alice Fowler attempted to deliver mail through “swollen creeks [and] severe weather,” 13 while wearing a skirt and carrying a gun. Neither of these were part of the standard rural free delivery uniform. Frances Cowan sacrificed her modesty when she started delivering the mail in 1918 by entering “roaring saloons.” 14 A week after she began carrying the mail, Frances “found that the saloon keepers, impressed with her innocent dignity, had joined together to put mailboxes out on the sidewalk to spare her the gauntlet inside.” 15 Postmaster General Payne was opposed to female rural free delivery clerks. He organized an investigation in 1902 to see “whether they [were] performing their duties in a satisfactory manner” when he saw that twenty five female clerks were already employed. 16 The women performed satisfactorily, as 104 women served as rural free delivery carriers by 1904.

While women today openly socialize with men and can chose between pants, shorts, culottes, and skirts as uniform pieces, this was not always the case. A female carrier in the Postal Office compromised her modesty and dignity when she entered environments surrounded by men or had her right and need to wear skirts challenged. As late as in the 1960s, female postal workers found themselves fighting for separate and equal bathrooms and standard uniforms.


F ashion for women in the first decade of the twentieth century largely followed the fashion of the previous century. The highly structured silhouette of the Gibson Girl was still popular at the beginning of the decade. The simplification and loosening of dress that would come to define the century did not begin to appear until late in the decade and early in the next. Instead, modest dresses, bodies moulded by corsets, and ostentatious ornamentation dominated women’s fashion throughout the first ten years of the century.

For a large part of the decade, the fashionable silhouette continued to be dominated by the S-shape created by a new “health” corset. These corsets pushed the bust forward and the hips back in an attempt to avoid pressure on the abdomen (Laver 213). The shape emphasized a narrow waist and large “mono-bosom,” which can be seen in the fashion illustration by La Mode Artistique (Fig. 3) and the early 1900s dinner dress by the House of Worth (Fig. 4). Tops were blousy and loose, like that in figure 5, the extra fabric helping to emphasize this top-heavy shape. Sleeves were equally dramatic. The effect was enhanced with petticoats that had full backs and smooth fronts (Milford-Cottam 15).

Modesty was emphasized with day dresses covering the body from the neck to the floor and long sleeves covering the arms. Skirts were bell-shaped and lace was a popular decoration (Laver 216). For those who couldn’t afford lace, Irish crochet was a good alternative (Laver 216). Rich fabrics were used with silk satin and chiffon two popular choices. Colors were light, but embellished with decorations. Editor Kathryn Hennessy writes in Fashion: The Ultimate Book of Fashion and Style, “Sumptuous fabrics such as silk satin, damask, and chiffon, usually in light, soft colours, were decorated with lace, rhinestones, and spangles, often highlighting a part of the body or the face” (232). Daniel Milford-Cottam adds in Edwardian Fashion, “The most fashionable daywear was often as elaborately trimmed and accessorized as evening wear” (16). This can be seen in the bodice of the afternoon dress by Jeanne Paquin (Fig. 2). Overall, the prevailing look was that of a mature, sophisticated, and graceful woman, like that seen in the cream silk gown by the House of Worth (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 - Jean-Philippe Worth (French, 1856–1926). Evening dress, 1905. Silk. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.309a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, 1961. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 2 - Jeanne Paquin (French, 1869–1936). Afternoon dress, 1906-8. Silk. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1596a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Mrs. Robert G. Olmsted and Constable MacCracken, 1969. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 3 - Artist unknown. Toilette de Promenade, Fashion plate from La Mode Artistique, 1903. Lithograph. New York: Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style. Source: SPARC Digital

Fig. 4 - Jean-Philippe Worth (French, 1856–1926). Dinner dress, ca. 1900. Silk, metal, rhinestones. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.3276a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Mrs. Paul Pennoyer, 1965. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 5 - Artist unknown. Fashion plate from La Moda Elegante Ilustrada, December 30, 1905, December 30, 1905. Lithograph. New York: Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style. Source: SPARC Digital

Fig. 6 - Jean-Philippe Worth (French, 1856–1926). Evening dress, 1902. Silk, rhinestones, metal. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2009a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, 1961. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evening dress largely followed the same silhouette, though these gowns were more revealing with very low décolletage and short sleeves. The sleeve length was offset by the wearing of long gloves. Milford-Cottam writes, “The cut of the bodice was often the only way to tell an evening gown from an afternoon dress” (23). Where day dresses had blousy, high-collared bodices, evening gowns had more fitted bodices with low-cut necks, like that seen in the elaborate gown from 1902 (Fig. 6). Sleeves could also be draped and necklines were sometimes off-the-shoulder.

While the wealthy woman wore the extravagantly decorated styles of the 1900s, many women were beginning to work outside the home. These women needed something more practical to wear and this came in the form of the “tailor-made.” These suits were introduced in the late 1800s and both working and wealthy wore them in the 1900s. James Laver writes in Costume and Fashion: A Concise History, “Even rich women wore tailor-mades in the country or when traveling” (221). The suits allowed women to change the bodice or the blouse while keeping the skirt, an economic way to stay fashionable (Fig.7).

While the prevailing mode favored the embellished day and evening dresses, women began to emphasize the importance of dressing for the occasion. Milford-Cottam writes,

“Event-specific dressing was increasingly important, and smart people took care to dress appropriately for the occasion. The wealthiest women had multiple costumes, ranging from theatre and evening gowns to morning and afternoon dresses and practical costumes for hunting, yachting and other active pursuits.” (16)

Fig. 7 - Artist unknown. Palais de Glace Costume, Fashion plate from The Queen, January 6, 1900, 1900. Lithograph. New York: Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style. The Queen. Source: SPARC Digital

Fig. 8 - Jeanne Paquin (French, 1869–1936). Afternoon dress, 1909. Silk. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1618. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Julian Asion, 1988. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fig. 9 - Jean-Philippe Worth (French, 1856–1926). Dinner dress, 1908-10. Silk, rhinestones. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1293. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of Mrs. Harry T. Peters, 1962. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Various sports began to creep into fashion during this period with golf, tennis, cycling and motoring all inspiring their own styles. A British riding habit from this period can be seen in figure 10. Milford-Cottam writes of the clothing worn for these pursuits, “For these, many women chose outfits intended to serve both as sporting wear and as serviceable, neat daywear” (19).

As the decade progressed, fashions began to soften. The rigid S-bend shape popular in the early part of the decade gradually straightened out into a more natural shape. Laver writes, “The bust was no longer thrust quite so far forward, nor the hips so far back. Floppy blouses hanging over the waist in front were abandoned” (222). The loose tops and oversized sleeves became narrower, as did skirts. Waists were higher and the tubular silhouette that would become popular in the next two decades began to emerge (Figs. 8 & 9). Milford-Cottam describes how fashion changed throughout the first decade:

“During the course of the first decade of the century the fashionable silhouette had changed dramatically. When Edward VII came to the throne, the smart woman was pyramidal, her extravagantly full hem sweeping upwards to the apex of a high-dressed hairstyle with a relatively small hat. At the time of his death in May 1910, almost a full decade later, the pyramid was upside-down, with exaggeratedly wide-brimmed hats tapering downwards into narrow hems, with a neatly shod foot providing the point of the new heart-shaped silhouette.” (37)

As fashion moved into the 1910s, styles were moving quickly towards the slimmed down shapes that would dominate the next two decades, while embellishment and long skirts continued from earlier in the decade.

Fig. 10 - W. Volker (British). Riding habit, 1900-1909. Wool. New York: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.79a, b. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009 Gift of the Princess Viggo in accordance with the wishes of the Misses Hewitt, 1931. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Spanish influenza arrived in the United States at a time of growing confidence among public health authorities. The late 19th-century acceptance of the germ theory of disease and subsequent development of bacteriological science had produced several decades of remarkable progress. Between 1870 and 1918, researchers using more sophisticated laboratory methods had isolated the causal microorganisms responsible for many of the most feared communicable diseases of the past, including cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis (TB), syphilis, and bubonic plague. These scientific advances undergirded an expansive public health movement. By the 1910s, the Progressive trend toward stronger government had provided city and state public health departments with an array of laws and regulations to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases. When coercion was deemed necessary, public health departments had the statutory power to isolate the ill and punish public health infractions. When voluntary compliance was sought, public health authorities could draw on substantial experience in securing the public's voluntary compliance with preventive measures. 5 , 6

How much that public health arsenal had expanded by 1918 is evident by a look backward at the previous influenza pandemic in 1889�. Newspaper coverage of the 1889� “Russian influenza” reveals the still-vague appreciation of the germ theory of disease as it applied to “the grip”. On December 18, 1889, The New York Times carried a quotation from the Medical Record stating that “.. . the disease is undoubtedly due to some microorganism which floats in the air, and which infects the human system, but is generally killed in so doing, for influenza is but slightly if at all contagious.” 7 Although well aware, thanks to an already extensive transoceanic telegraph cable system, that the Russian influenza was headed their way, public health departments did little preventive work in advance of its arrival, and once the disease did appear, left its management to private physicians. The latter simply told sick people to stay at home so as to recover more quickly, and warned the aged and infirm to stay away from the ill. More specific instructions for how to avoid contagion were conspicuously absent, probably because the atmosphere was seen as the chief source of the disease. 8

Twenty years later, public health authorities had a clear understanding of influenza as a germ disease, albeit a mysterious one. The laboratory methods used so successfully to identify the bacteria responsible for cholera, TB, and many other diseases did not work with influenza. In 1918, the virus was still a little-known branch of the germ family. Researchers could prove the existence of infective particles far smaller than bacteria but could not yet isolate them nor conclusively show their connection to specific diseases. During and after the pandemic, scientists sought in vain to isolate the “x-germ” that caused it. (See John Eyler's “The State of Science, Microbiology, and Vaccines circa 1918,” p. 27� in this issue.) Still, so strong was the acceptance of the germ theory of disease that influenza's microbial identity was accepted without question and aggressive measures were used to contain its spread.

Compared to 1889�, public health experts faced the 1918� influenza epidemic with a much greater capacity to teach the rules of disease avoidance and to punish those who failed to observe them through the use of fines and other coercive forms of sanitary policing. In 1918, public health authorities recognized influenza as a respiratory infection spread by coughing, sneezing, and spitting. To minimize its spread, they drew on infection-control methods that had been elaborated and tested for decades, in some cases centuries, including quarantine, isolation, disinfection, ventilation, and personal hygiene designed to limit droplet infection. Although some of the ideas still accepted in this era, such as the dust theory of infection or the role of library books and postage stamps in spreading germs, would later be jettisoned, much of what experts and well-informed laypeople assumed to be true in 1918 we still assume to be true. The particulars have been altered, but the basic mechanisms of how microorganisms migrate from the sick to the well were understood. 9

The response to pandemic influenza in 1918 drew on elements of disease control used to manage a wide range of communicable diseases. For fast-moving epidemics, there was long experience in quarantine and isolation. City health departments had the legal power to close schools and quarantine homes when epidemics of diphtheria or polio broke out. 10 , 11 They could screen for and demand special precautions be taken by healthy carriers of typhoid. 12 Federal law required the medical inspection and quarantine of ships and immigrants arriving in the big port cities. 13 On occasion, city health departments even imposed isolation on specific neighborhoods, as in the 1900 bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco. 14

In addition, influenza management drew heavily on the public health campaign against pulmonary TB, the leading cause of death in 1900. At first glance, it may seem strange that TB served as such an important model for managing an influenza epidemic because the diseases differ so greatly in clinical and epidemiological terms. Yet, from a preventive standpoint, they had some important similarities: both pulmonary TB and influenza were infections of the respiratory tract that spread by direct droplet infection and nose/mouth/hand contamination. Precisely because it was so chronic and so widespread, TB had dominated two decades of laboratory and field experience dedicated to mapping out the wide circulation of germs via coughing, sneezing, and spitting. Its ubiquity helped confirm public health belief in fomite infection (transmission of germs via objects such as drinking glasses or books) and dust infection (transmission of dried germs mixed with common house dust and street dirt). 9

Influenza control also drew on the strong hygienic program popularized by the anti-TB movement at the turn of the century. The first of the modern voluntary health associations, the National Tuberculosis Association (now the American Lung Association) and its state affiliates pioneered the use of modern methods of journalism, advertising, and entertainment to create an effective new style of popular health education. By the eve of the pandemic, the anti-TB crusade had widely publicized the basics of disease transmission and protection against respiratory infections. Laid side by side, the similarities between the standard anti-TB protocol and the anti-influenza measures popularized in the fall of 1918 are strikingly apparent: keep windows open to dilute germs in the air protect others against one's coughs, sneezes, and spitting avoid sharing utensils stay rested and eat nutritious food and avoid worry and overwork. What worked against TB should work against influenza, or so it was assumed. 9

But by 1918, public health experts had already begun to see the difficulties of controlling TB in a “modern” society. Identification and isolation of the ill worked most effectively to stop the chain of TB infection, yet states balked at the expense of building sufficient sanatoria to hold them, and people with TB (understandably) resisted being removed from family and friends. Many consumptives simply could not afford to go for the cure and, hence, continued to live at home and attempt to work, forming an infective risk to those around them. Since �reless consumptives” were presumably everywhere, it became all the more important that everyone practice careful sneezing, coughing, and spitting behaviors. But sanitary disposal of mouth and nose secretions and antiseptic hand washing were not easy tasks in an era before Kleenex®, Dixie® cups, and hand sanitizers. 9 , 15

Although these problems were evident by 1918, so too was the downward trend in TB mortality. Public health authorities had good reason to believe that they were defeating the white plague by getting as many acute cases into isolation as possible, encouraging those who remained at home to be �reful consumptives,” training “the masses” in the rules of good nose/mouth/hand hygiene, and working to elevate living conditions more generally. Despite their imperfect execution, sanitarium treatment and rigorous sanitary policing of the hand/mouth/nose connection seemed to be making a positive difference. In the absence of a reliable cure for TB (which would not be found until the late 1940s), there was every reason to continue to promote these measures.

Domestic Arts

Jefferson&rsquos Pasta Machine

Thomas Jefferson noted these plans for a macaroni or pasta machine while touring northern Italy in 1787. When Jefferson prepared these plans, macaroni was a highly fashionable food in Paris, where he was stationed as minister to France. He later commissioned his secretary William Short to purchase a macaroni machine in Italy, but the machine was not very durable. In later years Jefferson served macaroni or spaghetti made by cutting rolled dough into strips, which were then rolled by hand into noodles.

While in France, Jefferson became enamored with French cuisine bourgeoise and not only had his slave James Heming trained as a cook, but he later brought his French butler, Adrien Petit, to the United States. Jefferson acquired a stock of standard French recipes for French fries, sauces, fruit tarts, desserts, blood sausages, pigs&rsquo feet, rabbits, and pigeons, which he served to his guests at Monticello.

Thomas Jefferson. [&ldquoMaccaroni&rdquo machine with instructions for making pasta.] Holograph drawing and text, 1787. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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Culinary Arts

As the editor of Marie Martinelo&rsquos 1892 New York Cook Book reminds us, &ldquoThe fashions of the cuisine, like those of the dress, are subject to changes.&rdquo Nowhere is that so clear as in the Library&rsquos incomparable collection of cookbooks, including the many cookbooks in the General Collections, and, in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, the Elizabeth Pennell Collection and the 4,346-volume Katherine Golden Bitting Collection, donated by Bitting&rsquos husband.

Katherine Bitting, a food chemist with the Department of Agriculture and herself the author of numerous books and pamphlets about food preservation and consumption, acquired Martinelo&rsquos &ldquocomplete manual of cookery in all its branches.&rdquo

In addition to recipes, the book includes helpful household hints on such things as making one&rsquos own soap and ink how to eradicate &ldquohousehold vermin&rdquo like ants and spiders with a mixture of hellebore and molasses how to remove rust from cutlery (in the days before stainless steel) and how to prepare special dishes for the infirm such as tapioca jelly and wine possets.

Appended to this volume is a special treat: &ldquoMiss Leslie&rsquos seventy-five receipts for pastry, cakes and sweetmeats,&rdquo temptingly illustrated with this chromolithograph of various fashionable desserts that once were common but are now seldom prepared at home by those who are health-conscious and/or pressed for time.

The New York Cook Book is one of a number of such volumes at the Library that have been consulted by, among others, film art directors trying to create an authentic period feel in their productions.

Marie Martinelo. The New York Cook Book. New York City: 1892. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Hinde Amchanitzki. Lehr-bukh vi azoy Tsu Kokhen un Baken [Textbook on How to Cook and Bake]. New York, 1901. African & Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress

800 Proved Pecan Recipes: Their Place In The Menu. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7 - Page 8. Lancaster County, PA: Keystone. Pecan Research Laboratory, 1925. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

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Martha Jefferson&rsquos Personal Effects

This household account and recipe book is one of the few surviving documents written by Thomas Jefferson&rsquos wife, Martha. Kept during the years of her marriage, 1772&ndash1782, the book contains household instructions such as how to extract rennet from the stomachs of young ruminants like calves and sheep to coagulate milk for use in the production of cheese.

This thread case, used by Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, is one of the few personal items Thomas Jefferson kept that had belonged to his wife. Some of the original pins and needles can be seen in the case, which Jefferson preserved in his papers. Martha&rsquos thread case, along with her household account and recipe book (kept during the years of her marriage, 1772&ndash1782), containing her household instructions, recipes, and inventory of household goods provide tangible artifacts of the economic and social role of the southern plantation mistress.

Thomas Jefferson (1743&ndash1826), Martha Jefferson (d. 1782), and Anne Cary Randolph. Holograph manuscript notebook, Page 2. 1772&ndash1782. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. State Department transfer, 1904 (196.1)

Martha Jefferson&rsquos thread case. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. State Department transfer, 1904 (196.4)

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Jefferson&rsquos Recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream

A passionate gourmet, Jefferson acquired a stock of standard French recipes for sauces, fruit tarts, French-fried potatoes, blood sausages, pigs&rsquo feet, rabbit, pigeons, and various other dishes. Among the most popular of these recipes at Monticello was this one for vanilla ice cream&mdashwritten by Jefferson, with his own recipe for Savoy cookies to accompany the dessert on the back.

Holograph recipe, 1780s. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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World War I Gardeners

In 1918 Maginel Wright Enright, sister of Frank Lloyd Wright, submitted to the Division of Pictorial Publicity a pencil sketch for this poster that depicted Uncle Sam as the Pied Piper, in order to stimulate interest in creating war gardens among the country&rsquos school children. This national campaign was launched in 1917 to increase the food supply during World War I.

Enright&rsquos design was highly praised by Secretary of the Interior Frederick Lane. He wrote, &ldquoI think it is a beautiful piece of work . . . I am sure a great many children will find their hearts stirred by the picture, and no older person can look at it without a thrill of loyalty and desire to do his part.&rdquo

Maginel Wright Enright (1877&ndash1966). Follow the Pied Piper. Color lithograph, 1918. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress [LC-USZC4-3691]

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A First American Cookbook

This cornerstone of American cookery is the first cookbook of American authorship to be printed in the United States. Numerous recipes that adapt traditional dishes by substituting native American ingredients such as corn meal and squash are printed here for the first time, including &ldquoIndian Slapjack,&rdquo &ldquoJohny Cake,&rdquo and &ldquoSquash Pudding.&rdquo Simmons&rsquos &ldquoPompkin Pudding,&rdquo baked in a crust, is the basis for the classic American pumpkin pie. Although this popular work was published in many editions, only four copies of the original edition are known to have survived.

Amelia Simmons. American Cookery. Hartford, Connecticut, 1796. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7 - Page 8. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

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The Millinery Trade Review, 1876&ndash1938

The Library of Congress holds an extensive collection of trade journals. This millinery trade review, for example, is rich in details on changing fashions and new materials, hair and make-up styles, ideals of beauty, and costs. The early issues include lists of new millinery businesses (many women-owned), help wanted and sought advertisements, obituaries, and trade union notes. Also included in the early issues of the review are two inserted pages of color illustrations of the newest Paris designs. From these drawings, U.S. hat manufacturers could create extravagant models to delight the hearts of affluent American women.

The Millinery Trade Review. March 1897. New York: The Gallison & Hobron Co., 1897. Copyright deposit, 1897. General Collections, Library of Congress

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The Home Sewing Machine

The sewing machine was the first widely distributed appliance for use in the home. In 1860 more than 110,000 sewing machines were sold in the United States alone. Their ubiquity spawned an pattern industry. The Home machine and shuttle powered by a means of a foot treadle patented by Thomas H. White and William L. Grout in 1870 was first marketed to the public in 1877 through advertising poster like this one.

Home Excels All Others. Lithographic Poster, ca. 1877. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (201.3)

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Culinary Arts

As a scientist, Katherine Golden Bitting explored the chemistry, bacteriology and preservation of food and built a 2500-volume research collection devoted to the history, sociology and preparation of comestibles from Roman times to the twentieth century. She acquired manuscript and printed sources, looked for cross-cultural influences, and celebrated abundance while identifying the proper place of specific items within the context of a meal. The Bitting Collection is complemented by holdings on gastronomy given by Elizabeth Pennell which is strong in French and Italian cookbooks.

Manuscript cookbook, ca. 1770. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (198.2)

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Arbiter of Fashion

For one dollar per year, the Butterick Publishing Company brought women across the country the latest styles and homemaking news. Women could purchase paper patterns for twenty-five to thirty cents and re-create in Nebraska or California the clothes of the Parisian haute monde. From 1873 to 1937, the Delineator was one of the major American fashion magazines with a circulation in 1900 of 480,000. Its French, German, and Spanish editions displayed aspects of American attitudes and a way of life to the Western world through editorials, articles, advertisements, and, in later editions, serialized fiction.

&ldquoFashions for December 1884,&rdquo Delineator, A Monthly Magazine. Vol. 24, no. 6. Page 2. London and New York: Butterick Publishing Co. Copyright deposit. General Collections, Library of Congress. (202.1)

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&ldquoAmerica Eats&rdquo

In the 1930s the federal government, under the auspices of the Work Progress Administration (WPA), created the Federal Writers&rsquo Project to provide work for unemployed professionals during the depression. Shown here are six images produced for the &ldquoAmerica Eats&rdquo project, depicting eating and cooking food at social gatherings such as picnics, barbecues, and food festivals in locations including California, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

Federal Writer&rsquos Project photographs for the &ldquoAmerica Eats&rdquo project. Anthony V. Ragusin. Oysters and a political rally, No. 1. Gelatin silver print, ca. 1930&ndash1941. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, WPA Transfer (199A.2c)

Stetson Kennedy. Coffee is made by boiling it in this large metal barrel, no. 7. Gelatin silver print, ca. 1930&ndash1941. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, WPA Transfer (199A.2a)

Stetson Kennedy. The rice and chicken is boiled together in iron kettles, no. 8. Gelatin silver print, ca. 1930&ndash1941. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, WPA Transfer (199A.2d)

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First Yiddish Cookbook in America

Written in the language understood by the majority of newly arriving Jewish immigrants, this cookbook served as an introduction to American as well as traditional Jewish cuisine. The recipes encompass Amchanitzki&rsquos forty-five years of experience in European and American kitchens. In her introduction, the author promises that using her recipes will prevent stomachaches and other food-related maladies in children.

Hinde Amchanitzki. Lehr-bukh Vi Azoy Tsu Kokhen un Baken [Textbook on How to Cook and Bake]. Page 2. New York: 1901. African & Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress (199.6)

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Nineteenth-Century Product Labels

Early product labels served primarily to identify products and brand names. As later nineteenth-century color lithography developed, illustration and color were combined with text to produce eye-catching designs meant to attract consumers in an even more competitive market place. Advertising schemes ranged broadly and depictions of American Indians, animals, children, flowers, medicinal plants, mythological characters, celebrities, people taking or administering medications, sick and cured people, symbols, and women appeared on products as wide ranging as hair tonic, tobacco, and horse lineament.

Tobacco package label. The Young Swell, ca. 1869. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5d) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05590]

Patent Medicine Label. Dewdrop Bitters. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5a) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05586]

Soap label. Pure White Rock Potash. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5e) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05589]

Patent medicine label. Get Fat on Lorings Fat-ten-U and Corpula Foods. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5f) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05583]

Paint label. White Lead- Ground in Pure Linseed Oil. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5h) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05584]

Patent medicine label. Messer&rsquos Inhaling Tube. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5g) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05591]

Coffee label. United States of America, Our Standard Coffee. Color lithograph. Copyright deposit. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. (204.5i) [Digital ID# ppmsca-05588]

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Making Tamales

Artist Carmen Lomas Garza is a key figure in the Chicano movement, a movement&mdashboth political and aesthetic&mdashcentering on first-person expressions by and about Mexican-Americans living in the United States. Lomas Garza&rsquos work revolves largely around her experiences as a Mexican-American growing up in South Texas. Family and community are primary jumping-off points for her images, which describe a rich range of experiences related to Chicano culture and identity. while also speaking of human universals.

Carmen Lomas Garza (b. 1948). Tamalada (Making Tamales), 1990. Color lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift/purchase from the artist (204.7) [Digital ID# ppmsca-09899]

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Culinary Arts

As a scientist, Katherine Golden Bitting explored the chemistry, bacteriology and preservation of food and built a 2500-volume research collection devoted to the history, sociology and preparation of comestibles from Roman times to the twentieth century. She acquired manuscript and printed sources, looked for cross-cultural influences, and celebrated abundance while identifying the proper place of specific items within the context of a meal. The Bitting Collection is complemented by holdings on gastronomy given by Elizabeth Pennell which is strong in French and Italian cookbooks.

G.C. Marson. Attractive Meals Without Meat. London: G. Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1932. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201.5a)

Harry A. Rodgers. Toasts and Cocktails. Saint Louis: Shallcross Printing & Stationery, Co., ca. 1905. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201.5b)

Myrtle Reed (1874&ndash1911). Everyday Dinners by Olive Green. [pseud.] New York: G.P. Putman&rsquos Sons, 1911. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201.5d)

Canoe and Camp Cookery: A Practical Cook Book for Canoeist, Corinthian Sailors and Others. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing, Co., 1885. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201.5c)

Ice-cream and Cakes: A New Collection of Standard Fresh and Original Receipts for Household and Commercial Use. New York: Scribner, 1883. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201.5e)

Carroll Mac Sheridan (b.1889). The Stag Cook Book. New York: George H. Doran Company, ca. 1922. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201.5f)

Marjorie Hillis Roulston, Bertina Foltz. Corned Beef and Caviar, for the Live-aloner. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, ca. 1937. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201. 5g)

Katharine Burrill, Annie M Booth. The Amateur Cook. New York: F.A. Stokes, ca. 1906. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (201. 5h)

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Doublemint Gum

Wrigley&rsquos Doublemint gum was first produced in 1914. Throughout its long history, twins have been used to advertise the product. These two posters, with twins in matching hats, were created as part of a billboard campaign by Otis Shepard, who worked as the art director of the Wrigley Company from 1932 until 1962. His airbrush technique, economy of line, and clean modern design made Otis Shepard one of America&rsquos premier poster designers.

Otis Shepard (1894&ndash1969). Wrigley&rsquos Doublemint Chewing Gum advertisements. Poster 1 - Poster 2. Color offset bus posters, ca. 1939. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Rebel Randall (204.8a,b) [Digital ID# ppmsca-12396, ppmsca-12397]

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Brand-Name Product Advertising

During the last two decades of the nineteenth century there was a great change in how food products were distributed and advertised. Buying primarily unpackaged goods was gradually replaced by the availability of sanitary, sealed, individual packaging. Advertising in newspapers, broadsides, and store displays (like the Jell-O poster) was supplemented by company brochures that took advantage of chromolithography, which made mass-production of vividly colored illustrations economically feasible. Due to increasing competition among manufacturers, various advertising techniques were introduced, such as prizes, offers of coupons to be collected for premium household items, and recipe booklets featuring company products.

Jell-O Strawberry Flavor. Leroy, New York: The Genesee Pure Food Company. Chromo-lithograph poster, ca. 1905. Copyright deposit. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. (205.3a)

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". [Williams'] life reads a bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House in the Big Woods' written in Cyrillic." -- LancasterOnline.com, May 3, 2008

". a consuming read. well worth reading and whets the appetite of those of us who have failed to venture out. " -- PASSPORT Moscow, June 2008

". draws you in and doesn't let go. only way to better understand Russian provincial life would be moving there oneself." -- Russian Life, March/April 2008

". provides a look into a very different place. This is a very satisfying memoir on many levels." -- Bookviews.com, April, 2008

". writ[ten] on a very personal level. You get a taste of the culture. and the fascinating nature reserve and inhabitants." -- Rainboreviews.com, April 2008

". written in a delightfully meandering way and includes photos of villiage life. Williams easily pulls us into her world." -- Shelf Awareness, March 7, 2008

"I turned to the first chapter-and stayed until the end. I couldn't resist wanting more." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 2, 2008

". beautifully written by a first-time author whose powers of observation bring to life the Russian countryside and its people." --The Denver Post, October 17, 2008

Heartwarming and heartbreaking at times too, 'The Storks' Nest' by Laura Lynn Williams will make you yearn for the great outdoors. You'll learn so much about Russia and the natural beauty that is rarely promoted. You'll also learn about a woman who followed her heart and became something more than just herself. --Chick with Books Blog, "Memoir Monday"

About the Author


  • [1] The preparation of this chapter was supported by grant P01 HD-28372 to RAND from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
  • [2] Julie DaVanzo is Director of the RAND Center for the Study of the Family in Economic Development.
  • [3] In July 1992, in a paper entitled, "A Conceptual Plan for Support of Demographic Research and Training in the Former Soviet Union," Dr. Anatoly Vishnevsky, Director of the Russian Center of Demography and Human Ecology, wrote:

Vishnevsky goes on to note that in the 1980s the situation began to improve as a new generation of Russian demographers were exposed to skills and a research outlook similar to that of Western demographers and as previously inaccessible statistical information became available.

[71] Bourgeois-Pichat, Jean, "Mortality Trends in the Industrialized Countries," in Mortality and Health Policy, New York: United Nations, 1984.

Jozan, Peter, "Contrast in Mortality Trends," IUSSP-General Conference, New Delhi, 1989.

Okolski, Marek, "East-West Mortality Differentials," in Alain Blum and J.L.Rallu, eds., "Demographic Dynamics," European Population, Vol. 2, materials of European Population Conference, Paris, October 21&ndash25, 1991, John Libbey Ltd, 1993.

[79] Adamets, Sergei, and Vladimir Shkolnikov, "On Mortality Tables of the Population of the USSR, Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia to the End of the 1930s," paper presented at the workshop on "Population of the USSR in the 1920s in Light of Newly-Declassified Documentary Evidence," University of Toronto, January 27&ndash29, 1994.

Correction for underestimation of death rates in infancy and older ages of Novoselski-Paevski's life tables for 1926&ndash27 diminishes male life expectancy by 0.7 years, female life expectancy by 0.6 years.

[81] Novoselski, Sergei, 1916. "Obzor glavneishih dannih po demografii i sanitarnoi statistiki Rossii." In: Kalendar vracha za 1916 god. ch. II. [Review of the Principal Data in Demography and Sanitary Statistics of Russia. In: Physician's Calendar for 1916. Part II]. pp. 66&ndash67.

Ptukha (Mikhail) 1960. Otcherki po statistike naseleniya. [Essays on the Statistics of Population] . Moscow, TsS USSSR.

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