Parlor Games from 1905

Here are a couple of parlor games from that Martha Stewart of the very early 20th century, Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott, as found in her wonderful book, Bright Ideas for Entertaining,  (1905, George W. Jacobs and Co.).  I will publish the answers in a separate post so you can test your wits without stealing a peek at the answers.

For the first one, you are trying to come up with words that start with the letters C-A-N.  To get you started, the answer to number 8 is “candy.”

text from 1905 book

guessing game from 1905

last part of game

In the second game, you are looking for words that end in “cate.”  Even if I was able to come up with some answers, I’m sure I couldn’t do it in fifteen minutes!

word game from 1905

word game from 1905

Games like these make me think I really am dumbed down compared to my ancestors – I think I would eventually be able to come up with the answers to the “Can Factory” game, but I’m sure the “Kate” game would leave me stumped.

In case you are wondering how you might have dressed or decorated your house back in 1905, here is a picture that I think is from about that time.

family group circa 1905


I have never seen curtains hung in that fashion, so I am curious about that.  I wish I could enlarge it more to see the faces in the photographs they have propped on the piano.  I also wish I could read the titles on the sheet music because that would help me date it!  Notice the tissue paper garland hanging behind their heads, and another one hanging from the ceiling and draped over the mantle clock.  It’s obviously three colors – red, white, and blue?  There looks to be a stars and stripes bunting behind the standing couple.  It could be Fourth of July, but people don’t usually decorate the interiors of their houses for that.  If you can help me out with any information, I would appreciate it!

I will post the answers to the games tomorrow.  Hope you enjoy this little piece of the past.