Category Archive: Old Books

The Servant Problem in the 1860s

Here are a few more cartoons from Punch, in 1861 and 1862.  One thing I like is that the cartoonists are sympathetic towards honest ignorance, and aim their wit mostly at pretension. I… Continue reading

Men’s Fashion Foibles from 1862

Looking at my estate sale purchase, a bound issue of Punch from 1862, we see that gentlemen were not spared from the editors’ gibes …  

Domestics and the Crinoline in 1862

Yesterday we went to an estate sale at a huge ranch.  Thousands of items were being sold, but most of them were just ordinary things like throw pillows or boxes of glassware from… Continue reading

Three Clues in the Parchment

In the early 1960s, a young agriculture historian named M. L. Ryder had the idea to use parchment manuscripts to research medieval sheep breeds. He surveyed manuscript illuminations for evidence of the colors,… Continue reading

Thanksgiving Football Dinner from 1905

It’s a cold, gray day — a perfect time for a cup of tea with my favorite party planner, Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott.  Years ago I picked up her 1905 book, Bright Ideas… Continue reading

Imps, Fairies, and Friendly Spirits

During the day my kitchen looks like an ordinary place — (doing a mouse-over will make the pictures more vivid) –but at night, I hear strange noises, and the next morning, things are… Continue reading

A Medieval Love Story – with Carding and Spinning!

Here’s a little Valentine for all you textile and book aficionados! A few months ago, while researching for my post on a medieval herbal image, I came across some intriguing images of a… Continue reading

Sharing Ephemera

I have started some Pinterest boards as a place to share interesting little odds and ends I have.  Some of them are textile-related, but a lot of them are just little scraps of… Continue reading

The Curious Case of the Mysterious Spinning Wheels

Last week I had to have oral surgery, and in between doses of pain medication, I reached for some light fiction from the public domain – three books that featured spinning wheels as… Continue reading

Women Are Here to Stay!

We wrapped up our recent visit to Big Bend with a short stay in Marfa, Texas.  Marfa is famous for its mystery lights, (written about even before cars were invented), for its reputation… Continue reading