Vintage books, adverts, recipes and historical mysteries Blog

Advice to Husbands, 1939

It’s another entry for my series of historical marital advice articles today. This time – advice from an Austrian newspaper, as reprinted in The Berwickshire News in 1939, a few months prior to the...

Women-Only Railway Carriages, 1891

This August the most zeitgeisty thing you could be doing was voting in the Labour Party leadership election. Specifically, voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election, if the “Jez We Can”...

Anti-racism letter, 1918

A letter from The Liverpool Echo, 1918, deploring the racism evident in pubs, preventing black customers from getting served. However, it wasn’t until the Race Relations Act of 1965 that it became illegal to...

Women’s Business Wear, 1912

I had to double-check the date of this newspaper because 1912 seemed very early to be giving advice to women on what to wear in the workplace. But then again, the invention of the...

Infectious Patients Update, 1935

Most of my assumptions about what visiting time at hospitals used to be like I’ve gleaned from the Carry On films. That, and the 1959 episode of Hancock’s Half Hour I was listening to...

(Grand) Dad’s Army, 1939

I love it when I can link something from one of my old books or pieces of ephemera to some current story. This one is all about Dad’s Army, new and old. You might...

Feminists Condemned, 1939

I’ve posted before about the frisson of anger-enjoyment, perversely getting a bit of a kick out of things that wind you up. I had it in abundance in this curmudgeonly-in-the-extreme Advice for Wives article...

Spanking Machine, 1912

In the era of corporal punishment and children’s sore bottoms, the search was on for the invention of an effective spanking machine. American Professor of theoretical mechanics, Duff Andrew, invented one in 1912. The...

Fels-Naptha Soap Advert, 1903

A 1903 advert for Fels-Naptha, a laundry soap. This is a nicely poetic demonstration of how text-based graphic design could be used to grab attention in a newspaper advert.