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  • Why Did Royal China Become Popular?

    Feb 21

    Most families have had nice dinnerware (dishes) used at Christmas time or guests for dinner. Long-time popular chinaware was 'Royal China'. It was manufactured in Sebring, Ohio. They featured quaint patterns with a nostalgic appeal to people in the 1930s well into the 1960s. In the 1930s most families could not afford large purchases of fine chin...


  • ‘Dutch’ Doors

    Feb 19

    The idea of this style of 'Dutch Doors' for a home had its beginning with the barns of farmers in the Netherlands in the 1600s, basically, it was a two-door system which seemed to work well to keep animals from passing through while also allowing some light and air to come into the barn. This idea was then used for the Dutch homes. The Dutch do...


  • Glass Telephone Insulators

    Feb 17

    There just might be some glass telephone insulators that have been handed down as heirlooms or nicely displayed in a cabinet of a relative. But did you really know what you are looking at? With the telephone and poles with their wires across miles of areas for decades, they help provide telephone service. Up until the 1940s, the wires that carr...


  • The Use of ‘Mother of Pearl’

    Feb 15

    Most everyone is familiar with pearls, those gems from nature (developed inside an oyster shell). However, 'Mother of Pearl' or Nacre (derived from the Arabic word for shell, “naqqarah”) is the organic, iridescent material that makes up the inside lining of various mollusks’ shells, such as oysters, mussels and abalone. The outer layer of a ...


  • Advantages of Using the Telegraph

    Feb 13

    Communication over distances for our ancestors was not easy. Even sending a letter was not the easiest or quickest method. With the development of the electronic version of the telegraph and the code system created by Samuel Morse in 1838, a whole new world opened up for communication. It was a series of dots and dashes (the Morse Code) that could...


  • Must Have Toys

    Feb 11

    It is interesting to look back at what toys were most popular with children. Not speaking of mass-manufactured toys like a Barbie doll, but homemade toys especially between 1820 and 1900, those favored by your grandparents, gr grandparents or gr gr grandparents. In the 1840s, marbles were very popular. They were also used as toys in the 1500s. ...


  • Inventions of American Native Indians

    Feb 9

    What has made modern life a bit easier comes from inventions. Yet, you might not realize the variety of individuals who have contributed their ideas to make life easier. That includes American Natives, of which you just might have a percentage of Native DNA. One example is the 'kayak boats.' Made of wood these small boats have always made trave...


  • Early Hospital Births were Cheap

    Feb 7

    If you found or had located hospital bills for the birth of children from decades ago. Examining them can be amazing. In a look years ago the hospital bills for births were much lower. An example, in the 1950s with birth and multiple days stay the cost after insurance was about $10.75 and that included oxygen and an incubator. An example from 1...


  • Flame Glass

    Feb 5

    Over the decades there have been many different types of decorative glass pieces, many handed down in the families. One other type is known as 'Flame Glass.' They were tall vases in vibrant colors, oddly shaped ashtrays, and exotic-looking bottles and vases. Flame glass was popular in the 1960s with its unique designs. The pieces often blended ...


  • Advice to Newlyweds in the Early 1900s

    Feb 3

    If you had grandparents or great grandparents (also aunts-uncles and great aunts and uncles) who married around 1900 (1895-1910) it appears man needed some guidance about being newly married. Here are some of the advice suggested to newlyweds in and around the early 1900s. It appears young ladies and men who had never married before had no e...


  • Wizard of OZ

    Feb 1

    The book first in 1900 “The Wonderful World of Oz” and later the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz” are treasured by young and old. Your ancestors for sure have watched the movie more than once. Here are a few interesting backstory items about the making of the book. The book was written by L. Frank Baum, first living in Aberdeen, South Dak...


  • Toys of the 1950s

    Jan 31

    It was said that children of the 1950s were spoiled, parents getting them anything they wanted, especially if it was featured on TV, in a comic book or in the stores. Here is a sampling of the toys of the 1950s that you had, our your children, maybe even your grandparents. Make note, it was part of their childhood. 'Mr. Potato Head' was very...


  • Misleading Terms for Things Your Ancestors Knew

    Jan 29

    There are several phrases and terms for events and items your ancestors knew very well. Today the phrase is still here but can mean something different. Think of the term 'Trailers' as the preview of upcoming movies in a theater show before the main movie film starts. Your ancestors knew trailers at the end of the feature movie, hence the name,...


  • Popularity of Bicycles

    Jan 27

    The bicycle first gained mass popularity in the 1890s, when the “safety” bicycle replaced its perilous, giant-wheeled predecessor. While automobiles gave bicycles strong competition, manufacturers quickly pivoted and began making children’s bicycles after the end of World War I (about 1919). Schwinn’s balloon-tired Excelsior model debut...


  • New Items First Shown in 1893 World’s Fair

    Jan 25

    The early World Fairs have been placed to showcase the newest innovations and inventions to all audiences. There was always a variety of the newest foods, items, fun activities, etc to interest the public. This was especially true of the 1893 Fair held in Chicago, often referred to as the fair that changed America. Some 27 million people attended,...


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