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  • Old One-Room Schoolhouses

    Jan 3

    Many of our ancestors may have attended an old-fashion one-room schoolhouse. Several grades would be in one room with one teacher. Individual desks or a row of desks for the students would have been used. There was a chalkboard on the wall, and some type of stove to keep youngsters warm on cold days. The one-room schoolhouse was usually in rural a...

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  • Men’s Shirts

    Jan 1

    Very popular at one time were loops on the back of men's shirts. It began sailors in the Navy. They didn’t have closets to hang their shirts in, so they had their clothing fitted with loops so they could just slide it onto a hook on a wall. This was apparently a regular household thing to do as well, including hanging them from their loop on wir...

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  • New Year’s Eve Traditions Today

    Dec 31

    New Year's Eve has been either a random night on which everyone agrees to celebrate per the modern Gregorian calendar, OR it's a festive opportunity to have a party, attend a party, toast your loved ones and bid the past year goodbye to welcome the promise of a fresh start. For present times, the years 2020 and 2021 have been a challenge with C...

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  • The Parachute Wedding Dress

    Dec 29

    During World War Two, many American military personnel were trained to jump from an airplane wearing a parachute. There are many photos and videos showing soldiers coming from the sky with their parachutes open – that was especially true with the landing of Americans during D-Day, June 6, 1944 in France. Parachutes were fire-resistant, strong...

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  • Christmas Years Ago

    Dec 27

    Looking at our ancestors who were early pioneer settlers, no matter what decades usually had very simple Christmas celebrations. Children of settlers were often limited to receiving simple gifts, things that in the modern world might not even be considered as gifts at all. For many children, the only gifts they might have gotten were in their stoc...

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  • Upside Down Christmas Tree

    Dec 25

    The practice of turning a Christmas tree upside down with the wide portion at the top and narrow at the bottom goes back to the 7th century. According to legend, Boniface, a Benedictine monk in Germany used the ‘v’ shape of the fur tree to explain the Trinity to German pagans. The tradition continued into the 12th century in central and eas...

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  • Christmas Ceramic Trees

    Dec 24

    This will bring back memories – Ceramic Lighted Christmas Trees. Back to the late 60s or early 70s, you probably remember a ceramic Christmas tree with twinkling lights sitting on your mantle, top of the TV, dining table, or tabletop. Some of those trees even played music. These mass-produced objects were flooding homes, so the desire to have so...

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  • How Safe was the Brooklyn Bridge when Opened in 1883?

    Dec 23

    There are interesting events related to the opening of the famed Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. The bridge connects downtown Manhattan to downtown Brooklyn and over the years is very famous. Your ancestors may have crossed the Brooklyn Bridge many times. The bridge was originally designed in 1869 by John A. Roebling but was completed by his son, Washi...

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  • Christmas During the Early 1940s War Years

    Dec 21

    In the early 1940s, the American home front for Christmases looked a little bit different from how we do things today. For those in Europe, Christmas was rarely a comfort during the war years, which began in 1939. In the United States, starting with lights, wartime meant little or no lights of any type at night. Any German or Japanese aircraft ...

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  • Cranberry Glass

    Dec 19

    This popular colored glass has been around for centuries, actually going back to the 1600s. This color for glass was discovered by someone mixing a gold coin into molten glass and it produced a cranberry color. It reached great popularity in the 1860s (the time frame of the American Civil War) and continued into the late 1800s. This cranberry g...

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  • Vintage Christmas Terms

    Dec 17

    There have been some words, terms and phrases used at Christmas time during the decades and even centuries. Some of these may have been used by your ancestors or you might have found them in some writings by your ancestors. Look over the list and see if any might be familiar. The word 'Krampus' referred to a very scary individual, part devil an...

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  • Hen on Nest Glass

    Dec 15

    You might remember this special item in your parents' or grandparents' house. This unusual glass piece came in many different colors, patterns and sizes. But it was shaped like a hen sitting on a nest and served as a covered dish. It was made of glass. This style came to America from England in the 1700s. Back then being made in England and the...

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  • Fruitcake for the Holidays

    Dec 13

    A holiday fruitcake can be the butt of a lot of jokes but this calorie-dense food does have many great attributes. Your ancestors may have been having a fruitcake (either dark or white) for years. The fruitcake we think of today had its beginnings in that format in the Middle Ages in Europe. Those traveling to the Near and Middle East during th...

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  • Razor Blades Inside a Home’s Walls

    Dec 11

    With the invention of the modern razor with its plastic safety cartridges, people – specifically men – used to shave using the straight-edge razors found in most barbershops at the time. Then, in 1903, Gillette invented the first-ever at-home option for men to do their shaving at home. However, those early disposable razors weren’t quite ...

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  • Ostrich Feathers

    Dec 9

    It might be hard to understand, but during most of the 1800s in America, but a sign of prestige, wealth and social standing was to have many fluffy plumes made of ostrich feathers. These feathers are loose, soft, and smooth, making them special. This was especially the case during a funeral. All the ladies attending would have large ostrich fea...

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