• Toilets in the Basement

    Jan 23

    You just might recall seeing in a relative's older home, in the basement, a toilet, all be itself, no walls around it, no sink, just the toilet. Such basement toilets have gotten the name 'Pittsburgh Potties.' Some were placed in homes of families living in western Pennsylvania. It was thought that Pittsburgh known as the 'Steel City' that workers...


  • Unusual Features of Old Homes

    Jan 17

    You may have grown up in a vintage older home that had special features not found in more modern homes. Here are some examples, see if you or your parents or other relatives had such touches in their homes. In the early decades of the 20th century, a special new feature was to have a telephone. But built into the home then was a Telephone Nook,...


  • Fruit Fashions of the Early 1960s

    Jan 15

    It was in the early 1940s that the singer, dancer, actress, Carmen Miranda made waves with her fruit cap piled high with berries and bananas in the musical 'The Gang’s All Here' and it later became her trademark costume. But in the early 1960s, fashion designers, started by Charles W. Davis, began creating lady's dresses, jewelry and hats wit...


  • Polly Pocket Toy

    Jan 13

    The original tiny sets of Polly Pocket Toys were sold for less than a decade, first licensed by small toy company Bluebird in England. The Bluebird company was founded in 1980 with toy creator Torquil Norman’s genius ideas, the first of which was the plastic lunchbox. The first Polly Pocket was created by Chris Wiggs for his young daughter out o...


  • Early American Skyscraper

    Jan 11

    The early skyscraper constructed in Manhattan, New York was named the 'Singer Tower', for the well-known sewing machine company. It was a 612-foot structure, completed in 1908 and the tallest in the world. The architect was Ernest Flagg, with the unique feature of light entering into the center of the skyscraper. He included Old World craftsmanshi...


  • Changes for Ladies

    Jan 9

    During each historic period, there have been styles in hair, appearance and clothing that were demanded. So it was difficult for your female ancestors to meet the norm, no matter how much money was in the family. Here are some examples of what females had to go through to be proper for their time frame. You, your mother or grandmother, for s...


  • Gibson Girls of 1900 – With a Zest for Life

    Jan 7

    You more than likely had female ancestors, aged about 20 years old in 1900. Not all such young ladies, but many took a new look at their life and wanted to be more independent. A new century (20th) and a new 'zest for life' developed. Young women of 1900 were energetic, engaged in their friendships and adventures, more so than young ladies duri...


  • 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...


  • 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...


  • 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...