Saturday, January 31, 2009

gimbel's fashion catalog, 1915

I found this gem about two years ago on I've always wanted a fashion catalog from the Edwardian Era, and I think I'm going to continue looking for more. It is so fun to read and use as research for my writing.

I'll show you a few of my favorite pages. I've searched all over the place to find out about the inflation rate and how it compares today. I read on a discussion board that a dollar today was like 5 cents in 1915. It was on a discussion board, though, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt... Here are some interesting prices:

$7.95, $15.00, $15.00, $10.75
The prices for the cover picture (shown above) from left to right

"Boys' Cool Wash Suits for Vacation Days"
"Intermediate and Junior Girls' Dainty Dresses"
"Bath Robes and Charming Negligees"
$1.50-10.00 (a full dress)
"Cleverly-Planned Maternity Wear"
"Wonderful Blouses of Silk and Lace"

"America Combines Empire and Victorian Modes" (my favorites)...

(Left to Right)
15.00, Beautiful Combination Dress (My Favorite)
Made of "soft, clinging chiffon-stripped, corduroy, and fine voile... Finished with Persian silk belt." Shades of rose or Copenhagen.
$15.00, Dancing Dress(MY VERY FAVORITE)
Chiffon sleeves with Empire waist with corded shirring and enriched by a rose corsage. Shades of orchid pink, blue, or Nile green.
$13.75, Afternoon Dress
Made of taffeta and sheer voile (?). Shades of new brown, rose, or Copenhagen.
$10.00, Dancing Dress
Made of chiffon and satin. Shades of light blue, maize, pink, or Nile green.

I loved some of the titles of the pages:
"For Carriage, Auto or Seashore Wear, a Coat is Indispensable"
"Floral Mounts--The Queen of Summer Millinery Trimmings"
"Have you a Penchant for Your Particular Birthstone?"
"Modest Prices and Much Merit are a Gimbel Combination"
"This is an Interesting Page as to Goods and Values"

There you have it. If any one else wants to me to post more from this catalog, especially pictures, let me know.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

the lusitania... need i say more?

Okay, I'll admit it. I am obsessed with the Lusitania and Titanic. I hate to say it, but this blog is going to be filled with information I have learned and continue learning about both ships, but mainly the Lusitania, since it is way more interesting for me to study.

The above is a tea cup created by Cunard Line. A line I plan to sail on one day. According to my research, this tea cup was used in the Verandah Cafe. A beautiful cafe on the Lusitania that was half indoors and half outdoors with a garden feel--first class passengers only, of course.

If any one's looking for a gift (Valentine's perhaps, Jeffrey?)--this would be perfect! ;) I found this image on Ebay, I believe.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I think I'm going to have way too much fun with this blog.

As I was looking at MyPlaylist for songs to fit my new historically romantic blog, I came across ragtime music. How I love ragtime! If I could dance, I would learn ragtime dancing--maybe I will anyway.

If you've ever thought about music, there is an endless repetition of scandal. Beginning, as far as I can tell, with the waltz in the 1800s--too close! Then, in the late 1800s, early 1900s, came ragtime. An awesome precursor to jazz, then rock and roll, (both words, my English professor tells me, used to be slang for sex), then the Beatles (gasp!), and eighties music... a category all its own... And rap... To think that one hundred years ago parents were complaining about the scandalous ragtime! What would be a parent's reaction today if a child listened to that kind of music? My dad's was: "You're weird." Hm... history is so interesting.

Here's some great instructions directly from the Castles.

(I know the images are small, but click on them to see the full instructions.)


I have always been intrigued by blogs with an actual theme, and while I was thinking about a topic I could use, I thought, what am I passionate about?

Immediately the answer came. History, reading, and writing.

This is the beginning of my theme blog, Historically Romantic. Here I want to post anything historical I may be studying, and hopefully, connect it to my writing. I also love creating graphics, and will be using my favorite historical paintings, photos, art, etc., to create something... artistic...?

This image I colored using Paint Shop Pro. It was a black and white image of Lillian Gish, one of my favorite moving picture actresses. Yay for United Artist founders!