As I think I’ve mentioned before, I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books as a child. I first read them when I was five, and reread them frequently until I was around nine. My paternal grandmother even made me a rag doll like Charlotte, Laura’s doll. I wasn’t into playing with dolls, but I sewed clothes for my Charlotte. Those books are where I developed an interest in older ways of doing things, which eventually led me to spinning and weaving.

(Being a baby bisexual, I had a huge crush on the teenage version of Laura. I wanted to go back in time and impress her so much that she’d marry me instead of Almanzo.)

The books frequently reference Godey’s Lady’s Book. It was a periodical that featured fashion, fiction, articles, music, recipes, and more. It was quarterly, and it was very popular in the mid to late 1800s.

A guild member gave me a volume of it last night. I’m gobsmacked. Huge thanks to B! Here are a few pictures. Click to enlarge.

Edited to add: a year’s subscription (4 issues) was $10. I looked it up. That would be $300 in 2023 dollars. Damn.

Categories: History


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