COLLECTING: Catalog illustrations Feed

Digital collage, the "Maybe" series of time- traveling ladies.

Liza Cowan digital collage, vintage Kodak ad, greenhouse photo by Liza Cowan at Horsford Nursury Vermont, time travel

I've been busy making digital collages, mostly using a combination of my own photographs and images from vintage Kodak ads, vintage sewing pattern packets, and old ads or images of 19th century ladies in swimming costumes and bicycles. Finding the images is just the first step. 

I separate the people from the background using Photoshop, which can be tedious, but once I have them done, I save them as PNG files and they are ready to go for the next collage. For the Greenhouse picture I  ran my original photo through the Waterlogue app on my iPhone. I do most of my actual design and composing using PicMonkey because it's much easier than Photoshop for this kind of work. For me, anyway. 

how to make digital collage with photoshop, original photos and waterlogue app

Some more examples. 

digital collage by Liza Cowan. Maybe they visited with girl taking photo of cat. vintage kodak ad. Photo by Liza Cowan

Digital collage by Liza cowan. Maybe they liked to play by the shore. 19th century ladies bathing suits, bathing costumes, photo by Liza Cowan at Shelburne Bay, Vermont

Digital composition by Liza Cowan. Alice Austen, Clear Comfort, Staten Island, vintage ladies bathing suits, bathing costumes

Digital collage. Mabye they took pictures in the garden. Liza Cowan photo. Vintage Kodak ads, pug, seagull

Liza Cowandigital collage. garden party. vintage sewing pattern. 1940's ladies slacks.
digital collage by Liza Cowan. Maybe they biked over for a visit. Photo by Liza Cowan, vintage ladies on bicycles, 19th century bicycles

Patriarchy Propaganda: Teach her how to love it.

Patriarchy, Teach her how to love it. Propaganda pamphlet USA circa 1933. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections via Liza Cowan FAKE!™

Advertising is a powerful force for propaganda. Just after World War One, fledgling press agent Edward Bernays returned from The Paris Peace Talks, where he had helped President Woodrow Wilson coin and promote the phrase "Making the world safe for Democracy. Upon his return, he decided to bring his ideas on Mass Persuasion to commerce and then to the US Government. He realized that the term "propaganda" had a negative connotation after the war, so he coined the phrase "Public Relations" and he and his ideas changed the world forever. source

Advertising is propaganda. 

Source material: 1933 Frigidaire advertising booklet, Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections. Liza Cowan FAKE!™ Design. 

New: vintage inspired place mats from Small Equals

seed pack place mats from
Seed Pack placemats

New from my company, Small Equals, three new products using vintage images. These are made in Vermont by Flashbags, using recycled paper, plastic laminte and machine stitching. 


4 seedpacks no text
four seed pack vegetable placemats


Faithful readers of this blog will know that I have been collecting vintage ephemera for years. These images come from seed packs in my collection. The originals were produced using stone lithography, a process which, because it is printed using tiny dots of color, allows for enlargement beautifully. I think the images are very exciting as they grow larger. I hope you agree. 

flower place mats from
Set of four flower placemats
Jello placemats from
set of six place mats with yummy vintage Jell-O images

My love of vintage Jell-O images is well known. I have used these images for place mats before but they were out of production for a few years. Now back, in limited edition, these will certainly create conversation and inspire the appetite. 

All products availble at my online store


Barbie booklet 1958 pages photo ©liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie Booklet 1958. Various pages. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections. All Barbie images ©Mattel International. All photos ©Liza Cowan.

Ebay score! I got two original Barbie booklets, the kind that came with the dolls. How well I remember these. I loved the booklets almost as much as I loved the dolls. Thumbing through them for the first time in over forty years, I am, in my minds eye, nine years old, the year the orignal Barbie came out. I got her as a holiday present, and over the next couple of years I acquired almost every outfit in this book, and I can still feel the textures, the tiny stitches, the petite buttons and hooks and tiny accessories. Barbie and Poor Pitiful Pearl were the only dolls I ever cared for.

Barbie Teen-age fashion model,  book front Liza Cowan Ephemera

Barbie Booklet, Cover. 1958. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections


photo ©Liza Cowan. Barbie booklet 1958, Barbie doll fashion model set, swimsuit, floral petticoat, fashion undergarments Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
Barbie booklet 1958. In her first bathing suit and undergarments. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections


Barbie booklet 1958 floral petticoat detail liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie booklet 1958, floral petticoat, detail

Barbie booklet 1958 sweet dreams, nighty negligee, liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie Booklet, Sweet Dreams. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

photo ©liza Cowan. Barbie booklet 1958 barbie q, friday night date, liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie Booklet 1988. Barbie Q and Friday Night Date.  Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections


photo ©Liza Cowan. Barbie bookelet 1958  busy gal liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie booklet 1958. Busy Gal and Cotton Casual. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.


Barbie booklet 1958 Busy Gal detail liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie booklet. Busy Gal, detail.

photo ©Liza Cowan. Barbie booklet 1958 Sweater girl, suburban shopper and picnic set
Barbie booklet 1958. Sweater Girl, Suburban Shopper, Picnic Set. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

Barbie booklet 1958 sweater girl detail liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie Booklet, 1958, Sweater Girl, detail. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

photo ©Liza Cowan. Barbie booklet 1958 winter holiday liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie booklet 1958. Winter Holiday, Resort Set, Apple Print Sheath, Cruise Stripe Dress. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.


Barbie booklet 1958 Apple Print Sheath, detail
Barbie booklet 1958, Apple Print Sheath. Detail.

photo ©Liza Cowan. Barbie booklet 1958, evening splendor liza cowan ephemera collections
Barbie booklet 1958. Evening Splendor. Liza Cowan ephemera Collections.

Barbie booklet 1958, peachy fleecy coat detail.
Barbie Booklet 1958, Peachy Fleecy Coat, detail


Barbie booklet 1958, Let's Dance, Enchanted Evening

Barbie Booklet 1958, Let's Dance, Enchanted Evening. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

Barbie booklet 1958, silken flame, commuter set
Barbie Booklet, Silken Flame, Commuter Set. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections. 

Barbie booklet 1958   commuter detail
Barbie Booklet, 1958, Commuter, detail. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

Barbie booklet 1958 solo in the spotlight, plantation belle, Liza Cowan ephemera collections
Barbie Booklet 1958 Solo In The Spotlight, Plantation Belle Dress Set, Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

Barbie wedding signed
Barbie Booklet, 1958. Wedding Dress. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections


For more about Barbie I suggest these two books:

Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll by M.G. Lord 

The Good, The Bad, And The Barbie: A Doll's History And Her Impact On Us by Tanya Stone.


 aching back, Heal your kidneys, detail, woman with back pain, kidney pain, medicine 1912
Detail, illustration from DeWitt's 200 year calender circa 1912. PSAW ephemera collections

My back went into spasm last week and I spent the most of the week in  pain and immobile.  I'm doing much much better this week. Good enough to be at work part time and figure out which of my many ephemera items would have some nifty bad back illustrations.

 Heal your kidneys, dewitts 1912, kidneys 1912, pills 1912, cleanse poison from your system
Heal Your Kidneys, DeWitts pills 1912. PSAW ephemera collections

It's not my kidneys, or rheumatism, or any other ailment that DeWitt's  pills were supposed to cure. Goodness knows what was in those little pills. It was after the pure food and drug act of 1906, so they probably weren't filled with 90 proof alcohol.

 aching back, Rheumatism 1912, detail, woman with bad back, woman holding her back, medicine 1912
Detail, DeWitts 200 year calender, circa 1912, Rheumatism. PSAW ephemera collections.

I did feel just about like this last week. Ouch ouch ouch.

 Bottle deWitt's kidney and bladder pills bottle

 Rheumatism, 1912, medicine 1912, dewitts pills, woman with bad back, rheumatic pills 1912
Rheumatism, illustration, DeWitt's 200 year calendar circa 1912. PSAW ephemera collections

 Your health is your capitol, dewitt's pills, health 1912, bad back 1912
Your Health Is Your Capital, DeWitt's 200 Year Calender, circa 1912. PSAW ephemera collections

Yep, I agree. Your health is your capital. I'm feeling pretty good now, and mighty glad I can visit my CranioSacral practitioner, chug Advil, and skip the DeWitt's, even though they still make pain pills.

I hope you are feeling good.


 Rockwell Kent, The home decorator and color guide, sherwin wiliams paint, 1939

 The Home Decorator And Color Guide, Rockwell Kent,  Sherwin Williams 1939. PSAW ephemera collections

 Rockwell Kent, artist, author, adventurer, illustrator and political activist,  might have been the most famous artist hired by Sherwin Williams for their catalogs. This is arguably their most famous catalog. Printed in 1939, it is filled with lavish Rockwell Kent illustrations and prose.

"The Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University of New York, contains the most complete and balanced collection of Rockwell Kent's work in the United States. The gallery, located in the Feinberg Library, and the Feinberg Library Special Collections provide an excellent overview of the art, literary merit and political beliefs of Kent, and affords an unusual resource to scholars and students of twentieth century American art and of Rockwell Kent's growth as an artist and advocate for social justice"

Kent also experimented with reverse painting under glass, some of which are at Plattsburg. Someday soon I will take the ferry across Lake Champlain and pay a visit.

 Sherwin Williams paint, the home decorator and color guide, Rockwell Kent, 1939, p
Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, 1939. Page 1.

The copy in this entire catalog is by Kent, who, in addition to studying painting, studied architecture at Columbia University:

"Half of the lives of most of us are spent a home. And HOME is what 'the woman' makes the house we live in to be. Good architecture, good taste in decoration, may be reduced to this: A good house is a house where people can be happy."

 Rockwell Kent, sherwin williams paint, home decorator and paint guide, 1939, p
Rockwell Kent, As You Make Your Bed, Sherwin Williams 1939. PSAW ephemera collections.

"I have slept in the bed of the King Of Bulgaria and I have slept in warm reindeer skins on the hard ice of the frozen arctic sea. Tents, caves, shacks, lean-to's, barns, abandoned tenements; old wrecks of houses, brand new houses, little houses, big ones, clear up to the scale to palaces - and down again. Where it has been my right to fix such dwelling places up - if only for a transient stay - to fix them, make them be like home, I have. That's been a passion of my life. And if i were to declare which home of those I've had I've loved the most, I'd say: the one that's still unfinished"

 Rockwell kent, sherwin williams paint, home decorator and paint guide, 1939 , home before and after, huge tree,

Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, 1939. PSAW ephemera collections

"Who of us, looking back to childhood, doesn't recall the houses that we built of chairs and tables hung about with shawls? How wonderful it was to crawl into them, close the door, and sit there all cramped up, breathing their fetid air in glamorous twilight. Our parents home was for a time in life, to us, a vast, impersonal world. We built to shut it out, and later in the larger world we were to build those refuges from the impersonal and vast which we call HOME."

 Rockwell kent, sherwin williams, home decorator and color guide, wallpapers, 1939
Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Wiliams 1939. PSAW ephemera collection

Notice the books on the shelf. They are all by Kent:

 138683283-0-m 9780819552921
9780819564092 Rockwellkentwilderness
Books by Rockwell Kent: N by E, published 1930, Salamina Published 1935, Voyaging published 1924, Wilderness Published 1920

 Rockwell kent, sherwin williams, home decorator and paint guide, 1939, wallpaper in every style, Sherwin wiliams, rockwell kent, home decorator and color guide, 1939 wall paper for every roomRockwell kent, sherwin williams, home decorator and color guide, 1939, wallpaper to every taste
  Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, 1939, Wallpaper

 Rockwell kent, sherwin williams, 1939, home decorator and color guide, p 22, 1939 , ship masthead over doorway
Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, 1939

"The old house farther out from town around the bay, being in no degree a mansion, was more inviting to the style of living which I thought our fifty Dollars a month might comfortably yield the five of us- a style to which, to tell the truth, we were accustomed. The house, they said, had not been lived in for fully twenty years; and through what weather and bad boys had done, I didn't question it. But it had style....I scraped and smoothed its weather beaten boards, filled them and painted them. Old lilac bushed stood around the house, their background was the bay; lilac and blue and a green hillside bright with dandelions; and the house - pure white. The doors I painted peacock green -all except one which, for the fun of it I painted pink. So far, so good.

 Rockwell kent, sherwin wiliams, ships mast head, figure head, doorway

"then one day I discovered an old ship's figure head in somebody's back - yard. It was a girl - of course- they mostly are- but quite forlorn, impoverished and unkempt. I couldn't buy her so I borrowed her. I washed and scraped and sanded her; I painted her skin an ivory white, put roses in her cheeks, made her hair and eyebrows black, penciled her eyes; I hung gold pendants from her ears and a necklace around her throat; I clothed her in splendor. Ad so that all people would love to come to our house, Iput her up over the front door from where she looked out day and night over that sea which had once been her world. Yet my bedizing her was her undoing; Years later, going upon some errand into a fashionable antique shop in New York, I saw her once again. She wore the gown, roses, jewels I had given her. She was for sale, and I was poor. She cut me dead."

 Rockwell kent sherwin williamsns woman with basket
  Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, 1939 p. back cover fold -over

 Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, a paint primer, 1939
Rockwell Kent, Sherwin Williams, 1939

SHERWIN WILLIAMS 1934-The New Home Decorator

Old catalogs give us a peek into the lives, homes, tastes of either real or idealized consumers. Here's a vintage Sherwin Williams Paint Catalog, and its idea of the home of the American family of 1934.

1934- The US was in The Great Depression, Oklahoma was becoming The Dust Bowl, Hitler was on the rise, Mao Tse Tung began the 6,000 mile march, nylon was invented, Donald Duck made his first appearance in a movie, Babe Ruth hit his 700th Home Run, RCA Victor released the first 33 1/3 RPM (long play) record. The average new home cost $6,000, a gallon of gas cost ten cents. What can you read into this  1934 Sherwin Williams Catalog?


Sherwin Williams, New Home Decorator, 1934, cover, women in conversation
The New Home Decorator. Sherwin Williams. Liza Cowan ephemera collections

Sherwin Williams, The New Home Decorator, 1934 Cover



Sherwin Williams, the new home decorator
Sherwin Willams, 1934, The Joys Of Colorful LivingLiza Cowan Ephemera Collections

Sherwin Williams, 1934, The Joys Of Colorful Living

"Years of Lasting Happiness can be achieved with Sherwin-Williams Quality Paint. Painting offers the most natural way in the world to escape the drabness of dingy surroundings. We can see Nature busily engaged in the selfsame process on every hand. As she hides the grimness of winter landscape with every fresh snowfall she suggests how completely dingy houses and shabby woodwork can be transformed with paint."

Metaphor? Prescription?? I love the language: dense, descriptive and flowery. Why, even the rocks and flowers are provide for our enjoyment. By the landscaper or by God, we are not told.

"No place on earth is too barren for Nature to dress in color. Some of our softest woodwork and wall colors are suggested by the desert sands, the lava grays and the sage brush. Natural earths are dug up for our siennas, umbers, browns and terra verte, From iron ore comes a wide variety of reds and purples. If fact everywhere we go we have only to look with open eyes to see how generously color is provided for our enjoyment in rocks, sand, sea and flowers."




Sherwin Williams, The Modern Dining Room, 1934
Sherwin Williams, The Modern Dining Room 1934

"Even the home of romping children can have this sunny dining room because tell-tale finger marks tell their tale only once with washable flat-Tone Walls."



 Sherwin williams the new decorator, 1934
Sherwin Williams 1934, A Homey Living Room

"You will observe that your friends will notice and comment upon your painted walls. They are quick to sense a tailor-made quality which is just as individual in decoration as it is in clothing"




Sherwin Williams, 1934, S-W velvet finish varnish woman varnish table
Sherwin Williams, velvet finish varnish 1934. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

Elegant, tailored, but still the housewife is the one doing the painting in this picture. There are some in the catalog where a professional is doing the work. You can tell because he is wearing painter whites, and a cap.  The Depression is hitting everyone. She is still in an apron and high heels, though.



Sherwin williams 1934 dex linoleum varnish
Sherwin Wiliams, DEX Linoleum Varnish. 1934, Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections


 Sherwin williams, 1934, more beautiful kitchens
Sherwin Williams, 1934, More Beautiful Kitchens

"The colors you like, easily kept immaculate - that's what makes a happy kitchen"



 Sherwin williams, 1934, Breakfast room, breakfast nook
Sherwin Williams, 1934, Breakfast Room, Breakfast Nook

"Here's a suggestion: Tack up a little sign over the breafast room door to read, "OUR COFFEE SHOPPE" The proceed to make it the cheeriest little corner you know how...just as if you were in dead earnest to attract particular customers to sample "the finest home cooking!"



 Sherwin williams, 1934, the living porch, recreation room, ping pong
Sherwin Williams, 1934, The Living Porch, Recreation Room

"What happens to the children's clothing when they play and tumble around on the average porch? The answer tells why mothers get gray! ...A housewife can thoroughly enjoy a porch like this because it measures up to her idea of cleanliness."

The subtext to this, and to the rec room, I think, is that in hard times, clothing must be carefully preserved, middle class household can't afford servants to do the laundry, and we take our vacations at home. Reminds me of commercials on TV now that feature people camping in their back yards, picniking in their living rooms. Hard times.


 Sherwin williams, joys of colorful living with sw enamaloid 1934
Sherwin Williams, 1934, Enameloid


"Begin your Joys of Colorful Living with S-W Enameloid. "Its fun to do such jobs as these with Enameloid because all the hard work and inconvenience have been taken out...We suggest that you look over pieces in your home, similar to those illustrated here. See if re=finishing a few pieces in your spare moments will not offer a solution to the new color scheme for the home."



 Sherwin williams 1924, well painted homes are the best evidence of a good farm
Sherwin Williams, 1934, Evidence of a good farm

"A barn like this painted in S-W Comonweath Bard Red is a mark of distinction. It is an evidence of thrift, good sound business judgment and an appreciation of the value of good appearance."


  Sherwin williams farm, framed
Jane Winfrey's great grandfather's farm, Kansasville, KS, painted for Sherwin-Williams advertising 1934


Wonder of wonders, this came in from a reader -  the great grand daughter of the farm's owner :

Gobsmacked by Commonwealth Barn Red: Jane Winfrey

I just came upon an image I've yearned to find for decades! In the 1930s Sherwin Williams featured houses that fit right into the Blandings fantasy. The houses were painted by S-W in exchange for the right to use them in advertisements. My great-grandfather's farm was the illustration for one of the ads. Family lore had it that he was very pleased with himself for having had the farm painted at no expense. My Dad spent summers there and remembered the ad in The Saturday Evening Post. But in keeping with a Kansasville, WI, no-nonsense sensibility, no one in the family held on to a copy. It might have seemed, well, too full of oneself.

In the 1950s Dad's aunt ran the farm and visits there were heaven for my cousins and me. I learned to ride on a retired Tennessee walker and have remained horse crazy all my life. The barns, the Guernseys, the enormous kitchen where our great aunt would serve meals for all the farm help - are all irrevocably of an era so far in the past it may as well be centuries.


It passed along this way.  My great-grandparents had three sons and one daughter, Maude.  When the four of them inherited the farm Maude had been married and - horrors! - gotten divorced. Since a divorced mother would have no way of supporting herself - how could she have a job if she had a child? - my grandfather and his two brothers gave her their shares of the farm so she would  "have a home and something to fall back on." 

The brothers went on to become engineers, etc. in Chicago and New York but always looked upon the farm as a perpetual guesthouse.  Two generations more or less maintained bedrooms, stored stuff in barns, generally enjoyed themselves and helped out a bit, and brought their kids to learn how it all worked. 

Maude's last survivor, her daughter-in-law, sold the farm in the 1960s.  There was no one to continue it but many of us with memories that made deep impressions, all good.


Scrolling through Liza's vintage booklet of bakelite colors and housewives in heels was so entertaining. I was completely startled to see the farm and in a flash of recognition become nine years old. I am not tall enough to throw the saddle over a horse's back so my 70 year old aunt is helping me. She would never fathom the life I would lead. The barn was probably still Sherwin Williams Commonwealth Red.

Hart Schaffner & Marx, Coats for women, 1924

I found another great Hart Schaffner & Marx catalog.

 Hart Schaffner & Marx, 1924, Coats for women,
Hart Schaffner & Marx, Coats for women 1924

 Hart Schaffner & Marx, coats for women 1925, illustration
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats For Women Spring & Summer 1924 Chicago NY

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for womn, ancient tracery, paris hat shop, 1924
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats For Women 1924

"This coat is ancient tracery; long, straight lines. The scene is in a Paris hat shop."

"You'll be interested to know that the artist who created these pictures made a special trip to Europe to secure his backgrounds" Lucky guy

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for women, 1924, market in Naples, carfree drape, london to paris aeroplane
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats for Women 1924

"At a market in Naples- A coat for all-around wear with a carefree drape."
"A coat with the Paris silhouette and a London to Paris aeroplane"

Imperial Airways was  Britain’s main international airline between 1924 and 1939. It enjoyed semi-official status, as it was subsidised by the British government, and had the contract to deliver air mail throughout the Empire. source

Imperial Airways, The Only British Air-Line, 1925

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for women 1924, at deauville, at the louvre
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats For Women 1924

"At Deauville-A sport coat that has the swing and drape that stylish women like"

"At the Louvre, Paris - This lissom street coat has a collar of soft spring fun"

     Deauville circa 1920, poster by Don. source

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for women 1924, Exceslior Hotel Lido venice, in switzerland coat hiking,
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats For Women 1924

"Excelsior Hotel, Lido, Venice - There's delicate distinction in thei straight lines and airy fur. "

"In Switzerland - A sturdy coat for sport - swagger touches in the plaids, collar and pocket."

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for women 1924, Tower of london, plaits at side, tennis at wimbledon, sport coat, tennis raquet,
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats For Women 1924

"Tower of London - A new three quarter coat; adroit plaits at side; standup collar"

"Tennis at Wimbledon - The gay, vigorous sport coat is always ready to throw on"

Kitty McKane won the Ladies Single at Wimbledon 1924

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for women 1924, St Marks venice, loose wrappy coat, pigeons, orange hat, on the bois,
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats for Women 1924

"St. Marks, Venice - the loose, wrappy coat has graceful contours and commodious pockets"

"On the 'Bois' - A spring wrap with a single fastening and rich fur"

 Hart schaffner marx, coats for women, at the races Longchamps, on board the maretania, shuffleboard
Hart Schaffner & Marx Coats For Women 1924

"At the races at Longchamps -A smart little three-quarter length coat"

"On board the Mauretania -You see the ideal coat for active wear, long sweeping lines"


The Mauretania

Do you have beautiful pieces in your collections that you don't know how to display?

If they are small, like the HSM books, think about using the Canetti magnet frame. Made of pure acrylic, they are archivaly safe, easy as pie to use, and simply stunning. Holds art, photos, up to 5x7 inches. You can't go wrong.

The Magnet Frame by Canetti

War and men's clothing: Hart Schaffner & Marx, 1917

In 1917 American clothing manufacturer Hart Schaffner & Marx was making military uniforms in addition to their stylish everyday and sporting clothing. In this brochure, they sell the idea that military design translates to everyday and sporting wear. Not a new idea, but one that has lasted.

  Hart shaffner marx style book cover Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
Hart Schaffner & Marx style book,  1917, Cover. PSAW ephemera collections


 Hart shaffner & Marx style book for men and young men fall and winter 1917-1918
Hart Schaffner & Marx, Style Book For Men and Young Men. 1917.



  hart shaffner marx style book, elegant young man, spats, dandy with walking stick Liza Cowan Ephemera CollectionsLI
Hart Schaffner & Marx. Style Book

"Insist on all Wool. It is more important than ever to be careful what you get in clothes. Woolen fabrics give longer service, fit better and hold their shape; they are cheapened if mixed with cotton"


  5 hart shaffner marx style book for men, 1917, military uniforms world war one, man in jodphurs, men in plus four, woman sitting on fence, elegant men, woman in spats, Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
Hart Schaffner & Marx 1917.

"We make officers' uniforms of all wool cloths, many different weights and weaves"

Notice that they do not make uniforms for the enlisted men. Nor do they show the officers in combat. That probably wouldn't sell much merchandise for them.

  Hart Schaffner Marx illustration Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
Hart Shaffner & Marx 1917

"You'd expect clothes this fall to have the military touch in the models; they have. In suits and overcoats, you'll find it evident; gives a new vigor and snap that most men will like."


  hart schaffner marx style book, elegant men 1917, man in trench coat, men in spats Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
Hart Schaffner & Marx 1917

"Economy is one of the war-cries. The best economy is not in cheaper quality, but in better. "


 Hart schaffner marx style book 1917
Hart Schaffner& Marx 1917

"Sport and military models are too good to be confined to sports or the military. They're for any time or place. Most men look well in them; young men especially"


14 hart shaffner marx style book 1917

This snazzy little advertising brochure features illustrations by two different artists. Although JC Leyendecker became famous for his HS&M ads, as did Edward Penfield, I don't think this is their work.

 Two quiz questions:

1) who illustrated the HS&M brochure?

2) Who knows the source of this often repeated but rarely cited quotation from Diana Vreeland:

"Uniforms are the sportswear of the 19th Century"

And I don't actually know the answers, so include your references.

Jello Desserts From Around The World.

In this week's mail: the great Jello book I blogged about recently.

This booklet, Desserts From Around the World, is from 1909, almost a hundred years old! It features very Eurocentric versions of people from around the globe and the Jell-0 recipes they've inspired. Here's the centerfold.

 jello desserts of the world centerfold. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

so you can see the details better:

Jello deserts from around the world centerfold, detail. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

Jello. The model is Elizabeth King. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections. Li


This one is the Paris Jello eaters. The Eurocentric version of Parisians is, of course, pretty accurate, Paris being a fairly European city.

Jello Desserts, Paris. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

The view of Eve in the Garden Of Eden- eating apple snow Jello - is a riot. I love her garment made of fig leaves. And the text - check out the embedded assumptions:  "Whether woman has always been privileged to prepare man's food for him or not, and to persuade him to eat, is a point on which history furnished unsatisfactory information." But hey, in 1909 women in the United States couldn't even vote.

Jello Desserts. Eve in the Garden Of Eden. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

There are additional pages for the Indians (i.e. Native Americans), "now a vanishing race," as well as natives of India, Hawaii,  Japanese, Russia, "oriental countries," and Holland. With enough encouragement, I will post some of these pictures.



Here are some fun finds from a 1938 Spiegel Catalog.

Spiegel 1938 cotton blog
Love the little camera she's holding.

Spiegel 1938 stove blog

Spiegel 1938 boys outfit blog
There were no similar outfits for little girls. Hmmm, I wonder why.

Spiegel 1938 cover blog
The cover. The text says, "The best thing in life is a happy, comfortable, attractive home. When the day's work is done, it's our haven of peace and quiet, rest, pleasure and security."  What the text deletes is that the day's work for the wife is at home, working hard to provide that peace quiet etc.

Spiegel 1938 cover detail blog
Spiegel 1938 Cover, detail. At first I thought this was a peddler, which would be appropriate since my Spiegel relatives came to America and worked as peddlers, eventually starting the store that would become Spiegels. However, on closer inspection he seems to be an itinerant knife sharpener. His clothing style doesn't match the clothing style of the woman and girl, and the proportions of the people to the house are way out of  scale, so I suspect the whole image is rather fanciful.