Friday, January 16, 2009

Then and now

One of the things that I do, is work with my husband in our advertising business. It is so interesting how many different things we get to learn about because of our business. Right now we are working on a story to be published inside a phone book. The proposed topic is local museums. That means that we are visiting each museum in the area as research. Hubby takes photos and I will write the story. I've lived here for over 20 years, and I have not visited these places, ever. Wow. Was I missing out!! We live in the Gold Rush area. It was a unique time in history.

If you like history, you might enjoy my little tour of the Museum in San Andreas California.

If you are reading this, you are sitting at a computer. And, as your fingers fly across the keyboard, consider what it would be like if this early typewriter was the LATEST technology.

You really had to hit those keys to make it happen. And, if you made a mistake.....

This would be your office if you had a professional job. It's the Judge's office next to the Courtroom.

Imagine typing documents all day on this!!

Let's take a look at home life.

When you got up this morning, you most likely had a regular routine. Get up, get dressed, fix something to eat....check email!!

What if you had to get up and light the stove before you could even think about having coffee or tea! You would probably get up way before everyone else, so you could start fixing breakfast!

What are you wearing right now? Something comfy? I'm in a's my uniform!! Look at the average outfit here. Brown dress (drab), probably the same one most days. And, doesn't look comfy!!

And, the table is all set for breakfast. You would have baked the bread and biscuits, yourself!

And... you would have churned the butter yourself. These days the discussion is about margarine vs butter, or maybe a butter "substitute". In these old times, you would be talking about whether to use the standing butter churn or the newer foot pedal model. Why was butter churning such a big deal?

This is the washing machine (center-the barrell). Is it wash day? Want to do a quick load? Looks like an all day chore if you ask me!!

I like to straighten and clean up the kitchen in the morning. Look at this kitchen. Wow. it's small! Where are all the appliances?

What did your kids wear to school today? This child's outfit was so lovingly made. Look at the tiny shoes!! How often did this kid wear this dress up suit? Look at his toys below. Probably didn't have a lot of toys. Certainly nothing like video games!! He probably started doing chores, and lot's of them at a very early age!

When was the last time you moved. Were you amazed by the sheer amount of stuff you own? Back in these olden days, people didn't have much. So, what they had held more importance and value. A mirror, a comb, a hair dryer, straightener, electric curlers. I read that they didn't shampoo their hair often, maybe once a week or even once a month! That's why the 100 brush strokes, to kind of clean your hair and distribute the oils. I wonder if it was itchy?

I love the decorating blogs so much. I find decorating to be very fun! Back then, decor was minimal. Everything you had, was made by you or someone close to you. This lace bed set was probably a prized possesion. And, of course the quilts...not just for comfy and warm!!

Do you think it would be YOUR job to empty the chamber pot? Ugh.

What? No TV? No American Idol? What the heck would we do with ourselves? Talk? Read? Sing and play music. Probably just sleep. We would all be so tired from all the hard work all day!!

This is from a church that was demolished to make way for a dam. I imagine that Church was the center of one's social life as well as spiritual life.

I love clothes and fashion. I could buy new clothes everyday!! I also like to make clothes, but I hardly am ever satisfied with the results. I'm sure some people could buy ready made or tailored clothing, but most people made their own. This jacket....all those buttons! What a lot of work. Wouldn't they love a zipper?

When you look at these clothes, the people were most certainly smaller. Positively TINY! Was it all the labor? Or are we just evolving into bigger humans? Even the feet/shoes were teeny tiny!

I love to bead. It's a hobby. This purse would have take me forever, IF I could have done it at all. That would have been a highly valuable possession.

Need a new rug? Run to Target. Or sit at this loom and make one yourself!!

This sewing machine sews one direction. Compared to sewing EVERYTHING by hand, it was a marvelous invention. Compare this to the latest high tech machines of today... wow!

Got Yarn? Are you a knitter? Do you enjoy yarn shopping? Looking through rows and rows of colorful choices? What if you had to use this to get yarn? Nice for a hobby, but I would want to HAVE to!

This piano was either a prized possession or belonged to a wealthy family. So ornate!

Taking a trip? What to bring? My suitcases are so wonderful. Loads of compartments, zippers, handles, rolling wheels. Take a look at these. Of course, you wouldn't have all that much to bring, would you?

For and extended trip or moving, you would need a trunk! Some people, maybe MOST people, could pack ALL their belongings in one of these!

Or you could copy the neighbors and go for a really simple lifestyle. This is a miwok home.

These are some baskets. The center piece is a baby carrier. Wow, these days a baby requires SO much stuff. This is all the indian woman needed for her baby. They strapped the baby in and carried him/her on their back and went on with life as usual. The baby was supposed to learn from being confined, to observe and behave with control.

For BIG time baking, this brick oven was used. Looks like a lot of work. Hope it tastes really good!! Pizza anyone?

If you had any time left over, you might hitch up your pony cart and visit a neighbor.

It had a small place for storage in the back.

This is a little example of ways that gold was mined. They would have a donkey attached to this and have it walk around and around crushing rocks to be examined for gold.

I hope you enjoyed your little trip back in time.

I hope that sometime today, you reflect on the magical wonders of modern times and modern technology.

And, if you haven't visited your local museums, take the time to go take a look, it's fascinating!!



  1. That was the most wonderful and informative post! I love history and museums--but my hubby is nuts over it. He would really love to tour this one!
    You did a great job. Thanks!

  2. I never would have survived in that time period but I love all the old things (except the clothes)

  3. Wonderful post! You did a great job with it. I really enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures. Museums are fun to visit. We go to one every now and then.

  4. WOW one of the best trips I have taken of late...a truly awesome awesome post!! I love vintage, but yes...they had some things very ROUGH !
    I count my blessings!

  5. What a great museum! I love places like that! It reminds me of how easy we really have it. I sometimes wish I lived back in those days but then when I come to my senses, I'm glad God chose this era to place me in! hee

  6. Stephanie, that was quite a fabulous post. I really enjoyed reading it and the photos were fabulous, especially the fortepiano ~ I would be beside myself to own one!


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