Before Pinterest

Have you ever wondered how people wasted their evenings before Pinterest was invented?  Many people in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries kept scrapbooks.  The Historical Society has dozens of scrapbooks in its collection, including this one, created by a little girl named Edna Chandler in the 1880’s.

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 Some scrapbook keepers collected newspaper articles or pictures of celebrities.  Little Edna liked pictures of children and babies.  Most of the images are trade cards with pictures on one side of the card and the details of the item being sold on the back.  These pages include advertisements for Heinz Celery Sauce, farm machinery, Day’s Soap, and Dr. Arnold’s Electric Cough Syrup.  In many cases, however, we don’t know what is actually being sold because the cards are pasted down to the page.

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This card was loose in the scrapbook and has no traces of glue. Perhaps Edna was planning on pasting it in later.  In any case, it gives us the rare chance to read the back of the card, which is full of testimonials about Dr. Petzold’s German Bitters.  They could (apparently) cure everything.

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