Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bits From the Past & Treasures

I know we all keep things and we all probably have certain items we collect.  I love OLD things - especially items from my family and anything that seems historical.
I have no idea what I will do with them someday - as none of the youngers in the family seem too interested.  I think they figure most of it is junk.
I know that info on family tree and maybe many other articles might go to a library, so that someone else can enjoy them.

I was cleaning books shelves and came across some items I would like to share,  I hope you enjoy the historical nature of them.

This belonged to my grandma - if you click on picture to enlarge - you will see the copyright date is 1898.  I am going to sit down and read it soon, it does appear to be a novel, but it does sound like something a young wife would be gifted.

The Poetical Works by John Greenleaf Whittier was gifted to my grandpa  in 1881 for attending 45 straight sessions of Sunday school.  It doesn't sound like something you would give a child, but he got it none the less.  He was 12 in 1881.

This is very hard to read - but it is a store ledger from 1867.  My great grandparents owned a store in Covington, KY.  Great grandma had her own "Confectionary" store as well.  I don't understand why grandpa didn't get in on any of this!!!!!!
The writing is difficult at best to read - it is so elegant looking.  It is amazing the prices of things.

Most every dated entry had tobacco listed  - from .10 to .50 depending on amount
2 lb. butter - .50
32 lb. peaches - 3.20
Thread - .10
10# nails - 2.00
1 - bridle - 3.25
Shoes - 2.50
Wool hat 1.50
3 lb. coffee - 1.11
2 3/4 lb. feathers - 1.65
10 lb. sugar - 1.80
2 1/2 yards ribbon - .38
15 yards cotton - 3.11
Castor oil - .20
6 1/2 doz. eggs - 1.30

This gives you some idea of prices.  WOW!  I did think that the price for shoes and the woolen hat were kind of pricey for back them.
Another thing I noticed was that by a few entries of name was the comment "of color",  Blacks were free at that point - but it is still an issue obviously.
Also there was only a handful of names that were women's names.  Women were still not considered heads of house or thought to have their own money.  YET - grandma owed her own store!

These are NOT 'treasures' so much - but have been passed down through the years in the family.  The black one is dated 1901 and the brown one was 1916.  Guess they were trying to be efficient even back then in the workplace.  That is one thing I NEVER learned (thankfully).

These are food ration books from 1942.  How cool.  Three are from 1942 - Mom, Dad, and an Uncle who was staying with them.  Fourth book has no date.  There are even a very few stamps left!
It is amazing to think everyone had these for all the necessities in life.

This is a receipt for the rent Mom & Dad paid on the house they were buying on contract.  1949 - 16.00 per month!  This is the house I grew up in.  I think the entire purchase price was $4,800.  That is some crazy stuff.

I absolutely love seeing things from the past and love learning about what my ancestors went through.  Life was so different then.

It is amazing to me that these items were kept and for many of them  - that the pieces of paper were never tossed away.
I have more goodies that I will post at some future date.  It is just fun to take a walk back in time and see what was going on.

Do you have any old treasures?  Did your family keep things from the past?
I hope you enjoyed this little journey back in time.

click on pictures to enlarge


  1. Interesting. I noticed sugar was also high for the time. Also coffee, tea and tobacco were always the first thing on all lists. I love old things also.

    1. I don't know if had something to do with area or what. I wish we could ask?

  2. Thank you for sharing all this. Stuff like that fascinates me. I am the keeper of the family history and have boxes and boxes of things that still need to be sorted and gone through. Some of my favorites are the Christmas newsletters that were sent out when my mom was a young child. It gives a glimpse into what her life and my grandmother's life was like back then.

    1. Me too. I am the keeper of family stuff.
      Oh my, how cool on the newsletters - that could add tremendous amounts of info. to family history and lore.
      Perhaps you could put them in order and copy and either send some again or place in book form. I would LOVE something like that.
      Give it some thought!

    2. Cheryl, I plan on doing that as a gift for my mother. I know it is something that she will treasure. I'll make a copy to put in my genealogy stuff too.

    3. so happy to hear that. Don't wait too long! Hugs.

  3. You have a treasure trove of beautifully historical pieces, Cheryl. I loved reading the prices on your Grandparent's store ledger. That is so neat. My Mom has items like that in her closet. All the papers from all the cars they bought back then in the early 60s are so interesting to read.

    1. I find it interesting too. I have copies of receipts for Mom's chamber stove and for their first nice frig. I will dig those out soon.

      It is just so cool to see how life was in another time.
      make sure your Mom has a plan for those things IN CASE for someday!!!!

  4. The most interesting heirlooms I own are postcards from the early 1900's(I think the dates are from 1903 on)There are probably a couple hundred and it's funny seeing that there was no house numbers on the street addresses- they simply have the recipients name and street name. Must have been a small town! But the artwork on the cards are incredible, so beautiful and detailed. Also interesting looking at the postage stamps, I wonder if they are worth something.

    1. How cool. The art work could be framed and enjoyed daily too. Or place under glass for a table top, etc.
      You never know - they may be worth something. I have seen cards worth money even though they were written on. Most stamps are not worth anything if they have been stamped by PO - but it would be worth checking into.

      hat a wonderful thing to have. Hope you can find a way to enjoy them on a daily basis.

  5. I have my family Bible from 1870. When my grandparents passed away we found it in their house. As I was the grandchild with the oldest child I was given it. There were photos in the back with dates of births, marriages and deaths written in. I also took a medical book that was my Grandmas from 1930. It is crazy to read some of the things they thought. I find stuff like this very interesting. I was just reading an article about rationing during WWII yesterday.

    1. What a wonderful heirloom to have. I have a large family Bible from my great grandmas side of the family.
      You are very fortunate to be gifted such a wonderful object. I bet the medical book is interesting.

      Keep your heirlooms safe and enjoy them.

  6. I do. I always tell my husband, God forbid their is a fire to grab the kids, the dog and then the Bible. Have a wonderful Easter.

    1. Good idea! Prayers you never have to worry about that!!