Category Archives: Tidbits and Facts

Stunning Zorita……

Adopted by strict Methodist parents as a child, she was discovered via a beauty pageant and became a burlesque artist in 1935. Her specialties were a twenty minute dance with two boa constrictors, `Elmer’ and `Oscar’, and her `Dance of the Wandering Hands’. It was only in 1954 that she stopped stripping, to run a number of different nightclubs in the New York and Miami areas. Although she taught younger girls routines, she refused to let go the secrets of her famous snake dance.

Zorita was  ‘Queen of the flashers,’  meaning that when the cops were not in attendence looking for a reason to shut it down, the audience would see alot more than the PoPo would. Zorita liked women more than men and never married but did date certain men and used them for all they were worth. She became very famous in the world of burlesque and by 1954 had retired from stripping while owning her own burlesques nightclubs in the New York and Miami areas. She appeared intermittently in films throughout her career. In 1974 she retired to Florida, where she bred Persian cats.

 

 


10 fun Edwardian facts

 

Edwardian England — 1901 – 1910 (though the era generally includes the years up to the Great War in 1914)

10. The speed limit for motorcars in 1902 was 12 mph, though Miss Dorothy Levitt set a world record for women by driving 91 mph that same year. She was forever being fined for breaking the speed limit, so she recommended that ladies join the Automobile Assocation (annual subscription–two guineas), whose ‘scouts’ would warn drivers of nearby speed traps.

9. The Ladies’ Automobile Association was founded in 1903, and the first president was the Baroness Campbell de Laurentz.

8. Shops catered to female motorists, providing flannel-lined leather motoring knickers, three-quarter length leather coats with storm fronts and sleeve wind guards, silk head-veils, tweed coats lined with fur or fleece, goggles, and special driving gloves.

8. Ladies also like to cycle, roller-skate (called ‘rinking’ then), play tennis and golf. Both Burberry and Harrod’s offerred specialty clothing for these activities, such as golf suits, golf knickers, cycling knickers, and even a special cycling skirt that divided at the back to fall ‘modestly’ on either side of the seat.

7. Speaking of clothing, the Edwardian lady wore *many* layers. The first undergarment layer was the ‘combinations’ –a sort of vest and pants in one, reaching to the knees (either with short sleeves, or shoulder straps). Over that, a lady wore a corset, its busks fastened with metal clips down the front, and laced up the back. Sometimes they would attach silk pads to the hips and under the arms to heighten the ‘hourglass’ look, making the waist appear more slender. Then came the camisole (sometimes called a ‘petticoat bodice’), sort of an under-blouse that buttoned up the front. Then came the knickers with lace frills at the knee–sometimes they buttoned at the waist, and sometimes they were tied with tapes (knickers and camisoles, by the way, were always white). Then came silk stockings–black, white, or grey–held up by garters. The last of the undergarments was the waist-petticoat made of silk or lawn. The waist-petticoat was tied around the waist. Finally, after all that, the lady would put on either a dress or skirt and blouse. If she wore a blouse and skirt, then she also wore a stiffened belt that fastened in the front and was pinned to the undergarments in the back so that there could never be a gap. Add to that hat, shoes, and gloves, and, well….just imagine how long it took to get dressed and undressed!

6. Electricity was widespread at this point, though some country houses were slower to convert than town houses and might, perhaps, still have gas lighting in the servants’ quarters.

5. Edwardian ladies loved cosmetics–and the fashionable look was unnaturally pale. The cosmetics of the era were chemical-based, rather than the herbal ones of earlier centuries, and were often very damaging to the skin. The first layer a lady might apply was a white face paint, made of white lead in a cream base, called ‘enamel.’ After that came rice powder or pearl powder, followed by rouge and lip-rouge. Some women had their lips and cheeks tattooed to stay permanently colored. Eye makeup generally wasn’t common except for eyebrow pencil, though the ladies sometimes brightened their eyes with the terribly dangerous drops of belladonna. Before 1909, women quietly shopped for cosmetics, heavily veiled, coming through back doors of salons. But in 1909, Gordon Selfridge opened a new store in Oxford Street where he placed cosmetics on open display and encouraged ladies to select and experiment. After that, other stores followed his lead and women began to purchase cosmetics out in the open.

4. As for scents, the most popular of the era was violet. Other popular scents included Jordan Water, Atkinson’s lavender, or heliotrope, orris root, or roses. The faint smell of sweat was referred to elegantly as “bouquet de corsage” and was claimed to be attractive to gentlemen (good thing, with all those layers of clothing!).

3. Brown hair was considered the height of fashion–particularly ‘nut brown’ hair or chestnut. It was considered very unfortunate during the Edwardian era to be blond.

2. There was a short-lived trend in the opening of the Edwardian era of breast piercing. The nipples were pierced and fitted with tiny gold rings said to improve the bust line and make it curvier, and to produce a pleasant sensation as the rings moved against the clothing.

1. Edwardian women were still mostly educated at home, taking lessons with their governesses. Some young ladies were sent to finishing school abroad–mostly France, Germany, and Switzerland–where, for two years they might learn French or German and social poise.

 

 


Some fabulous Halloween Gifs!


What is this “Halloween” holiday anyway??!

Like many holiday’s these days, we play the marketing game and buy, buy, buy everything they tell us and end up broke until January. Also, like many holidays, most people do not know the history and origins of many of our traditions.  Here are some fun Halloween facts for you to get hip on and hopefully share with your kids so they also know what Halloween is all about!

Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland.  According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Years’ on their calendar.   The celebration would begin on October 31st ,and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night.  This is an evil night when spirits roamed the streets and villages. Lord Samhain, the lord of Darkness, would arrive in search of the spirits to take  them to the underworld.

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.

Some people view Halloween as a time for fun, putting on costumes, trick-or-treating, and having theme parties. Others view it as a time of superstitions, ghosts, goblins and evil spirits that should be avoided at all costs.

As the Christian debate goes on, celebrating Halloween is a preference that is not always viewed as participating in an evil holiday. Halloween is often celebrated with no reference to pagan rituals or the occult.

Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

Have a safe and fun holiday season.

 


Happy 75th anniversary Wizard of Oz

Wow, has it really been 75 years?? Yes it has.

To celebrate they are showing it in 3D at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/90160/887597?brand=pantagesca

http://thewizardofoz.warnerbros.com/

To celebrate here are some great behind the scene shots from the movie!!

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Victorian tea cups for men??! Who knew?

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Many Victorian men where known for their mustaches.  As a mater of fact they were judged by the size of their mustaches, so obviously this caused for embarrassing moments during tea time. 😉 So, the teacup for men was invented!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moustache_cup

“The moustache cup is a drinking cup with a semicircular ledge inside. The ledge has a half moon-shaped opening to allow the passage of liquids and serves as a guard to keep moustaches dry. It is generally acknowledged to have been invented in the 1860s by British potter Harvey Adams (born 1835).

Moustaches flourished throughout the Victorian era. Often, moustache wax was applied to the moustache to keep it nice and stiff, with every hair in place. And therein lay a problem that cropped up when steaming hot cups of tea or coffee were carried up to the mouth for sipping: the steam melted the wax and sent it right into the cup. Another problem soon became apparent. Sipping hot tea or coffee, moustaches also often became stained. Finally, Harvey Adams, an innovative Englishman, in 1860 came up with an unusual invention, “the moustache cup”. The latter had a ledge, called a moustache guard, across the cup. The ledge had one semicircular opening against the side of the cup. The pampered moustache then rested safe and dry on the guard while sipping a hot beverage through the opening. The new invention spread all over the European continent and soon, every famous potter was making the new cups. A multiplicity of moustache cups were made by famous manufactories such as Meissen, Royal Crown Derby, Imari, Royal Bayreuth, Limoges and others. Each potter created his own version of this masculine tableware and the news of that invention soon spread to America.”

Vintage Victorian Image Digital Download Tag Advertisement Card Scrapbook - Moustache Mustache Wax


Let’s get a little twisted…Vintage Serial Killer HH Holmes

There is a great documentary on him on Netflix I definitely recommend!! I was glued to my seat by the thought that was put into his plot and how easy it was to get a way with it back then.  If you disappeared no one could notice for months or even years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._H._Holmes

Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1861[1] – May 7, 1896[2]), better known under the alias of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, was one of the first documented American serial killers in the modern sense of the term. In Chicago at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind, and which was the location of many of his murders. While he confessed to 27 murders, of which four were confirmed, his actual body count could be as high as 200.[3] He took an unknown number of his victims from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which was less than two miles away, to his “World’s Fair” hotel.

Holmes had acquired a vacant lot on the corner of Wallace and 63rd Street, Chicago, shortly before the Fair’s opening, and had quickly built his three-story block long “Castle” on the site. The ground floor contained only run of the mill shops, including Holmes’s drugstore, but the upper two floors gained international notoriety after they were found to contain, apart from innocent seeming guest suites, a maze of over one hundred interconnected hallways and smaller rooms. Blind corridors, secret passageways and senseless stairways that lead nowhere abounded and at least one chute lead directly from the suites down into Holmes’s basement torture chambers.

Holmes was not picky and his victims were culled mainly from ex-lovers who had originally been tricked into visiting him by reading his enticing advertisements in lonely hearts’ publications. He also preyed freely on hotel guests and hotel employees. He usually killed his victims by gassing them in the hotel rooms, whose doors, once closed, could not be opened from the inside. He would then maneuver the corpses down to the basement via the chute. Once in the basement, he either dismembered the bodies and disposed of the pieces in lime pits, or dissected them and sold the skeletons to a nearby medical school. He also apparently ran an abortion clinic from the hotel premises but this clinic quickly gained a reputation for one where the patients had an extremely high fatality rate …

Holmes also forced all of his employees to take out insurance policies on their lives with him as their beneficiary. After these employees had disappeared, and were presumed dead by the various insurance companies involved, Holmes would then cash the policies in. And although this happened time and time again, no one realized that Holmes was killing these people simply to file claims on their policies. Towards the end of his career, Holmes rightly considered himself to be an expert on insurance fraud and it is therefore ironic that, despite his undeniable talent in this area, he was finally brought low because of a botched insurance scam.


The Knickerbocker Hotel- Tidbits and Facts on an old Hollywood landmark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knickerbocker_Hotel_%28Los_Angeles%29

Hotel Knickerbocker served as a temporary home to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolph Valentino, Three Stooges, Francis Farmer and some still live there in spirit.

The Renaissance Revival bar was a popular spot for celebrities. Silent screen star Rudolph Valentino was known to ride his horse down from the hills and dance the tango to the live music in this bar. Marilyn Monroe used to sneak through the kitchen in order to meet up with Joe Dimaggio.

When making movies, Elvis Presley liked to stay in Suite 1016. In fact, the song “Heartbreak Hotel” was written about the Knickerbocker by Hoyt Axton’s mother. Some of his publicity shots were taken inside the hotel.

Frances Farmer, who had a brilliant career in the 1930s and 1940s, turned to alcohol and drugs. She was arrested at the Knickerbocker after getting into a fight and dragged out half-naked. She was taken to a sanitarium where she was abused and eventually given a lobotomy. (Actual pic below of the arrest!)

Famous film director D.W. Griffith died of a stroke in 1948. He was living on the 10th floor and collapsed in the lobby under the art deco chandelier. He had turned to alcohol and Hollywood disowned him. Later, he was remembered as a brilliant director and, in 1999, a plaque honoring Griffith was placed in the lobby at the Knickerbocker.

Irene Gibbons, who designed costumes for famous actresses such as Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich, committed suicide at the Knickerbocker in 1962. She went into a deep depression after the death of actor Gary Cooper, whom she loved.

Bess Houdini, widow of Harry Houdini, conducted annual séances on Halloween night on the rooftop of the Knickerbocker. She did this for 10 years until 1936. During the first séance, thunder and lightning began. It was believed that this storm was limited to the top of the hotel and was not seen anywhere else in the Hollywood.

“The Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments, formerly the Knickerbocker Hotel, is a senior home located at 1714 Ivar Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Built in 1925 by E.M. Frasier in Spanish Colonial Revival style, the historic hotel catered to the region’s nascent film industry, and is the site for some of Hollywood’s most famous dramatic moments. Rudolf Valentino was a regular at the bar before his death in 1926.”


Vintage 101: Who are these girls called…”flappers”?

Flappers were a “new breed” of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.[1] Flappers had their origins in the liberal period of the Roaring Twenties, the social, political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flapper

OH MY!

The slang word flapper, describing a young woman, is sometimes supposed to refer to a young bird flapping its wings while learning to fly. However, it may derive from an earlier use in northern England to mean teenage girl, referring to one whose hair is not yet put up and whose plaited pigtail flapped on her back;[2] or from an older word meaning prostitute.[3]

The slang word “flap” is known to have been used for a young prostitute as early as 1631.[4] By the 1890s the word “flapper” was emerging in England as popular slang both for a very young prostitute,[5][6] and in a more general – and less derogatory sense – of any lively mid-teenage girl.[7]

In the 1920s, however, many Americans found the flapper incredibly threatening. Flappers represented a new moral order.  Although they were the daughters of the middle class, they flouted middle-class values.   They shrugged off their chaperones.  Worse still, they danced suggestively and openly flirted with boys.  Flappers prized style over substance, novelty over tradition, and pleasure over virtue.

 


Old Hollywood like you have never seen before 1920s style…!!

If you are from Southern California, and frequent the downtown Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding areas, then all of the pictures below are really going to hit home.  I can honestly say I have been to every one of these areas and it amazes me to see how it all began.  Enjoy!!

(1922)*^ – Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks hang the entrance signs for their Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in Hollywood.

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(ca. 1923)^# – About a dozen men cheering for the camera in what seems to be the completion of an early phase of the new housing development project. At the same time, construction crews appear to still be working.

(ca. 1924)* – Three cars are parked in the street in front of a sign for Hollywoodland sales. To the right is the tract office building. Behind that another building is under construction. Another at the top of the hill looks nearly finished.

(ca. 1924)* – The construction sign in back reads “You are now in Hollywoodland, Tray E. Shoults Co.”. In the street in front of the Tract Office and other buildings approx. 70 men in a line 2 to 3 rows deep stand at the gates of Beachwood Drive.

(ca. 1920s)* – Intersection of Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards with heavy traffic going in all directions. The tall tower in the center of the photo is the Hollywood Athletic Club.

Historical Notes

When the Hollywood Athletic Club was first built in 1924, Hollywood was entering its greatest and most productive period. The building was the tallest building in Hollywood and loomed above Sunset Boulevard. Membership was originally $150 for initiation fees and $10 for monthly dues.

During its early years as a health club, its membership included Johnny Weissmuller, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Walt Disney, John Ford, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Mary Pickford, Cecil B de Mille, Cornel Wilde, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Frances X. Bushman, Howard Hughes, Joan Crawford and Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, Walt Disney, and Buster Crabbe.*^

(1929)* – Street view of the Hollywood Athletic Club, located at 6525 Sunset Blvd.

(1922)* – Around 50,000 people gathered for the Easter sunrise service in the Hollywood Bowl. An even larger crowd was expected there on Easter morning when the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra played for the worshipers. The Hollywood Bowl would officially be opened four months later (July 11, 1922).

(ca. 1923)* – Bird’s eye view looking west on Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga circa 1923.

(ca. 1923)* – A view of the courtyard of Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre with statues of an Egyptian king, Indian elephants. Billboard advertising for Douglas Fairbanks “The Thief of Bagdad.” The theatre opened in 1922 and was designed by architects Meyer & Holler.

Historical Notes

The Egyptian Theatre was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Wednesday, October 18, 1922. As the film reportedly cost over $1 million to produce, the admission price to the premiere was $5.00. One could reserve a seat up to two weeks in advance for the daily performances. Evening admission was 75¢, $1.00 or $1.50. The film was not shown in any other Los Angeles theater during that year.

(1927)* – Night view shows theater lights and throngs of fans packing the streets for blocks around Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Publicity of Hollywood premiers usually brought stars and other distinguished visitors to magnificent events such as the one seen here – possibly the opening night of a movie starring Douglas Fairbanks.

(1928)* – Marquee says to “Watch for the Grand Opening” of Warner Bros. Theatre in Hollywood.

(1928)* – A customer gets full service at the gas pumps at Muller Bros. Service Station on Sunset Blvd.

Historical Notes

The Muller Brothers Service Station was located across Sunset Boulevard on 4 acres, where the Cinerama Dome Theater is now located. Opened in 1920 by the Muller brothers, Walter and Frank, this became the largest service station in the world (including a large automobile supply center), employing 120 people by 1937. Celebrities, from Rudolph Valentino to Clark Gable, came by regularly to get gas or just work on their cars. In 1963 the site was sold for the Cinerama Dome Theater, and, at that time, an eventual hotel.

(ca. 1928)* – Exterior view of the Gower Street entrance of the RKO Studios, located on Gower Street and Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The studios were established by Robertson-Cole in 1921 and are now owned by CBS Paramount Television. RKO is short for Radio-Keith-Orpheum.

(ca. 1930s)^ – Carpenter’s Sandwich drive-in on Sunset and Vine. Two carhops are posing for the camera by the counter while another to the right appears to be serving food.

(1933)* – A man sits on a steel girder on the half-completed dome of the Griffith Observatory as other construction workers are on scaffolds on the building behind the dome. Construction rubble is scattered around the Observatory’s foundation.

(1934)* – The Griffith Observatory and the main building, the planetarium, are seen from below and from the back. A hiking path has been cut into the hillside below, on the south side, but brush still covers much of the area.

I found these and a million more pictures and information at the following site and all credit goes to them.  I just had to share a few jewels here. Please go here for many, many, many more pictures of Old Hollywood!!

http://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Hollywood_%281920_+%29.html

 


Bathing Beauties Barely Bare?!

  • Expansion of the railway system meant traveling to the coast became accessible to all
  • Reveal the demure all-in-one outfits worn by both men and women, including caps and shoes
  • The bathing machine was used to change into the cumbersome outfits in privacy
  • It was then wheeled right into the sea to allow bathers to enter the water in ease

100 years ago shows how people used to frolic in the sand in near head-to-toe outfits, complete with hats.

Before the 1900s women hit the waves in full gowns and bloomers but the impracticality of this meant that the all-in-one fitted beach suit began to be introduced for women as well as men.

Bathing belles show off the modest white cotton calf length long sleeved dresses, complete with bathing caps adorned with bobbles, on the beach at Southend-on-Sea, Essex in August 1919

A woman perches on the edge of a bathing machine parked in shallow sea on Ostend beach in July 1911

Ostend beach in Belgium in around 1900 when beach holidays began to become popular as the new railways allowed long distance travel at ease

The bathing machines would we wheeled right down into the water to allow the bather to enter the water with ease, a reduce the stares of other bathers

The bathing machines would we wheeled right down into the water to allow the bather to enter the water with ease, a reduce the stares of other bathers

Bathers dance hand in hand on the beach at Plymouth, Devon in July 1921 wearing rather unusual costumes that seem to have been inspired by Grecian togas


Tidbits and Facts

Tear bottles: In some American Civil War stories, women were said to have cried into tear bottles and saved them until their husbands returned. Their collected tears would show the men how much they were loved and missed.

Tear bottles: In some American Civil War stories, women were said to have cried into tear bottles and saved them until their husbands returned. Their collected tears would show the men how much they were loved and missed.

Tear Bottles have been a part of our world’s history since before Christ’s time. Historians have found their evidence in ancient Rome and Egypt. Legend has it that our ancestors have used the small glass vessels to collect their tears, as a means for mourning and respect. Today, modern Tear Bottles are given to symbolize the emotions of love, joy, sorrow and remembrance. The gift of the tear bottle is often given at times of loss and bereavement, weddings, births, graduations, anniversaries and other rites of passage.  They are quickly becoming a popular heartfelt keepsake and gift item.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” – WASHINGTON IRVING

 


Interesting Photo NYC c. 1900 Street Cleaner


PSA to Classic Film/Pre-Code Film lovers!!

I just found this out and will start my 2 week free trial TONIGHT!!

http://instant.warnerarchive.com/

Warner Archive Features


Happy 100 Vintage Wonderlust!!!!!

This is my 100th post!! Time flies when you are having fun, and I still have tons of ideas to write about.  Have no fear, I’m just getting warmed up with my blog.  I appreciate all of the viewers and would like to remind you to please like the posts you enjoy most so I can see what my audience desires!!  Thank you for all of your support and please, keep coming back for more!! I update several times a week.

Happy 100!!

NYC in 1913, 100 years ago!

Los Angeles 1913

San Francisco 1913

Newspapers from 1913

Alabama Citizen newspaper 1913

Facts from 1913:

  • Darktown Follies opens in Harlem and helps to make Harlem a black cultural center.
  • Billboard magazine publishes a list of the most popular vaudeville  songs. It’s the predecessor to their trademark charts.
  • First crossword puzzle appears in the New York World. See Crossword  Puzzle Guide

Economics

Federal spending:   $0.72  billion Consumer Price Index:   9.9 Unemployment:   4.3% Cost of a first-class  stamp:   $0.02
Read more:  Top News Stories from 1913 | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/year/1913.html#ixzz2ZVxCjo5u

For the first time, American motorists can drive coast-to-coast via the Lincoln Highway, which goes from New York’s Time Square to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, Calif.

The average house cost $5,935 Equivalent today: $131,171

The average car cost $600 Equivalent today: $13,261

The average wage was $585 Equivalent today: $12,929
Here are some ads from 1913
Women’s fashion in 1913:
Random 1913 Photos:
Thanks again for the support and keep coming back!!!