About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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PW Thursday New Items For 1940

July 4, 2024

Todays post is about looking into what a home would have possibly looked like in 1940.  As I have written about before it all depends on where someone lived, city, town, farm etc.  So what I have done is made a way so you can look at what could have been purchased during this time.

As a reminder, the study of 1940, the home was built pre 1940 unless they were building it right then.  The home could have been built in the Edwardian era or the Victorian Era, it could be a 1920's home or a modern 1930's home.  Many people farmed and lived in a farmhouse of any age.  They may have furnishings from far back and added new things along the way but many people found that very difficult to do during the 1930s. Most likely they had a lot of home sewn dresses and linens going into 1940.  There were a couple of years that some people were starting to purchase more things just before 1940. It was not all doom and gloom. 

This all depends on their age of when they started off their life on their own as an adult.  If you are young and doing this study of 1940 you might find yourself  in somewhat of a place as I was when I first got married even though it was not 1940.

My first home after getting married during the Vietnam war, we rented an apartment at the top of an older home that was built in 1900. The owners of that home made tall steps at the back of the house and turned their attic into two apartments to rent out. 

Each apartment had one door at the top landing of the stairs. When we opened the door and it was a straight shot from the door to the other side of the house, half the attic. A sitting room first, no wall between the small kitchen of sorts, just the stove and small fridge and sink on the left, and a small table to the other side to eat our meals.  Then there was a wall with a doorway that opened to a small bedroom and tiny bathroom.  This was my first home that I would keep house, I was young, we had very little money and I was scared but loved it!  Even though this was the 1960's I can see that comparable to the 1940's for young folks starting off their first home. 

So there were all kinds of situations and places one could live.  What was your first place like that you lived when you first started off on your own?

By 1940 there is a new catalog of what can be purchased new.  Some did purchase these new things, many people dreamed about them, some put items on layaway.   Either way you can figure things out by the age you are now in real  life as to what era you came from by subtracting your age from 1940.  

My wringer machine is a bit newer than 1940 but it still runs. The wringer stopped working and we need to get this fixed so we can go back to using it.

Today's post I have included  some links to sears and Montgomery ward catalog's to browse through as they give us a very good look at items in the home.

This week, someone in the forum brought up menstrual cycle when talking about the wardrobe and how many clothing items were needed.  

As seen in the 1940 catalog and the ones earlier, women used belts to hold pads and the one thing that remains the same from the years earlier pre 1940, is the rubber apron is still being sold, this apron is worn under a dress or skirt that covers the front and back should there be leakage so it would not leak onto a ladies dress.  I remember when I found this several years ago during a study and thought about the common sense they had back then.  

The reason that I mentioned this unmentionable thing, is because by reading through these catalog's  we find many items that we never thought of and some we do not have today. 

What we do not find much of in the catalogs or homes for that matter, are things are made with plastic.  There were plastic items,  celluloid and bakelite were to my knowledge the first plastic items.  I am not clear of this history but what matters is that during 1940, the goods sold were still good quality made of cloth, leather, tin, metal, glass, rubber, wood and such as this.  

I was asked by a dear friend Judi, what am I putting away or getting rid of for this study of 1940 and I have been going around the house trying to remove plastic items, some things that they did have in the past were made better quality and metal and now are cheaply made plastic. Trying to find the better quality can be expensive and may not even be able to find anything comparable.

I will leave it here and the links below can be clicked on to get to these historical catalog's.

Below is the link to a Sears 1932 catalog that you can browse through page by page.


Below Sears Modern 1930's homes


Below is the link for 1940 Montgomery Catalog


Below is the link for 1920's Montgomery Ward Catalog


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