July 27, 2017

iPentimento Will Be Back In September


Just to let everyone know, I will be gone for a few weeks on vacation. Thanks for visiting iPentimento | Genealogy and History while I’m gone. I hope you enjoy some of my previous posts.

The Home Friend 1909: Sears House Plans

The Home Friend 1909: Sears, Roebuck and Company

House Plans


The Sears Catalog is long gone now, and at the end they were certainly not selling houses, but as you can see from this 1909 ad in the Home Friend they had a running concern for them at that time. How many of you live in a house built with Sears home plans?

The Curtis Company, Clinton, Iowa


While Sears was making plans, two hundred miles away in Clinton, Iowa the Curtis Lumber Company was churning out wooden bullseye rosette blocks that you might have seen in some of those Sears houses. I’m sure many of us have seen them even in old houses today. It’s hard to believe that at one time Clinton, Iowa, a town on the Mississippi River, was known as a mill town rather than the industrial city it is now.

Between the late 1850’s and 1900, the Clinton area was regarded as the sawmill capital of the nation.  Huge log rafts were floated down river from Wisconsin and Minnesota, cut into lumber at Clinton, then shipped to growing communities east, west, north and south via the river and the railroads.

Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau • 721 S. 2nd Street • Clinton, Iowa 52732 • 563.242.5702 • cvb@clintonia.com

Home Friend 1909 – Watch and Ring from out of the Bluine


Have you ever noticed that some of your laundry detergents these days have a blue tinge to them? That’s a bluing agent added to make them seem more white than they really are. Before there was laundry soap, there was just plain soap and a need to make clothes whiter.

Mom always had a bottle of Mrs. Stewart’s bluing near the washing machine. My brother and I used it to make salt crystals with it when we were feeling scientific after watching Mr. Wizard. Yup, regular chemists we were. (Our favorite thing was to mix vinegar and soda though…much more ‘explosive’).

This was quite a ‘come on’ to get people to sell their Bluine wasn’t it? A gold watch and a ring…Don’t you wonder how many of those watches are still around and cherished as a family heirloom? Just imagine, it was all from selling 24 boxes of Bluine.


My cousin has  a little real life watch mystery that she’s trying to solve. Maybe you can help her out?  The markings on the watch face are very interesting.  American Waltham pocket watch / T.O.T.E / W.O.W. / B.P.O.E. logos

The Home Friend 1909 – Ohio Carriage Mfg Company


The automobile was still in its infancy, and the United States was no where near as dependant on oil as it is 100 years later in 2009.  H. C. Phelps was a master of persuasive advertising, encouraging his customers to “cut out the middleman” and buy directly from him via the United States Postal Service.

Purchasers of the 1910 model were assured they were getting the up-to-date models, not shopworn ones that had sat in third party displays waiting to be sold. Even then, this mode of transportation had its “lemons” it seems.

Can’t you just imagine your ancestors excitement when their new well-built buggy arrived at the post office? With 125 styles to choose from, it would have taken all winter just to decide which one to buy!

Source: Learn more about “The Carriage Trade” by Thomas A. Kinney at Google Book Search.

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