Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I Scanned

I'm working on a project for another person that includes a scanning task to it. On Tuesdays, I drive to another location and scan someone else's stuff as part of a larger family history project that also includes research and more.

Yesterday was scanning day.

The first items I encountered were some old publications from the 1880s. These were in amazing condition. Most were weekly newsletters designed for Sunday School or church use. In the middle of it all, I found an advertisement for young ladies' bustles:

I don't think I've even seen a bustle before. They do not look comfortable at all.

Other items scanned included several wedding and reception invitations from the 1890s. They did things differently then. These invites were simple handwritten fountain pen ink on paper. The cards and envelopes were small and white. The envelopes had names only, so they were hand delivered in town.

I also scanned more postcards from a 100+ year old personal collection. They were all arranged in a postcard album. Somebody somewhere sent this young lady postcards from all over the country. They were mostly hand-drawn scenic vistas, town courthouses or colleges. There was also one from the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Though the scanning itself is monotonous, I've enjoyed stepping back in time with this collection. I've learned so much. Sometimes the best history lessons aren't in textbooks.


  1. I know what you mean. When I get to go to the Mississippi Archives in Jackson to look up things on our family's, it is amazing what you read in those old Newspapers! Gets you side tracked but OH so interesting.

  2. I enjoy "going back in time" reading old newspapers, looking at old pictures and postcards and listening to music from an earlier time. It helps me to imagine what life was like for my ancestors and what was going on in the world when they were alive. Old newspapers are my favorite thing to read. Looking at them causes me to wonder if they used the products advertised in the paper, if they liked the clothes in the store ads, which stores they shopped at, what were their political views and opinions, did they like the current music and books, did they take an active part in their community, etc. It's fun to immerse yourself in another time period for an hour or two and look at newspapers through your ancestors eyes, when they were reading the news for the first time.

  3. Ah Queen Bee, you're a woman after my own heart. This project has been challenging because I'm paid by the hour and have to press on, even when I'd love to just pause and read the papers.

    Each week I scan and read letters, it is like going back in time. I've learned so much just by reading this family's letters to each others.

  4. I would find it so hard to concentrate on the task at hand when the objects you are scanning are so interesting. Thanks for sharing the bustle ad - love it.