Journey Back in Time - With Vintage Books Vintage books are not just good reading -- they offer glimpses into the way people thought and lived in days gone by. Many vintage fiction and nonfiction books are offered at Joy's Flea Shop on eBay.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - “One of the demands of the present day is ‘thin text-books,’ and the demand is a reasonable one.” So opens the preface of the 1876 Westlake’s Common School Literature. This little volume -- 156 pages long and a mere ¾” thick -- meets the demand. Fiction and non-fiction vintage books like Westlake’s offer glimpses into the past. Many such vintage books may be found at Postcards and More, the online store at www.peacocksgalore.com.
Where but in a vintage book can you read sage advice about the nature of alcohol? “Alcohol seems to have a special affinity for the brain. . . . So marked is the effect of the narcotic poison that some authorities hold that ‘a once thoroughly-intoxicated brain never fully becomes what it was before.’” -- the 1901 Steele’s Science - Hygienic Physiology, page 129.
Or learn how to be a model citizen in R.O. Hughes’ Elementary Community Civics (1928). This is the main reason for the existence of schools, isn’t it? (Mr. Hughes thought so.)
The modern woman will enjoy the information presented in the 1912 Bacteria, Yeast and Molds in the Home: “At present it is necessary for those expecting to become housewives to understand the elementary phases of a number of sciences, most prominent among which are chemistry and bacteriology.”
At your next party offer your guests a trivia game using the following facts:
-- cattle-dipping vats to combat scabies were first built in Elko County, Nevada in 1931 and proved so successful that stockmen of the country promptly built several more vats of the same type.
-- crop production in 1931 was adversely affected by drought in North and South Dakota and Montana, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wyoming. (Hello? the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s!!)
-- fifteen years after the Japanese Beetle was first observed in the United States, studies show that it has found conditions in the Eastern U.S. ideal. (And who doesn’t love a Japanese beetle??)
These and other enticing tidbits may be found in the 1932 Department of Agriculture’s Yearbook of Agriculture.
Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to find a 100-year old book in mint condition. In an age without television and computers, books were a well-thumbed and oft-referred to treasure. Fortunately for the collector, they were valued enough to be preserved.
Westlake‘s Common School Literature makes no apology for the several hundred extracts from literature they offer to the student for memorization (a prospect that would make modern students shudder). After all, memorization “has long been recognized by educators as one of the most efficient means of culture.” Perhaps today’s young people could benefit from some of this culture. . . .
The vintage books mentioned here and more can be found at my ebay store Joy's Flea Shop! http://stores.ebay.com/Joys-Flea-Shop.