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Prepare For A Noisy Halloween

Among holiday collectibles, Halloween items are second only to those from Christmas in variety and popularity. The list of objects that depict this annual event is long. It includes jack-o-lanterns, devils, owls, witches, black cats, ghosts,skeletons, bats and more, all portrayed in everything from paper to pewter.

Special noises have long been associated with Halloween, also. Some represent the supposed sound of one of the “things” listed above, such as a ghostly “whooooo.” Other loud, clangy noises have come down through the centuries as a means of driving away these same creatures.

The noisemakers made just for Halloween are popular collectibles. They take the form of horns, bells, rattles, tambourines, whistles and ratchet-type clackers. There were even some primitive decorated miniature accordions.

Most collectible noisemakers are made of tin and wood. The old horns are often lithographed paper, while the old clackers, tambourines and rattles were almost always orange lithographed tin, with a picture of a cat, pumpkin, witch, etc. in black.

One of the forms of noisemaker most apt to drive away demons and witches, along with any other adult in the vicinity, was the lithographed tin noisemaker in the double “frying pan” shape, with a wooden ball in the middle. If producing maximum noise was the goal, this was the object of choice!

Most of the old noisemakers were made in the United States. Production in later years shifted to Japan, then to Hong Kong, on to Taiwan, and today, of course, they most likely come from China.

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Women’s Brooches Followed Fashion Trends

No form of jewelry has more clearly reflected the change in fashion trends than the woman’s brooch. During the Victorian era, heavy and florid pieces predominated. Some brooches were even set with marble. Heavy cameos were popular. If the wearer could afford precious gems, they would definitely show up in her brooches.

As the 19th century ended, the Art Nouveau movement rebelled against these “overdone” pieces and brooches from this period of time were lighter and much more delicate. Filigree metal enhanced the light look. Precious gems such as diamonds were avoided.

As the Art Deco period came into being, by the 1920s, brooches took on a geometric look and became more solid looking once again. It was a time for showing off one’s wealth and diamonds, rubies and emeralds sparkled on a woman’s shoulder clip.

In the 1930s, the Art Deco fashion continued with those who could afford it. However, the Depression insured that most women were not spending much on jewelry. Instead, they flocked to the dime stores to buy colorful brooches made of the new plastic materials; these could be easily purchased for under a dollar.

By the 1940s and ’50s, brooches had again changed. Costume jewelry was more common and had become socially acceptable. Pieces were designed to complement an outfit. The relaxation of the post-war years also was reflected in a light-heartedness in the jewelry designs and brooches were made that resembled monkeys, lions, donkeys and other animals. The ostentatious display of gems was once again avoided.

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Typewriter Revolutionized Office, Brought
Women Into Workplace

The Competitor was manufactured by the Chicago Writing Machine Co., which later became the Galesburg Writing Machine Co., in the first decade of the 20th century. It does not use the standard QWERTY arrangement of letters.
from Antique Typewriters, by Michael Adler

The first typewriter was designed by an American, Christopher Sholes, in 1874. It took another quarter of a century, however, before its value in the office came to be readily accepted.

Remington, one of the first typewriter entrepreneurs, came up with a gimmick to let people know about his model at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1887. For 25 cents, visitors could watch souvenir messages being typed.

The typewriter deserves an important place in history. Its acceptance in the office gave women their first socially acceptable entree into the business world. It was believed that the gentler touch of a woman would make her more proficient on this new machine. Male clerks, inscribing all information by hand, gave way to the females in the office.

Remington was the first to manufacture typewriters on a large scale. He had hundreds of competitors, however, turning out a diverse assortment of typing machines. Most had a platen bar, with a semicircle of letters on the ends of metal bars. Other companies, though, tried variations, such as the Gramophone and Typewriter Co. of America, whose typewriter had the keys arranged like the numbers on a dial telephone.

By the turn of the century, the keyboard had also been more or less standardized, with four rows of keys in the familiar QWERTY arrangement of letters that is still in use today, even on the word processor on which this article was typed.
An excellent reference on old typewriters is Antique Typewriters From Creed to QWERTY, by Michael Adler (Schiffer Publishing.)

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