Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Things to print and photoshop

Ship Photos:

Ship Paintings:

Blueprints, etc:

Grand Duchy of Finland Map:

Flyers, Pamphlets, etc:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Immigration, Pioneer- related

In the 1910s and 1920s, the format and style of immigration posters changed considerably. The earlier information-based posters were replaced with big colourful designs that combined familiar domestic images with views of prosperity. Rather than include information on immigration in the poster itself, the new posters were designed simply to pique the viewer's interest. A contact name was listed on the poster for those wanting further information.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, immigrants to Canada arrived with trunks, crates, chests, suitcases and bags packed full of belongings to help them start a new life on the Prairies and elsewhere.

"Inside the Dazé General Store, Arnprior, Ontario, 1910. This merchant stood to lose quite a lot due to the competition from big-city mail-order companies, which could send groceries and canned goods to its customers through the mail."

Farming families did not make it to town often. Instead of cash they traded some of their goods for the things they needed. Sometimes they traded their extra butter, eggs or vegetables for things that they could not grow (baking powder, tea, coffee) or make. Shoes, hammers, saws, nails, wire, dishes, pots and material to make clothing were sold at the general store.

Pioneer's house

There were shelves on the walls and wooden pegs for hanging up pots and pans as well as clothing. Clothing was also kept in chests or trunks. A cradle was made for the baby. The family slept on wooden beds with ropes stretched across the frame to hold the straw mattresses. The beds were covered with homemade feather quilts.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Cut nails (square nails) were popular between approx. 1820-1910
Wire nails (round) were used from the early 1900s-on. Wire nails are cheaper to produce, but not as strong as cut nails.
Hand-forged nails, of course, aren't too common. They'd be used for special purposes, or restoration, etc.

From top to bottom: wrought handmade, cut nail, wire nail.



"My mama made all these things from cotton bags."

"Up until the mid-1800s, storage containers were primarily wooden barrels, boxes, tins and to some extent, pottery. It was the abundant source of cotton from the South which enabled the transformation to cotton bags for flour, sugar, meal, grain, salt and feed."

"With the introduction of sewing machines, bag manufacturing and sales increased although were still too expensive for most companies to purchase. As late as the 1880s barrels were still the preferred storage unit but by WWI they had all but disappeared."

"It was the depression which created a real demand for bags as frugal housewives discovered they could reuse and recycle them. Empty bags were prey for conversion into boys underpants, children’s clothing, aprons, dresses and everything else imaginable."


Feedsacks were initially made of heavy canvas, and were used to obtain flour, sugar, meal, grain, salt and feed from the mills. They were reusable, with the farmer bringing an empty sack stamped with his mark or brand to the mill to be filled. Feedsacks were initially printed on plain white cloth and in sizes that corresponded to barrel sizes. The brand name was simply printed on the side of the bag.

Size and weave of the bags depended on the product and manufacturer. By 1914, sacks came in 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 pound sizes, though they were standardized in 1937.

More info.

Relevant packaging history in a nutshell.

In 1905, machinery was invented to automatically produce in-line printed paper bags. With the development of the glued paper sack, the more expensive cotton flour sacks could be replaced. But a sturdier multiwalled paper sack for larger quantities did not replace cloth until 1925, when a means of sewing the ends was finally invented.

Paper and paperboard packaging increased in popularity throughout much of the 20th century. The first paperboard carton -- often called a cardboard box -- was produced in England in 1817, Another common form of "cardboard" based on corrugated paper appeared in the 1850s. The strength, lightness, and cheapness of this material make it very useful for shipping and storing. However, replacing wooden crates with the new paper alternative would prove to be something of a battle. Nevertheless, about 1910, after much litigation between manufacturers and the railroads, shipping cartons of faced corrugated paperboard began to replace self-made wooden crates and boxes used for trade. The development of flaked cereals advanced the use of paperboard cartons. The Kellogg brothers were first to use cereal cartons. Their original packaging was a waxed, heat-sealed bag of Waxtite wrapped around the outside of a plain box. The outer wrapper was printed with the brand name and advertising copy.

Owens invented the first automatic rotary bottle-making machine, patented in 1889. Suddenly, glass containers of all shapes and sizes became economically attractive for consumer products, and from the early 1900s until the late 1960s glass containers dominated the market for liquid products.

Since food was now safe within metal packaging [~1810], other products were made available in metal boxes. In the 1830s, cookies and matches were sold in tins and by 1866 the first printed metal boxes were made in the United States for cakes of Dr. Lyon's tooth powder. Although commercial foils entered the market in 1910, the first aluminum foil containers were designed in the early 1950s while the aluminum can appeared in 1959.

History of packaging

General stores and item references

General store photographs from the early 1900s, Illinois.

General Store, Wisconsin
General Store, Washington County c. 1915

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Money, office supplies

Weyburn Security Bank, 5 dollars : January 3, 1911

Bank of Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw, 5 dollars : May 1, 1913

Banks could issue $5 notes and multiples. The site has samples for $20 and $10 notes for both banks as well.
Currency Museum

5 Markkaa 1897

The Grand Duchy of Finland currency:
Markka 1860+
1886-94 5, 10, 20 markkaa
1897-8 5, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 markkaa
More notes

Envelopes with early 1900s cheques. (1895-1930). Source.

Envelope advertisement, 1987.

It seems probable that Tom would receive payment in an envelope. Payment could be either a cheque, or cash, or both (say, a cheque to cover his hours to that day, and cash bonus). Cash would be handy because he would have money on hand.

Fountain Pen. Woodcased pencils with fibre erasers.

There would have been many types of affordable paper, pens and pencil available by the early 1900s. Wood-pulp paper, fountain pens, dip pens and ink, pencils, mechanical pencils were all available. The Office Museum.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A few more maps

Russian map of the Grand Duchy of Finland from the (ca. 1900).
Main problem - it's in Russian. I don't know if we'll ever see it well enough to be able to tell, though. (these shots are in sepia, aren't they?)

Looks pretty modern, but in case we just need a clear, plain map to work with.

Railway and Travel Map big map of Finland, 1875. (in sections)

Modified legend 1898.Large map of Finland, 1898. It's in sections, similar to the one above.(refer to the nav bar to the left to check out the sections of the map "C1, A1, B1," etc)

More old maps

Painting of Amalthea, built in Sideby, 1871.

Kilens Skeppsbyggnadsmuseum
History of shipbuilding, shipbuilders and ships of Sideby in Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland. Over 130 sailing vessels were built on the shipyards of Sideby between 1828-1920. Check out the model page for plenty of old ship pictures.

Lots of images of ship paintings, though I haven't come across and Finnish ones. Here.