Easter

Easter—a century ago

Vintage Scrapbook, Wikimedia image, contributed 1/12/02 by KirNata, source Vintage Scrapbook, Tulane Public Relations (File licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

Vintage Scrapbook, Wikimedia image, contributed 1/12/02 by KirNata, source Vintage Scrapbook, Tulane Public Relations (File licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

Easter 1915. Ever wonder what things may have ‘looked like’ back then? Thanks to the Library of Congress and the Fulton History website, I’ve been able to gather a few items to share with you today that give a glimpse into that moment in the past.

I love old photos—I enjoy seeing the outfits and faces, and, in this case, checking out all the ladies bonnets floating about the images of Easter parades and throngs of churchgoers. This was the big opportunity for those of means to show off their new spring wardrobes and a chance for bystanders to witness quite a spectacle.  Irving Berlin’s 1948 musical Easter Parade, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and set in the Manhattan of 1912-1913, brings to life the fabulous parades of that era.

Judy Garland as Hannah Brown and Fred Astaire as Don Hewes in the finale of the 1948 musical Easter Parade

Judy Garland as Hannah Brown and Fred Astaire as Don Hewes in the finale of the 1948 musical Easter Parade (Image from Wikipedia)

And what would Easter be without bunnies? Check out the article about the ‘bunny trade’ back then—it was quite a brisk business. American bunnies. Bunnies from Australia. Bunnies from Belgium. The Australian bunnies ruled supreme. And apparently some folks took their bunny purchases very seriously, accommodating their tiny, new little friends in elaborate apartment-like ‘digs’! Thankfully I think (and I hope) a bit more common sense prevails nowadays when it comes to acquiring—or should I say ‘not acquiring’ bunnies at Easter time. Back then, it appears to have been de rigueur.

And, as always, the advertisements are very revealing. Ladies, don’t forget to purchase the ‘hair switches’ you’ll need to enhance the look of your Easter bonnet! And, gents, it may be time to invest in a new $15 balmacaan*!

Anyway, I hope you find something of interest here~ Best wishes to you all for a very Happy Easter!

*Per Merriam-Webster’s: “a loose single-breasted overcoat usually having raglan sleeves and a short turnover collar”

Fifth Avenue Easter Parade (Library of Congress -  LC-DIG-ggbain-09337)

Fifth Avenue Easter Parade (ca 1910 – ca 1915, Library of Congress – LC-DIG-ggbain-09337)

Easter - entering St. Thomas's (ca 1910 - ca 1915 - Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-11681)

Easter – entering St. Thomas’s (ca 1910 – ca 1915 – Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-11681)

Easter egg rolling, White House, [Washington, D.C.], 1915 (Library of Congress,  LC-DIG-npcc-27674)

Easter egg rolling, White House, [Washington, D.C.], 1915 (Library of Congress, LC-DIG-npcc-27674)

Easter egg rolling, White House, [Washington, D.C.], 1915 (Library of Congress,  LC-DIG-npcc-27675)

Easter egg rolling, White House, [Washington, D.C.], 1915 (Library of Congress, LC-DIG-npcc-27675)

EASTER. CHILDREN OF RODIER, WHITE HOUSE TELEGRAPH OPERATOR, READY FOR EGG ROLLING, 1915 (Library of Congress,  LC-DIG-hec-06371)

EASTER. CHILDREN OF RODIER, WHITE HOUSE TELEGRAPH OPERATOR, READY FOR EGG ROLLING, 1915 (Library of Congress, LC-DIG-hec-06371)

Easter Bunnies in Great Demand (The Troy Times, 1 April 1915)

Rabbits for Easter souvenirs are unusually large and varied this season. The prices are comparatively high. A little bunny, which would be dear at a quarter of a dollar at any other time, is quickly snapped up for a dollar, sometimes more, just before Easter. As is customary at this time of year, the supply is far behind the demand.

The little fellows are offered for sale in expensive nests in great variety. These vary from simply little baskets just large enough for a single occupant to miniature kennels or houses with every modern convenience. These little homes often contain several apartments, carpeted with cotton or even raw silk. It often costs many dollars, to provide an Easter rabbit with one of these luxurious homes.

The pure white rabbits, as is customary, bring the best prices. They are generally preferred above any other color. The supply of white rabbits is very limited. They are imported especially for the Easter trade from Australia. This particular market is very difficult to supply, since it is necessary for the little bunnies to be not more than a few days old on Easter Sunday They quickly outgrow the size most in demand by the Easter trade.

The young of the native-born American rabbits are a grayish white in color. The color makes all the difference in the world when it comes to selling them at Easter.

The growth of late of the Belgian hare industry has made a large supply of their young available at Easter, but the color is not satisfactory. They are reddish brown in color and slightly larger than the older breeds. It is hoped by the trade that the young of the Belgian hare will eventually come into favor, thus solving the difficult problem of the Easter rabbit supply.

Illustrated is an Easter bunny that came to live with two little boys. These little boys have a game which they invariably play, on Easter morning. “Hunting the eggs” it is called. Their mamma buys candy eggs in beautiful colors, and on the night before Easter when the kiddies are slumbering she makes little nests of hay, using as a foundation old hats; then she fills these nests with the colored candy Easter eggs and secretes them in the most unheard of places. With shouts of glee these youngsters pass the early morning hours of Easter day searching for these nests.

The Troy Times, 1 April 1915

The Troy Times, 1 April 1915

The Troy Times, 1 April 1915

CLICK TO ENLARGE – The Troy Times, 1 April 1915

easter_clothes_1915

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, 31 March 1915

The Post-Standard, Syracuse, NY, 3 April 1915

The Post-Standard, Syracuse, NY, 3 April 1915

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, 31 March 1915

Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle, 31 March 1915

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Categories: 1900s, Advertisements, Easter, Holidays & Festivities | 4 Comments

Vintage Easter cards

Easter will soon be upon us. Seems an appropriate moment to post some vintage Easter cards. These belonged to my mother’s side of the family. Two are from her Aunt Jessie Trewin—the top card and the one with the little girl holding the yellow bonnet full of chicks. The rest are unlabelled or from ‘aunties’, i.e., friends of my grandmother’s. I think I like the top one and the one used in the blog’s header the best. Very sweet!
card7

card1

card2

card3

card4

card5

card6

card8

Categories: Easter, Holidays & Festivities, Vintage cards | 2 Comments

Happy Easter — Poppy-Seed Nut Roll (Potica) Recipe

Yummy!

Poppy-Seed Nut Rolls (Poticas)
(Begin 6 hrs ahead; makes 2 loaves)
Recipe from The Good Housekeeping lllustrated Cookbook (1980)

½ c. sugar
2 tsp grated lemon peel
½ tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast
3 ½ to 4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. milk
½ c. butter
1 egg
Poppy-Seed filling (see below)
1 egg yolk, beaten

  • Combine first four ingredients with one cup of the flour.
  • Over low heat, heat milk and butter until very warm (120-130 F). Butter does not have to melt completely.
  • With mixer at low speed, beat liquid into dry ingredients; beat until just mixed. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with spatula. Beat in egg and 1 cup of flour; beat 2 minutes more, occasionally scraping bowl. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour (approx. 1½ cups) to make a soft dough.
  • On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape into ball.  Place in greased large bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover; let rise 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface; cut in half; cover; let rest 15 minutes.
  • Grease 2 cookie sheets. Roll out half of the dough into an 18-inch-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread ½ of the filling on the dough to within ½ inch of the sides. From 18-inch edge, tightly roll dough, jelly-roll fashion, pinch ends to seal. Arrange dough in flat coil, seam side down, on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with towel; let rise until doubles (about 1 ½ hours).
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush loaves with beaten yolk. Bake 25-30 minutes until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove to wire racks to cool.

For Poppy-Seed Filling, combine:
12-ounce can poppy-seed cake and pastry filling
½ cup finely chopped walnuts (if they are too chunky they won’t spread well)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp cinnamon
Set aside; in small bowl with mixer at high speed, beat one egg white until soft peaks form; fold into poppy-seed mixture.

Enjoy! I guarantee it will disappear quickly!

Poppy seed cake close-up

A great gift for your Easter dinner host/hostess!

Categories: Easter, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites | Leave a comment

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