One of the major influences in all things home and design oriented were the ladies' magazines. Advertisements for essential products and ideas for personal care, dressing, rearing children, food, and decorating all made their way into middle-class households by way of Good Housekeeping, Ladies' Home Journal, The Household, Modern Priscilla, and Woman's Home Companion.
We may have more choices, but women of 1910, 1925, or 1940 were no less informed or passionate about caring for their homes.
Decorating was a topic that was constantly considered. What was good decorating? What were good products and ideas?
It's a world very much like today in more ways than not. We may no longer wear Warner's Rust Proof Corsets, but we continue to search out articles like "How I built this house for $700." Okay, so it's now $170,000. And the question of what color paint to choose was as perplexing to Great Grandma as it is to us.
Ladies' Home Journal was instrumental in popularizing some of the notable trends of the day ... like Prairie School design homes. Architects, like Frank Lloyd Wright, published their ideas in LHJ to get the traction they needed to build their careers. (See his 1907 Fireproof House plan.) Women were much involved in this publishing business with writing, photography, and advice on every imaginable subject, many of which were often quite progressive.
In 1916, the Curtis Publishing Company offered two catalogs of plans: We have put up a few of the plans from Journal Bungalows. The homes shown were featured from about 1910 to 1915 when they were collected for this publication.
The 1935 catalog is a series of cut sheets with a line drawing (some are wood cuts) and floor plan in popular designs. The plans shown are small houses, vacation cabins, and even a few roadside stands, which were available for $1.
Dethier, Kathryn. The Spirit of Progressive Reform: The Ladies' Home Journal House Plans, 1900-1902. Journal of Design History, Vol. 6, 1993.
© 2008–2015 — Antique Home Style