New and Improved, 1920s

A collection of novelties and items of everyday life advertised in 1920s magazines: The novelties of the time are nowadys the treasures of antiques hunters. It's a wonderful resource for spying upon the lifestyle of a century past to an extent even the best historical film or book cannot provide - because they all leave out life's "little" things.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture


Hold it!
Supports and strengthens the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. Enables the future mother to fulfill her household and professional duties for longer than normally possible. (see also 1894 page)

And the rough places plain
This wonderful new electric iron takes in only as much electricity as it needs, automatically switches off if it gets too hot and on again if it gets too cool. A revolution in ironing! The first electric iron was invented in the 1860s but came out as a flop - nobody had electricity at home yet.


The ultimate sewing machine
Again, Singer is active in advertising. This time their flagship is already electric and quite modern, almost art-déco, in design.

Have a break, take a bath
Burns below the water surface and can be connected to any gas line with a hose just like an iron or stove. Saves you the expensive installation of a bath oven. With only 1-1 1/2 cm2 it heats a full bath of 10° to 35°C. Also suitable for heating the room.

Body-builder I
Within the second you'll achieve a slim figure by using this self-massage belt. Don't weaken yourself with hunger, don't exhaust your heart with excercise and sauna - this belt will make you slim in an instant and diminish fat. You'll be astonished at the speed with which the girth decreases! - Don't draw in belly when taking measurements.

Body-builder II
Although flat breasts and hips were fashionable durnig the 20s, appliances that were supposed to make the breast grow or at least develop a more aesthetic shape by electrical stimulation appear to have been the dernier cri of the late twenties. Signs of an idolatric belief in everything electrical? Or of a new, corsetless era dawning?

Some like it hot
Electric irons were, although available, not yet standard. The picture shows a gas iron that would be connected to one of the gas outlets which also served for stoves, ovens and boilers.

Whiter than white
No, not a soap ad, but for toothpaste. It came in completely uninteresting metal tubes such as the elder among us still know ;), and the brush appears about as uninteresting, apart from its dimensions. But isn't it sometimes interesting to see that things have not changed in decades?

The penultimate sewing machine
This time it's a Naumann model. The company was one of the more successful manufacturers along with Singer and Pfaff but must have gone under. No wonder, for the model presented here is obviously still purely mechanic and, in in design, reminiscent of the Singer model on the 1894 page.

Hot air
Electric appliances obviously were thriving in the 1920s, and among them was a commodity only made possible by electricity: The hair-drier. In the ads, the manufacturer still felt the need to inscribe on the strange shape what it signified, like a caricaturist, while the same, now anachronistic, shape lives on in our minds as the image of a hair-drier.

Suck 'em dry
The Vampyr, a happy housewife's best friend! In contrast to the Transylvanian model, this one uncomplainingly sucks up garlic and crucifixes even from the darkest recesses of your carpet. It also needs to be fed from two tiny holes - in the wall.

 

 

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