Monday, July 28, 2008

Catching Up on the 1920s Vernacular

Georgette fabric was a bouncy and crinkly derivative of silk. Women in the '20s who wanted to be fashionable but couldn't afford expensive dresses would settle for georgette. You can still buy it today.

A comptometer was a very early adding machine which allowed numbers to be entered by holding down several keys at the same time. For this reason they were actually faster than modern calculators, but I somehow doubt they still offer training courses for them.

It would seem that the "motor robe" I posted about last week had a close cousin in the "steamer rug," as mentioned in the Feburary 23, 1929 New Yorker.
Those warm plaid steamer rugs that zip up, either in a long version to extend to your waist or in a short knee length, ideal for chilly motoring or for steamer crossings, are to be found here.
Our anonymous commenter was right...those cars really WERE cold!

In the '20s you could actually create colour home movies using the Kodacolor technique, which used lenticular trickery similar to those posters and billboards that change their image as you walk around them. It was apparently pretty good, but awkward.


Anonymous said...

told you they were without heat

Anonymous said...

The triangular shape of the Flatiron Building (an early skyscraper) produced wind currents that made women’s skirts billow, spurring police to create the term “23 skiddoo” when shooing away gawkers assembling for the show. The building apex, just six feet wide, expands into a limestone wedge adorned with Gothic and Renaissance details of Greek faces and terra cotta flowers.
175 Fifth Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd streets.