THE WAY IT WAS--1876 by Suzanne Hilton


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There's nothing skimpy about this collection of Centennial life and lore. Hilton moves briskly from cold water baths, housekeeping, children's games and autograph books to patent medicines, seaside vacations (favored by trendsetting ""summer tramps""), women's fashions and their feminist detractors, the beginnings of Heinz catsup, cash registers and, of course, the great Philadelphia Exhibition, all surveyed with a keen--if unrelenting--emphasis on sexism and, despite a predominantly middle class orientation, with an awareness of elitism. Hilton's choice of material is not necessarily outstanding and her commentary sometimes takes too much for granted--the incarceration of an unemployed seventeen-year-old girl is not that different from the treatment of juveniles today, for example, though it's assumed here that such things no longer happen. Too amorphous and light to really rate as social history, this is nevertheless a generous stock of age-graded memorabilia that invites rummaging.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1975
Publisher: Westminster