One of the advantages of having a father who is an antiquarian bookbinder and bookseller is that I get to see a lot of really cool old books. (The other advantages mainly revolve around having ample opportunity to make Black Books references.)
Dad’s latest gem was a bound volume of Australia Women’s Budget magazines, dated July – December 1913. I can’t find anything about them online, so I would be grateful if someone could enlighten me as to their provenance. They feature a range of columns, such as cooking, home economy, fashions and hair styles, sewing ideas, and of course, lots and lots of ads. The ads surprise me most – some of the topics addressed are so similar to ads featured today that it seems like we’ve had the same concerns for 100 years.
I love reading anything that gives me a glimpse into the past, and these magazines provide a fascinating insight into the lives of Australian women in the early 1900s. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did.
Here comes the ads! A lot of ads and topics were repeated again and again, probably reflecting the concern women had with these issues at the time. The most featured topics were constipation, drunkenness, personal care such as hair, eczema and pimples, hypnotism (??), and of course WEIGHT. In 1913, women could be too fat or too thin, but luckily, there is a pill to cure you of either malady.
Fashion! As lovely as these garments are to look at, I can’t imagine they would be at all practical in Australia in 1913. I find the attempts of early British immigrants to retain their way of life in a completely unsuited climate very amusing. We still insist on having Christmas roasts when it is usually a sweltering summer day.
The magazines had a lot of abysmal short stories printed. I wonder what Betty is planning this time….