Historical

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Chariot etc.: For the SSer who was looking for a chariot, I found one on google, made by Fontanini,   http://www.roman.com/fontanini/5in/accessories/50214.htm

It is carried by many Christmas shops, and probably can be mail ordered from one as well! For those of you who don't know the Fontanini line, they make amazing things for Nativity era villages, many of which can be incorporated into mini scenes. There are shops, people and accessories from everyday life of that period, including some Roman pieces. Be careful if you order though, as they make their things in several scales. Make sure you get the appropriate size for what you are doing!

I have been coveting a structure that looks like the ruins of a Greek or Roman temple for quite a while now! lol

This stuff is absolutely gorgeous! Two Christmases ago, I even bought the potter at his wheel and his kiln for a friend as a Hanukah gift!

Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL


Dolls: we have added two new dolls to our site. Just visit http://www.twinfirsdolls.co.uk  and go to our news page. We now have the Tudor, Victorian and Edwardian styles fully covered!

Roy Dean


Lit candles on Christmas trees : way long years ago, I did one of these - a tree with lit candles. I used strings of 1 1/2 volt bulbs - the really tiny ones, and strung each one through some plastic white tubing (candle part) with a gold sequin on the bottom for a cup. Now, I don't recall how many bulbs to a string - and you don't need a lot of these for the lights to be very effective. Consult with a Cir-Kit catalog for instructions - they sell all kinds of bulbs and know how many to run on a string and what wattage transformer to use - ( you can run several strings of these small bulbs from a medium size transformer -as well as other fixtures. (just remember this is "series" lighting, and if one goes out they all are dark).

Phyl in Kentucky


Miniature Carriages and Wagons: You must check out BD's Saddlery and Wagon shop! Expect to pay about $200.00 for a vehicle, but in the model horse hobby, he is the absolute best! You won't find anything as accurate or beautiful anywhere else. Mr. Duncan has many nice examples on his website, or will make anything you like. He offers custom paint, wheels, etc. Turnaround time is usually less than a month. Be sure to tell him you want a vehicle in "Breyer Classic Scale." That is the size of the second smallest Breyer model horses, which is 1/12 in dollhouses. Also be sure of what your scene is going to be. Back then, folks of higher incomes would have more than one carriage. Fancier ones would be used for driving to church or attending a dinner party, the other less-elaborate vehicle would be for running errands. Let Mr. Duncan know what you are trying to replicate in your scene, and he'll tell you the appropriate vehicle and colors. Address is http://home.earthlink.net/~rduncan0291/index.html

Cindy


Miniature Carriages and Wagons: You must check out BD's Saddlery and Wagon shop! Expect to pay about $200.00 for a vehicle, but in the model horse hobby, he is the absolute best! You won't find anything as accurate or beautiful anywhere else. Mr. Duncan has many nice examples on his website, or will make anything you like. He offers custom paint, wheels, etc. Turnaround time is usually less than a month. Be sure to tell him you want a vehicle in "Breyer Classic Scale." That is the size of the second smallest Breyer model horses, which is 1/12 in dollhouses. Also be sure of what your scene is going to be. Back then, folks of higher incomes would have more than one carriage. Fancier ones would be used for driving to church or attending a dinner party, the other less-elaborate vehicle would be for running errands. Let Mr. Duncan know what you are trying to replicate in your scene, and he'll tell you the appropriate vehicle and colors. Address is http://home.earthlink.net/~rduncan0291/index.html

Cindy


Victorian carriages: I don't know this artist (I wish I did) but he makes the most astounding carriages (horse drawn) that I have EVER seen! His work is very pricey, but if I had the money...I'd have all his stuff! His name is Larry Hanes, and his work is highlighted on Anita's site...she does mostly 144 scale, but his are standard scale. Even if you can't afford it, you might be able to get some great ideas. The first link is Larry's horse carriages, the second link (you'll be kicking yourself if you miss THIS...) is a gypsy wagon. I have pined over this piece since the moment I laid eyes on it! ( It actually crossed my mind, (seriously) at one point, wondering how much I could get for my used car, so I could commission my own Gypsy wagon...) Check it out. Satisfying eye candy, really extraordinary work, museum quality. (You will want to backtrack to see Anita's stuff, too She is a major talent in 144 scale.) http://www.anitamoriginals.com/larry.htm http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=676136&uid=162487 anitamorig Gallery (for the Gypsy wagon)

Sherise


Southern fans: I saw something on a Homes Across America program that someone may want to try to duplicate in their Southern Plantation. It is a large fan like object suspended over the dining table. It is shaped like one huge blade moved the blade back and forth over the table keeping the owners cool and at the same time keeping the flies at bay. While they were having dinner a "servant" would pull the chord making the fan swing. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that in miniature but it certainly was a staple item on a Southern Plantation.Ana


Victorian Doorbell: I grew up next door to a Victorian house with one of these round doorbells she described. The front door was huge, about 10 feet tall with wavy-glassed double Gothic arch windows that took up about two- thirds of it, and two pairs of wood panels below the windows, separated by moldings. Looked a lot like the door on the Arthur kit! The round doorbell was set into the molding between the two upper wood panels, which set it slightly below the doorknob. It could be installed on the door instead of the jamb because it was mechanical, not electrical. Turning the key wound a spring that operated a striker like the ones in grandfather clocks that hit the round bell on the inside surface of the door.

Loretta.Sniarowski


Victorian Doorbell: My life-size house was built in the 20's and is a build-it-yourself job from the Sears catalog; so it's not really a Victorian more a cross between bungalow and craftsman, BUT we had exactly the kind of doorbell you're talking about. It was installed right thru the wood door, over the knob.

Karyn


Victorian Doorbell: The doorbell on our last full-sized house had that doorbell (we still have it!). It was centered in the horizontal center horizontal panel of the door, just beneath the glass insert, which would have made it about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom. It was a two-panel door, with window above.

Noel & Pat Thomas


Victorian Door Bell: I remember my grandmother's was located in the middle of the front door which I suppose, for adults, was about waist high.

Bobbie


Victorian door bells: I wrote to a Victorian Architectural group and asked if they could tell me where Victorian Door Bells were located and this is the answer I recvd:

-- vintrest {vintrest1@msn.com} wrote: Victorian doorbells come in several configurations. The two most common are the twist-type and the pull- lever type. The pull types seem to be slightly older,(1860's-1890) but that is just based on my experience, not on documented proof. The twist type(like she described) seem to be more common from about 1880 and later only to be replaced increasingly by the electric doorbell in the 1890's.

As for placement, the most common locations are on the door framing- to the right of the door (like on my home)or, in the middle of the center panel of a door, below the glass, if the door had glass. The height also seems to be a bit lower than we are accustomed to today so that a young child could reach the doorbell, about 36" from the bottom of the door or less. Hope this will help. John "

Sherry in Arlington, TX


Modern toilets: The WC isn't really a modern invention - in fact Elizabeth I was presented with a toilet that could flush - can't remember the name of the inventor, hang on a minute... just looked it up - Sir John Harington made the design. Elizabeth installed one in her palace at Richmond with his book as a users manual chained to the wall next to it. For some reason the idea never caught on...

Saga in Sweden


Bargello: According to the Bargello home page, http://hal.ucr.edu/~cathy/barg/barg.html   the pattern dates back to the 17th century.  Well actually, the website says it was common in the 17th and 18th centuries, so who knows--it may be even older. The point is, like most good things it's enjoyed revivals from time to time, so I say if it looks good with your over all scheme, go ahead and use it.

Jeri Moriarty


Old time kitchens:   Living in Mt. and having   grown up without electricity until teen years, here's some scoop...   Concerning refrigeration, people had root cellars they dug in the ground, or a nearby   bank.  Things stayed cool there, and did not freeze.  In the winter, if near water, they cut ice and had ice houses where they stored it, maybe with straw around it. Sometime later they had little iceboxes in the houses that were insulated and blocks of ice were put in them...

It was a 'pack it in and pack it out deal'.  Water was packed in buckets.   There was wash stand    where the bucket was set and a dipper to put some in a pan to wash.  One could also drink out of this dipper, but the leftover water was put in the washpan, not back into the main bucket...     Teakettle were kept on the stove for hot water.  a dishpan might be set there to heat water to wash dishes..  Big oval shaped boilers were set on the stove to heat water on washday.   Some wood stoves had water reservoirs attached  to   the sides where water could be heated.   There was a slop bucket to put some waste in to be later packed out.  Of course there was a rack to hold dishtowels.  Also probably a nail to hold the hand towel from washing up.

These are a few thing that one might not think of offhand with early kitchen.    Also, a wood box for the firewood, and perhaps a coalscuttle or bucket with coal for the fire,   (maybe even cow chips if no wood or coal)..

Margie Smith


Old time kitchens: Been reading about old turn of the century Canadian kitchens and since my grand parents lived in the "boonies" their house was turn of the century.

Wood stove in the huge kitchen. Out house off the back steps. The smart thing was that the seat to the outhouse was kept on a nail behind the wood stove. That served 2 purposes. If you had to use the sanitary facilities all you had to do was look behind the stove and see if it was in use or not. Also, if the seat was behind the stove in the winter time and you grabbed it, you were assured of having a warm seat when you got to the out house. There were a few other things that these old timers did that was real smart and practical.

DrBob...Delray Beach, FL


Flower shop - ideas for a name (and contents please!) This is for my mother's 79th birthday gift and I'd like to try to play on her name or initials without it sounding too forced or trite (if you know what I mean!).

Her name is Helen Anderson Alexander Freeman (nee Rankine) born in Edinburgh and worked as a nurse, doctor's wife, mum, nurse and still helps out at the terminal unit at the local hospital! One thing that won't go in the shop is any arrangement with red and white flowers combined. Superstition from the war when it was supposed to be unlucky to give anyone a red / white bunch of flowers as it looked too close to bloody bandages!!

Your ideas for an elegant name for the shop would be appreciated! (Well she's an elegant lady - a trait NOT passed on to this member of the next generation!)

Help also for some innovative ideas for the contents. The shop is a modern English one with shop downstairs and the workroom for doing arrangements, wedding bouquets etc. upstairs. There's a flat roof outside the upstairs windows and above the shop windows which I've paved and intend putting some bushes etc. in big planters on it. (They can be watered through the open sash windows!)

It's actually a wall mountable half house with long, narrow rooms so not too much floor space! I've added false doors at opposite ends to the ground and first floor to make it look as though there's a staircase behind.

Ideas for contents so far:

Shop
1) 'Grass' mounted shelves in the window with arrangements in baskets, vases and odd containers
2) Tall vine like plant growing around the ceiling of the window space
3) Stepped shelves with 'grass' for the containers holding flowers (anyone in UK got some (about 9 needed) empty little plastic paint pots (1.5" high) that they could let me have?) Perfect size and look great when painted with Humbrol green enamel but I've run out of empty pots and being another hoarder (sorry - collector!) don't really want to throw away the paint in any of the part used ones! (Well - which colour would I choose to throw away? I might need just that one for a bit of shading on a flower!!)
4) Some vases for sale on wall mounted shelves
5) Wrapping paper (with the name printed on) and cellotape dispenser
6) Mini gift cards (I'm going to design and make these and will offer one or other of the 'printables' sites as I've not yet found any!!)
7) Posters of types of arrangements on the back of the door (will offer as printables as above.
8) Till, phone, order pad and so on
9) Scissors
10) Pot plants
11) Broom

Upstairs
1) Finished arrangements
2) Work in progress
3) Buckets with selection of flowers and greenery
4) More greenery scattered over the floor (creative types are messy workers!!!)
5) Wedding box with bouquets and button holes
6) Wall mounted dispenser with paper, cellophane, assorted ribbons
7) Finished ribbon rosettes
8) Sink
9) Table
10) Scissors
11) Kettle, mugs etc.
12) Mop and bucket, broom, dustpan and brush
13) CD player (to help the creativity!)
14) Half eaten sandwich

Jane in Warwickshire, UK


URL for old New York City goodies: An interesting site to visit for good examples of old signage, cobblestone streets, lamp posts and so much more. And interesting to see how varied New York City really is. http://www.forgotten-ny.com

Pat in SC


Medieval furniture: "Making Dolls' House Interiors in 1/12 Scale" by Carol and Nigel Lodder, 1997, has plans and instructions for a Tudor Room, giving instructions for the room box itself done as either a kitchen or parlour and for furniture.

"Making Period Dolls' House Accessories" by Andrea Barham, 1996 also has instructions for a Tudor four poster bed and its hangings.

"Dolls' House Needlecrafts' by Venus Dodge, 1995, has Tudor soft furnishings and accessories.
These may be a bit later chronologically than you are really thinking of but are the best I could come up with.

Wendy in Clinton, NJ


Gypsy Peddler cart: your peddler might have equipment for repairing pots and pans and sharpening knives, and a violin, a tambourine and perhaps some castanets.

My mother, who passed away in October at 85, told me that when she was a little girl the gypsies came once a year and camped on their property in the willow groves down in the Red River bottomlands. They made furniture from the flexible willow boughs and then sold it on their travels. In those frugal days, people brought their pots and pans to be repaired and their knives and scissors to be sharpened, and Grampa got all theirs done free for letting them camp there.

Wanna in El Paso


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