Harper’s Baza(a)r – Now and Then

Harper's Baza(a)r - Now and Then

Look at these covers: One is from March, 1880, which was found in an antique shop, the other one is from February 2011. Isn’t it remarkable how life and culture have changed in only 133 years? My great grandmother was born in the 1880’s and I knew her. It might sound like the ancient past, but when measured in generations, it’s actually not that long ago.

Harper’s Bazaar is not a magazine I usually read, but it was interesting to compare the two.

Harper's Bazar March, 1880

Harper's Bazar March, 1880

The focus of Harper’s Bazar in 1880 is on fashion, homemaking, furniture, needlecraft, a novel and surprisingly a bit of politics and other news. There was actually stuff to read! The issue from 2011 is concerned with fashion, other people’s lives. We also have the privilege to see naked famous people unretouched by photoshop.

These are the top 5 articles from the online version:

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14 Responses to “Harper’s Baza(a)r – Now and Then”

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  1. catherine says:

    I was wondering what Harper's recommended for removing the frost from silverware?

    Thank you,

  2. annekata says:

    Hi Catherine, this is what Harper's recommends:

    "Frosted silverware or frosted ornamentation on plain silver should never be cleaned with powder, but only with a soft brush and strong lye, accompanied of frequent rinsing with soft water. After the frosted parts are perfectly dry, the polished parts should be rubbed carefully with powder."

    Does that help? At all?

  3. Sharon says:

    this is a most interesting commentary on today's society vs. that of 1880 and where our priorities lie…i would need a full half day to mull that over and decide what it means! but to the recipe…i make bread on at least a weekly basis and have made lots of different kinds, but never any without some sort of flour…and a pint of yeast, as i know it, would make enough bread to feed our entire town…no flour, nothing but yeast, water, eggs and butter, do you suppose they made typos in 1880, or am i missing something?! would love to know….fun reading kathrin!

  4. annekata says:

    You're right Sharon, there's no flour in the recipe! I didn't even see that, because we were laughing so hard at the pint of yeast. I found the same recipe one on the web, still with a pint of yeast, but it also contains some flour, so someone paid attention. We just don't know exactly how much:

    * 1 pint yeast
    * 1/2 pint water
    * 6 eggs
    * 1 lb butter
    * Flour

    "Work together all the ingredients. Use enough flour to make a dough just stiff enough not to stick to the fingers. After the dough is risen, make it out in biscuit and allow half an hour or more for them to rise before baking."
    Source: http://www.reciperascal.com/salt-sulphur-muffins/

  5. Sharon says:

    hilarious! YOU try it….i think i'll stick to my 1 T of yeast that makes 30 rolls!

  6. annekata says:

    Oh, just wait Sharon, you don't know yet, what I've planned for my give-away on Monday!

  7. catherine says:

    They loved lye. I have seen it recommended (and so used, I suppose) for everything. I wouldn't try this method based on the lye alone and the mystery powder? Who knows? I was hoping for a lost method….
    Thank you for answering my request.

  8. Sharon says:

    ok katherin…now you really have my interest piqued!

  9. Anairam says:

    I have enjoyed going through your posts that I have missed over the last few weeks. The Miso paintings most definitely are art! Would love to do that on a few buildings here in Cape Town. Also really liked the peek into your closet.

  10. Monica says:

    In 1880few people were able to read and afford magazines. Todays Harper's is not aimed at the very literary section but rather to a "keeping up with the…." section of society.

  11. veryberryhandmade says:

    I read that recipe so many times thinking that I had missed something…. I guess they might be called sulphur muffins because all those eggs would make them pretty yellow :D The thing I notice about old fashioned recipes is how much pre-existing knowledge they assume you have… like how to make, shape and cook muffins for example!

  12. Monika Aebischer says:

    giggle.. I went to the harper's bazar website and found a section about their old magazine.. cracked up laughing at this one:


    Fashion for Old Ladies…

    yap.. our times really have changed..

  13. Katie Bee says:

    during my last year of college, I stumbled across a great digital database of women's magazines from the 1800s. If you found this interesting, I'd suggest looking for a scan of Godey's Lady's Book–the illustrations alone are fantastic. I do wish they printed more literary short stories in magazines nowadays, but it seems that time has passed. I'll have to post some of the scans if I can find them again, now that I'm not a student.
    I do love that description of Emerson–no matter how arrogant I find the man's writings at times, he remains a fascinating character. Thanks for sharing!

  14. mark says:

    i have some origional papers from the 1800s, how much are they worth? 304-704-3855.

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