Tag Archives: 1910

The L’Mode Muffler, 1910

There ought to be a rule that all vintage items come with a handy dated box, like this L’Mode Muffler.  It actually has the date on it in three different places, but the best and most useful one is beside the most useful of numbers – a US Patent number.

It’s really tempting to just look at a date – especially a patent date – and assume that it means the item was made in that year.  No, what it means is that something about the design, either of the item or of the packaging, was patented that year.  It means that the item could have been made that year, but could also have been made the next, or the next or, well, you get the point.

There are several ways to look up patents, including the US Patent Office’s official site, but to me, the easiest way is to use Google Patent.  If you have the number, you can just type it in and most of the time you get the patent in question.   Because there are several different kinds of patents, you will probably get multiple results, but read through the listing to find the correct one.

In this case, my muffler was made under patent number  963,235.   It came up as “Muffler,” an easy enough item it find.  A quick read through the paperwork reveals that the patent was held by Joseph Mead.  In it he described the muffler in length, and included is a drawing of the muffler.

There is also some interesting information on the box.  In a statement labeled “Condition of Sale” the buyer is informed that the retail price of the muffler cannot be less than 50 cents.  The buyer agrees not to resell the muffler for less than 50 cents.   I can’t help but wonder if Mead was successful in keeping the price up in this way.

The artwork is signed B. Lichtman, or possibly Tichtman.  I could find nothing about the artist except that B. Lichtman has several similar drawings copyrighted.  I’d appreciate any information about this artist.


Filed under Collecting

Winter, 1910

Yes, it is winter, even here in the South.  We had snow on Thursday and flurries again today, so I’m in the mood for something warm and fashionable.  This sheet music cover from 1910 fits the bill quite nicely!

By 1910, women were getting into sports in a very big way, but for the most part they were still expected to wear long skirts while participating.  I can’t help but think how many ripped hems, not to mention twisted ankles, resulted.

The first woman to compete in the Ice Skating World Championship was Great Britain’s Madge Syers, who in 1902 entered the competition against men.  There was no mention of gender in the rulebook, but that was due to the fact that women had never competed in such events, and it just did not occur to the judges that a woman might enter.  She came in second, but after the contest, women were barred.   The committee stated that it was unsafe for women to compete due to the long skirts.

Three years later women got their own World Championship competition, an event won by Ms. Syers for the first tw years.  And in 1908 she won the first women’s figure skating gold metal, and at age 27, she remains the oldest winner of the gold in Olympic history.

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Filed under Proper Clothing, Winter Sports

Abercrombie & Fitch – Before the Mall

Before it was just another mall brand, Abercrombie & Fitch was one of the most famous sportsmen’s outfitters.  In 1910 they were located in Reade Street, in New York City, and from all accounts, the store was itself amazing.  There were tents set up in the store, along with all the necessary accessories for a proper camp (including a campfire).  And in 1910 they became the first store to offer sporting attire for women along with that for men.

This catalog is their second one, published in 1910.  In it they explain the A&F philosophy toward “outing clothes:”

The intelligent making of garments for sporting purposes is an art in itself, and necessitates a very exacting knowledge of the proper cut and making.

In late years there has been a tremendous increase in the number of women who have elected to share the sportman’s pleasures and hardships, and their especial needs, too, have received at our hands the most careful consideration.

Abercrombie & Fitch were known for their quality, and they were not cheap.  For example, the “Montreal” blanket suit with hood shown above was $40.  They not only kept the catalog items in stock, but also did special custom orders.


Filed under Camping and Hiking, Proper Clothing