Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tidbits from 1875 Advertisements

By Lynn Coleman

Below is a series of five images that represent the column from an 1875 New York newspaper. Most are of a help wanted nature but not all. These tidbits give us a look into the historical lives of women who lived in New York City in 1875.

I love searching through old newspapers to get a feel for what life was like but also to inspire me with possible situations or backgrounds for my historical characters. Can you image being the German Girl listed below placing an ad to find a job in the city or country. What brought her to America? Why is she on her own and looking for a place to live? Did something happen to her family? Did she happen upon hard times once she arrived or did she escape her own country for the hope of a better life? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind when I see an advertisement like that. What comes to your mind from these ads? Take the time to browse through these and leave a comment about where these tidbits lead you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Lynn A. Coleman is an award winning & best-selling author who makes her home in Keystone Heights, Florida, with her husband of 39 years. Check out her 19th Century Historical Tidbits Blog if you like exploring different tidbits of history.


  1. Lynn, very interesting. So many textile jobs--and we know some of what that entailed. I do feel sorry for these poor girls. It makes me thankful for what we have today.

  2. Hi Lynn nice to meet ya, interesting ads in the paper. that is good idea to check these for your characters. I like the name of your new book courting Holly...we recently got new puppy and named her Holly since is was near holidays that she was born. will be looking for your story -thanks for sharing.

    Paula O(

  3. I'm a fan of old newspaper and magazine ads, too. Thanks for your post. It made me pick up one of my seven Harper's Magazine compilations. They put six-seven months of issues into a hard bound book. Wonderful pictures, maps, and stories from 1889, 1890, 1891, and 1904.

  4. I would not want to answer the ad for a 'collar and cuff ironer'!! Ironing- ugh! Interesting ads and post. sharon wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. Thank you for sharing this interesting post, Lynn. I also enjoy reading old magazine and newspaper ads. Browsing old catalogues is quite fun too!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  6. Hi Lynn! I love old papers and classified ads too! I wonder if that young German girl saw the ad that was needing a young German girl? I hope she did!

  7. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.