Monday, June 7, 2021
Friday, June 4, 2021
Necessity, the Mother of Invention
While men's boots were loose enough to be pulled free with a man's own two hands, no one knew they needed something like a boot jack. As so often happens, changing fashions dictate the need for an invention (i.e., sleeve supporters). This time, fashion's wily ways effected men.
The story presented in this 1871 newspaper article explains how "boot-jacks came in shortly after the introduction of tight boots."
|North Star of Danville, Vermont on September 22, 1871.|
Imagining a Boot Jack
Are you familiar with boot jacks? Could you recognize one in a museum?
|Image: Wilson 55 Auctioneers|
This beautiful mahogany piece allowed the user to remove his tight boots. Yet not all boot jacks were so fancy.
|Image: Every Thing But The House|
Yes, many boot jacks were wooden, such as these examples. Manufacturers also cast jacks out of iron.
|Image: Urban Remains|
Even mail-order catalogues got in on the boot jack market. Montgomery, Ward & Co. Catalogue sold boot jacks made of iron.
|Montgomery, Ward & Co. Catalogue Spring and Summer 1895, No. 57.|
Boot Jacks: A Necessary Contraption?
Boot Jacks have gone the way of the dodo. Most of us haven't seen one--but many of us have. Any able-bodied man could remove his own boots, couldn't he?
Consider the tale related in 1876:
|The Mendocino Democrat of Ukiah, California on May 20, 1876.|
Reminiscing About Boot Jacks
Ah, the good old days. Some of those golden days of yore included boot jacks.
Now that's a charming tale. Worth a chuckle.
This next old-time reminiscence tale recalls his father's discipline applied by paddling the boy's backside with a boot jack.
Boot Jack Patents
Have you seen or used a boot jack? Do you have something to add? Please scroll down and comment.
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Hi, Kit Morgan here! Today I'd like to talk decorating. But not just any decorating. The old west had one way of decorating that some couldn't live without.
When we think of the old west we think of cowboys, horses, pioneers, struggle and strife and all sorts of other things. But do we ever think of wallpaper? Nope! However, when we look at pictures of those bygone days, many of them have wallpaper gracing the walls of many a farmhouse, saloon, hotel and yes, even brothels. It's in movies depicting the era, television and pictures. Who wants to look at a plain wall in the background when we're grown so used to seeing colorful wallpaper everywhere?
Wallpaper has been around forever. The Chinese glued rice paper onto their walls as early as 200 BC! As far as American, however, wall paper didn't come into the country until 1739 when a fellow by the name of Plunkett Fleeson began printing wallpaper in Philadelphia. In those early days, colonials copied European fashion. Soon paper became all the rage and American firms even created patriotic "commemorative papers" because of the revolutionary war. Artists came up with everything from neoclassical designs to rambling roses. By 1850, eight color printing was available. The papers were getting spiffy now! And in 1888, the first wallpaper paste was invented. Wallpaper pasting machines didn't come about until the turn of the century.
Being a bit of an architectural buff, I love to look at a blank canvas and imagine what sorts of wallpaper I'd put up. Yes, I'm a wallpaper junkie! I admit it. I love the stuff and had one house with quite a bit of wallpaper in it. There was always a lot of Oooos and Ahhhhh whenever folks came over and saw it. To me it makes a home all that more homier. And in the old west, it was a fashion statement for many a housewife.
Then modernism came along which frowned on embellishments and wallpaper fell by the wayside. Cookie cutter homes and sterile work environments (the bane of any artist's existence) began to dominate the latter part of the 20th century, but now in the 21st, wall paper is making a comeback! Many people have rediscovered the beauty and romance of patterned walls.
So the next time you watch an old west movie or show, notice the wall paper! Some might be downright garish (the victorian era) while others are so pretty, you wish you could put some on your own walls! I often describe the interiors of the homes in the books I write and many have, you guessed it! Wallpaper!
Until next time,
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Our authors have been busy writing and publishing books. Here is what we published in May:
Tess (Prairie Roses Collection Book 9)
A betrayal...a secret
baby….an unknown imposter…will Tess survive the wagon train journey to Sunset
Hills, Oregon after her life is threatened? And if so, what will she do once
she gets there?
Garrett Kincaid is looking forward to bringing his youngest nephew, Jacob, to join his sister and brother-in-law in their new home of Sunset Hills, OR. His sister begged him to care for her young son until the rest of the family got settled. The time is right for them to make the journey west.
Released May 4, 2021https://www.amazon.com/Tess-Prairie-Roses-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B08WNC1994
Cadi (Prairie Roses Collection Book 11)
After her father betrayed her trust by gambling away their Kentucky horse breeding business, Cadi Gruffyn salvaged the pregnant prize mare gifted for her 21st birthday. The loss of the horse farm displaces her aunt and uncle, so Cadi joins them on a wagon train to northern California where her brother established a ranch in the Diablo Valley. When her uncle dies, several men approach Cadi, insisting she needs a husband to help her finish out the trip. She refuses, afraid they only want to claim her valuable mare.
Carpenter Trynt Pembroke just wants a fresh start. A week before his wedding, he was betrayed by his fiancée who ran off with his brother. As much as he doesn’t want the complication of a woman in his life, he keeps coming to the rescue of strong and determined Cadi, a woman who shares his cultural heritage. Can he convince her they are stronger together than on their own?
Releases May 6
Albert, Angel Box Collection One
This boxset is made up of Kit Morgan’s books where Albert the Angel and his friends appear. Albert and his fellow angels are hard at work in these stories and do their best to make sure their charges have a Happily Ever After. Whether they’re working in historical times or contemporary, Albert and his friends always get their man, not to mention their woman, together! This collection includes:
Reading the Rancher
Caring for the Cowboy
Redeeming the Rogue
Watching the Wrangler
Nursing the Newcomer
Holidays with the Weavers
A Cowboy for Christmas
Released May 17https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09584H6JJ
Verity's Overlander (Brides of Pelican Rapids Book 15)
By Marisa Masterson
Verity Vaksdal wants adventure, just like her Viking ancestors. After reading dime novels, she knows that adventure will only come her way if she finds a dark and handsome hero.
Mrs. Ella Milton helps her find that hero, arranging for her to be a mail-order bride, but Verity neglects telling her real age of fifteen. She sneaks away from home and leaves a panicked older sister behind her.
Robbie MacTavish never thought to write away for a wife. After his wife’s death years earlier, he decided never to remarry. His aunt has other ideas and writes to a “friend of a friend”, Mrs. Ella Milton. When the bride fails to show, he is more relieved than disappointed.
When Veronica, his bride’s much older sister, appears and not Verity, Robbie’s suddenly grows much more interested in marrying. Will he be able to convince this woman that he needs only her as his wife while they race against time to find Verity?
Released May 14
Not all our authors put their books up on preorder. For those who do, advance sales go a long way to help their rankings on Amazon. Please consider buying before the book is releases.
Preorders for June:
A Bride for Big Ed (The Proxy Brides Book 61)
By Annee Jones
She’s wanted dead or alive…. a desperate plan to keep her safe…. will answering an ad for a proxy bride be the answer? Or will Ophelia Price get more than she bargained for when she finally meets her new husband, Tombstone Marshal Edward “Big Ed” Lawson?
Releases June 1https://www.amazon.com/Bride-Big-Proxy-Brides-Book-ebook/dp/B0923Y26W5
A Bride for Adam (Mistaken Identity Mail Order Brides Book 6)
By Marisa Masterson
Adam Collins knew his bride. No matter that the women were identical twins, he would know Liza at a glance. So why was he sure that he held Tally's hand as they stood before the preacher? Could he still say, "I do," not knowing who he married?
Releases June 11
A Caregiver for Cash (Mail-Order Mama Series Book 18)
by Annee Jones
A widowed controlling father….a blind but rebellious daughter….can caregiver Eliza Abraham help this family before tragedy occurs?
Releases June 18, 2021
A Bride for Quentin (Mistaken Identity Mail Order Brides Book 8)
By Zina Abbott
Because of her controlling father, Callie Randall has lost everyone important in her life, including her first love. With her father now gone, she must find a way to survive. She knows no man who knows her history will consider marrying her.
Army Lieutenant Quentin Thompson resigned his commission rather than risk court-martial. That was far from his only loss during that time. When the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad builds a line through the Arkansas Valley of Colorado, he accepts a job as a telegraph operator in the mining town of Jubilee Springs. He works his job, keeps to himself, and makes few friends. His life is just how he likes it—uneventful—until a ghost from his past steps off the train.
Releases June 25
Preorders for July:
Beau's Elegant Bride (Matchmaker's Mix-Up Book 11)
Annalisa Caxton loses the security she's always known with the death of her guardian. By chance, she learns about a talented matchmaker and puts her trust in that woman to solve the problem of where to find a home, a problem no one prepared her to solve on her own.
With unexpected funds anonymously coming his way, Beau LeFevre packs a wagon with goods to establish a store in the mountains of Colorado. The funds come with one string--marry the bride ordered for him.
How can he make a marriage work with this spoiled woman? …someone made a mistake!
Releases July 15, 2021