Christmas is coming so time to consider what presents to buy.
In 1901, Timothy White advertised some excellent bargains in the Isle of Wight Times -‘FINEST PERFUMES in elegant cases from 6d upwards’ and ‘DELICATELY SCENTED MILLED SOAPS in handsome boxes at all prices.’
The ‘Women’s Gossip’ column in the Isle of Wight Observer, 1909, discussed what women really want.
USEFUL GIFTS PREFERRED
Among the more expensive gifts for women, manicure tables have been boomed in shopland, this Christmastide. These somewhat useless articles stand on four slender legs, at the height of the ordinary table, and the top takes the form of a box. The lid lifts and trays pull out, fitted with every kind of necessary, and – dare we whisper it – unnecessary instrument, for manicure – the collection reminding many of us, somewhat unpleasantly, of visits to the dentist. But, taken as a whole, we have been sensible in our choice of gifts, having possibly realised that it is much more delightful to receive something of which one can make use, than something one is forced to stow away, and forget entirely. And few among us would prefer a manicure table to a pair of silk stockings, a dainty or satin underskirt, or a length of fabric for a gown.
An advert for Bevins, Draper and Outfitter, date unknown but from a similar era, provides us with a vast assortment of ideas.
If undecided about your XMAS PRESENTS pay us a visit and you will find something to suit all your requirements.
Some examples –
Handkerchiefs in lace trimmed, embroidered, white and gold from 3 3/4 d; also Children’s picture handkerchiefs 2d.
Maids’ Caps and Aprons, in great variety, from 1/6 3/4d to 3/11 1/2d.
Sideboard Cloths, Duchess Sets, Nightdress Cases, Afternoon Tea Cloths, Tray Cloths, are always acceptable.
Men’s, Youths’ and Boys’ Requirements are not forgotten. (Thank goodness for that!)
Pullovers still the rage.
Hosiery Department full of useful presents, Gloves, Ties, Mufflers,
Hats, Umbrellas, Collars, Shirts, are always favourite presents at Christmas.
These extracts certainly help us to visualise social life at the start of the twentieth century.
Merry Christmas to all and hope you get what you desire!
Sources: Isle of Wight Times 19 December 1901; Isle of Wight Observer 25 December 1909; Bevins Advert – source unknown
Picture source: Christmas card 1907 from Wikipedia