Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bright Ideas for Entertaining

Several years ago at an antiquarian book shop, I found a first edition of this book, authored by Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott, a.k.a, Hilda Bates Linscott of Ohio, and published in 1905 by the George W. Jacobs & Co. of Philadelphia. The book was based on an original publication from 1901 by Mrs. Linscott: "One Hundred Bright Ideas for Social Entertainment; Adapted to Christian Endeavor Societies, Epworth Leagues, and All Other Similar Organizations”. Many of the ideas in this little book were subsequently published in The Ladies Home Journal.

This fabulous little volume, is filled, as listed on the title page, with “two hundred forms of amusement or entertainment [games, themes, recitations, menus, decorations] for social gatherings of all kinds: larger or small parties, clubs, sociables, church entertainments, etc. with special suggestions for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Hallowe’en, All Fools’ Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and other holidays.” The book is also an excellent commentary on the social and cultural values of the Edwardian era – a time before television, computers, movies and cell phones in which people enjoyed gathering together to engage in wholesome planned entertainment and activities.

From time to time I will be publishing some of these charming “bright ideas” in this blog…

Pie Party

The invitation to this party should be written on three-cornered papers, shaped and painted to look like pieces of pie.

Have each lady bring a different kind of pie, thus securing great variety. The refreshments should consist entirely of pies and hot coffee.

Have each gentleman present write a recipe for the kind of pie eaten by him, also telling how long it takes to bake it. A suitable prize can be given for the best recipe.

A large pie filled with bran may contain a favor for each guest, any little articles that will not be injured in the baking being suitable.


  1. I love it! Maybe we should have done this for tomorrow! :)

  2. Wouldn't it be nice to see little parties like that ? thanks for sharing, Gina

  3. What a wonderful find. I will be looking forward to your posts. PS I absolutely love the music on your blog. It's whats currently playing on my Ipod.

  4. Hi Cassandra,
    I am new to your blog and enjoy it very much.
    My mother moved out to the Dutch Indies in 1935 and started reading Ladies Home Journal. As a child I have found this magazine an endless source of inspiration (I am talking about the '50s now). It also made me immensely interested in America and American life.
    Have a happy day! I shall follow you on here.


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