Thursday, August 18, 2005

1915 Personal Ads

Lovely young widow. Age 21, weight 135. Owns nice comfortable home. 320 acres of the finest wheat land near the Pacific Coast. Worth $30,000. Income $3,000 yearly. Also large bank account. Good disposition. Easy to get along with. Will marry poor man if bright, honorable, ambitious and capable of managing property successfully. More particulars for any man answering quickly enclosing some postage.

A jolly, trustworthy bachelor, stranger. Good character, Bohemian tastes. Presentable to the best with substantial financial sufficiency. Desires acquaintance bright, entertaining young lady under 25; must be naturally pretty, sweet and stylish (no cosmetics), good dancer, musical preferred, although not essential; nice girl employed no objections. Theaters, automobiling, balls, exposition amusements; doubtful characters, agents, keep out; references exchanged in confidence; matrimony if suited. RIGHT OFFER Box 3355

Young Lady desires to meet Gentlemen who will loan her $75 immediately; object, matrimony Box 3273

A woman employed would like the friendship of a man of means or good disposition between 40 or 50. Matrimony considered. Box 3316

A foreigner, 30, good habits, speaks very good English. Desires acquaintance of a working girl who is not afraid of work. Object matrimony. Box 3304

ALL SINCERE parties – marry here; call or write Mrs. Lueder. 1935 Geary Street; details 25 cents. Phone West 3573

MARRY – Hundreds wealthy, anxious to wed; des. Free. MRS. HYDE 2730 Mission Street.

While I was running new wire and copper, and just generally cleaning out all the Post 1895 crap out the house I found many items in the walls and under stairs. One of them was the classified section of the Sunday, January 10th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. The “Matrimonial” ads are a hoot to read. I found the one where the woman wants to “borrow” $75 intersting. There are also a few columns of ads for clairvoyants, which are fun to read.

Apparently there was a lot of unemployed people in 1915 because the paper has a large ad that says it will run any “Help Wanted” ad for free for the employer. It goes on to say that it is doing it’s part to help the many, many unemployed find work. This could be because of the 1906 earthquake or maybe it was just a recession. Male and female help wanted ads are run separately.

Then of course, there are the real-estate ads.

Magnificent Marine View Residence
$13,500 – 10 beautiful rooms with 3 large bathrooms. Billiard room or social room with open fireplace. Lower floor finished in mahogany, with tapestry wall coverings; dining room in Circissian walnut; hardwood floors in every room; every window commands a wonderful unobstructed view. Garage on rear. Automobile drive. Located in restricted “Windsor Terrace”. Motor out through Golden Gate Park to 8th Av & “L” Street, and thence into Windsor Terrace. Buildings open to inspection Sunday.

California st., 5322, between 15th & 16th aves.- Brand new 6 room residence; solid mahogany and satin walnut finish; oak floors; piped for furnace; garage; large garden;$1000 cash; $40 a month, including low interest, BUYS this $6000 home.

Large tract for subdivision, right in Eureka; will clear $200,000; every advantage; nothing else to compare with this; action must be immediate; this is all we can tell you here; write for full particulars.

The real-estate ads just go on and on. Reading about all these properties on the peninsula makes me wish I had a time machine. They are all worth a fortune now. There are a lot of ads for Berkeley and Oakland, and as you can see, even one for Eureka!

The really interesting thing about all the stuff I found was that all of it was from the time when the original owners, The Petch family, lived in the house. I found nothing dated later than 1919. Nothing from the time when the house was apartments.

I dug all my wall-finds out to display them for the party next week. It is kind of like a little museum set up. Here’s a picture.

The Museum of Petch


Suzanne said...

You got some great stuff there, Greg, But where in the world did the corset come from?

Becky said...

Would't you hide a corset behind a wall so you didn't have to wear it?

Trissa said...

I'm jealous! I wish we could find some cool stuff in our walls. Most of it was rats nests, but we found an old glass bottle for tooth cleaner, half a dyed Easter Egg, the metal top to a large can of beer and a corncob pipe. Unfortunately the corncob pipe got thrown out when we were cleaning up from demolition & I broke the eggshell. Maybe in another decade when we renovate the upstairs! I love the ads. I'd take some personal ads and housing ads out of today's paper and put them side by side in a scrapbook.

merideth said...

wow...that is ridiculously cool...i'm a history junkie so i LOVE stuff like have your own little museum started with those keepsakes

deb said...

is that a corsette? how on earth does a corsette end up inside a wall???

you should drive by the one house in eureka and see if it's still standing

great post

Scott in Washington said...

All I've found so far is stuff like thirty five year old pornography, pot pipes, and bongs. I hold out hopes, though, of finding something really cool like that newspaper. I did find "Pedro loves Maria" in childish handwriting written on the circa 1940s wallpaper. I kicked myself later after I didn't save it.

Greg said...

I confess, the corset is mine. I like its slimming effect. It helps me maintain my girlish figure.

Seriously, though, the story of the corset is very spooky. I think I’ll make that the topic of tonight’s blog entry.

So tune in later, if you dare, for...

The Tale of the Lost Corset.

Greg said...


The house ads where for SF, not Eurerka. The one ad for Eureka was for an entire subdivision to be built. Judging from the date I could guess what ares it was and most of those homes are still there.