Tag Archives: Godey’s Lady’s Book

Giving Only Eye-Service

There is nothing more humiliating to a right-minded person than to be watched. There is nothing more annoying to an employer than the spectacle of men hard at work in his presence, but idle, or dilatory as soon as his back is turned.

A man who is desirous of earning his wages works at all times during business hours, but one whose chief anxiety is to draw his salary, is better out of the way than in it, and is, moreover, dishonest. Whether the engagement be for one year or one week, the agreement, on the one hand, is to pay a certain sum for the services of an individual; on the other, to work faithfully and honorably for the said term.

What would be thought of the employer who should, on pay-day, withhold a portion of the salary by reason of the contract not being kept by the workman? He would be universally condemned as mean beyond precedent; but is there any more justice or honor in frittering away an employer’s time, or deceiving him by a pretended performance of work, than withholding an employee’s salary?  None at all.

Labor is honorable, and the man who works for his living, whether with a pen or a hammer and chisel, is to be respected, but no one respects a man who is constantly trying to evade his duty.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Source: Godeys Ladys Book, November 1866
Top Image: Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, v. 22, no. 552 (1866 Apr. 28), p. 89.


Godey’s Presidential Profiles: John Quincy Adams

Louis A. Godey established Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830 in Philadelphia. Initially, it included mainly articles clipped from British women’s magazines and hand-coloured plates reproducing fashions of the day. Wanting to provide more original content by American authors, Godey bought the Boston Ladies’ Magazine in January 1837 and invited its editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, to edit the revamped publication.

For the next 40 years, Hale and Godey commissioned fiction, poetry, and essays almost exclusively from American writers. Among the distinguished authors on the magazine’s literary pages were Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

In the 1880s, Godey’s Lady’s Book featured monthly series of profiles on American presidents. This was the magazine’s item on John Quincy Adams.


John Quincy Adams, the son of Washington’s successor, and heir to an illustrious name, was born in Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, but in his early youth, having accompanied his father on an embassy to Europe, he had all the advantages of foreign travel and a protracted residence at Paris.

He developed a fine literary taste as he grew older, and became a professor of rhetoric in Harvard University, having first engaged in politics to a mild extent. His political career was interrupted by the election of Thomas Jefferson, but he soon abandoned his academical post to pursue it again, and was elected to the Senate by Massachusetts as a strong representative of the Federal party. Later on his views were modified, and he partially fraternized with Madison’s party. During the latter’s administration he was sent on a mission to Russia, and afterward to England, where he took part in the negotiations of peace then pending, and became the adviser of the deputies sent from America to Ghent.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.


The Training and Life of a New York Fireman in 1896

By Rufus Rockwell Wilson

The coming International Firemen’s Tournament, to beheld in London, will be attended by representatives of nearly all of our leading cities, and promises to emphasize the fact that American firemen are in many respects the best in the world. One who has been present at a fire in any of our centres of population must have admired the dash, skill, and precision with which the firemen began and waged their battle with the flames, and must doubtless have wondered, how this skill and confidence were acquired; but an inquiry would have revealed a fact unfamiliar to the general public, that in all the chief cities there have been maintained for years past well – equipped training – schools, where men are regularly and carefully drilled in the art of handling fires and saving lives. The training-school in New York is at 157 East Sixty-seventh Street, the headquarters of the department, a handsome seven-story brick building, erected in 1887 at a cost of half a million dollars. To Captain H. W. McAdams, instructor, come all applicants for admission to the department, and during the past sixteen years, he has drilled more than 40,000 men in the essentials of his calling.

At a Union Square Fire.

At a Union Square Fire.

The men are first trained in the use of the scaling-ladder. Each man takes a ladder, and these are secured to the window ledges of the training-school building until a continuous chain is built to the roof. In the hands of well-trained men the scaling-ladder is a most effective appliance for life-saving, and special attention is given to it in theNew York training-school. When properly trained in its use the “standing-on-sill” drill, as it is called, is taken up by the pupils. In this exercise, two men at a time stand on window sills and handle the ladders in building a chain to the roof. The “swinging-from-window-to-window” drill is the next step in the making of a fireman. This is a device resorted to when a building is on fire and the occupants of the top floor cannot be reached from the ground. In such an emergency the firemen can get to them only by going to the top of the adjoining building, if that has escaped the flames, and swinging over to the burning structure.

Ladder Drill

Ladder Drill

After this, the men are taught to send a lifeline, or, as it is sometimes called, a roof-line, to their comrades on the roof by means of a gun. This life-line is a cord and serves as a connection between the men on the roof and those below. When it has been caught and made fast, it is used to draw a heavy life-rope to the roof, after which a life-belt is given to each man, to be used in sliding down the life-rope. This belt has a large hook attached to it called the snap. One end of the life-rope is fastened to the roof of the building, and when ready to descend the fireman twists the rope twice around the snap in his belt. If he is to take another person down with him, three or four turns are necessary, according to the weight of the second person. The friction of the rope around the snap eases the descent so that a man has only about five pounds pressure to hold on his hand in powering himself down the building. No other means of regulating the descent has as yet been devised. As a concluding exercise, the men are taught how to jump in case of necessity, and how to hold the Bonner drop-net. The object of this net is to save life by breaking the fall of persons jumping from upper windows. To teach the men exactly how to hold the net, dummies are thrown from the roof. These are elongated bags filled with sand, weighing from 75 to150 pounds.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

Victorian Woman

Preserving the Health of Body and Mind

To promote soundness and vigor of mind measures should be adopted and habits formed analogous to those recommended for supplying the body with fresh air and change of air, and securing to it the advantage of free ventilation. We often, and very intelligibly to all, speak of the “atmosphere” in which a person lives; meaning by the term the moral and intellectual influences to which he is constantly subjected, in the family or in society.

And we as often, and most justly, attribute to these influences the improvement or deterioration of his character. Above all things it is essential to a good education that the sentiments and principles, the demeanor and habits, of those with whom a child is in daily intercourse, should be such as, by the force of example and the necessity of conforming to circumstances, may contribute to the repression of the evil and the development of the good instincts of our nature. These are advantages which it is very difficult to secure; impossible, perhaps, to secure to entire satisfaction. Especially it is found impracticable, in most cases, to select for a child such juvenile associates as may merely do him no harm, to say nothing of such as may promote his progress in intelligence and virtue.

We must be contented, and thankful, if we can effect an approximation to the best state of things, by keeping or placing our children under guardianship which shelters from the assault of the open and grosser forms of evil, and under such a system of association with their fellows as shall insure the minimum of corrupting communication, and the maximum of respect for the principles of honor, justice, and truth. It may be considered, in some respects, a counterpoise to the difficulty of preserving the mind in an altogether pure atmosphere, that much good is to be expected from what may be termed mental ventilation.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.


Three Bits of Advice from Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine contained long short stories, plays, recipes, craft patterns, fashion plates, poems, and other items. These three bits of advice for their readers’ families appeared in the June 1866 issue as people were pulling their lives back together after the Civil War.


It is often said of persons, in a complimentary way, that they are sociable, meaning that they are friendly and talkative; but it depends somewhat on the character of a person’s speech, as well as its quantity, whether his acquaintance is desirable or not. Persons may be ever so well meaning, but if their conversation is only of the prevailing sickness, or the last horrible murder in the papers, unless you incline particularly to such kind of entertainment, they will be likely to prove dull companions in the end.

Or if an acquaintance is simply prosy, and talks with as dignified an air as if he fancied himself to be delivering a lecture on some moral subject, without any of the familiar language which makes intercourse with friends so charming, you will be as likely to go to sleep during his discourse as you would in a railway carriage while it is in motion, and wake up when he stopped. Or, if your caller should happen to be one full of his or her own petty cares, who will treat you to a history of all their little vexations, you will soon become tired, or irritable, or both; but no matter, you must hear all their plans for the present and future, whether you will or not. Sometimes, too, from this kind of sociable people, you will hear nothing but bits of flying gossip about people you are not at all interested in.

But when a friend enters about your own stamp, and you cannot speak without calling up a response from his mind; when your ideas and experiences correspond, and you heart grows lighter with the friendly interchange of thought, you are enjoying one of the highest pleasures of social intercourse. Such hours need not be counted among the vanishing pleasures, for the recollection of them is agreeable to both ever after.