Books Middle Grade Nomads Homes and Habitats: Restlessness and Refuge Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

“Home Life” – A Glimpse into North American Life in the Nineteenth Century


Fats here.

Yesterday, I shared a “photo book” collaboration by John Coy and Wing Young Huie entitled, “Their Great Gift.” Today, I have a book that would go well with it. Compiled by Bobbie Kalman and published by Crabtree Publishing Company, Home Life features copyright-free historical etchings of immigrant life in the 19th-century. It’s fascinating to see the works of hundreds of artists depict the lives of the early North American settlers.


The Historical Etchings Series was “researched and photographed in libraries across North America. Many of these etchings have never appeared in other collections… Collected in this format, they become a fun picture book or educational coloring book for young readers. The etchings can also be used as clip art to embellish projects, reports, and brochures.”

The Historical Etchings Series includes the following titles: Farming, Travel, Home Life, Holidays, and Frontier Life. I’ve included sample etchings from the book to share with you today.


On special occasions, neighbors would come from miles around to eat, drink, dance, and socialize. Parties such as this one helped some of the loneliness of life in the New World.


While their grandchildren sleep, these grandparents make toys for them.


Building a card house was a simple pleasure for children lucky enough to have a deck of playing cards.


Children loved pretending to do the work of the adults around them. These children are practicing to become doctors, apothecaries, apprentices, and future patients!


Many young girls did not go to school. They stayed at home and helped their mothers… Sewing, knitting, and crocheting were a part of every girl’s education. Parents believed their daughters needed to learn these home crafts in order to become good wives and mothers.


People did not have indoor plumbing until the late 1800s. They got their water from a well. Water was brought up from the well by pumping a handle.

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