Victorian Air Conditioner
Summer paper fans were a popular advertising possibility to beat the summer heat and promote local businesses. Trade cards and calendars were also cheap tools to attract trade. This late Victorian-turn-of-the-century advertising fan is produced by a calendar company in Ohio for Fall River’s well-known department store, McWhirr’s, which would have been patronized by Lizzie in her day. Note the suggestion to use “the telephone” for placing an order! Mr. Borden had no phone in his house. The fronts of these fans were usually embellished with glorious chromos of sweet-faced children, beautiful women, fruit and flowers, or enticing landscapes. Sadly, McWhirr’s, once a Fall River institution for shopping needs, was torn down some years ago. The Fall River Historical Society revives the McWhirr’s candy counter, complete with the McWhirr’s signature paper candy boxes during the annual Victorian Christmas House Tour in the city.