My wife and I wear vintage 1920s-1930s clothing regularly, are restoring a historic home, and a 1929 Buick sedan (though we do have daily drivers and contemporary employment). Our appliances, save for our washer/dryer, are original from the 1920s and 30s as well. Our closer friends live similar lifestyles ranging from the 20s to the 50s. Some very nice folks were actually interested in an AMA so we figured we'd do one! Thanks for having us!

Edit 1: My wife is posting under "l_heure_bleue"

Edit 2: To clarify, we don't live as if it IS the 1920s. We are aware that there's a big world out there and to function in it requires an ability to stay connected.

Edit 3: Our 1929 Buick (Album of pics is on the way)

Edit 4: Album number one

Edit 5: Album number two

Edit 6: MY wife and I are genuinely cracking the hell up over the 20s lingo posts. You guys are great! Thanks for the support. We'll be around a little while longer.

Edit 7: Holy crap....front paged. We really appreciated all of the support and warm welcomes!

Edit 8: We can't thank everyone enough. You're much too kind. We're heading to bed as we need to be up for work. I'll try to field what I can in the morning! Thanks again!

Edit 9: We have computers because I've worked in IT longer and the career path I've chosen and is quite necessary for me to provide for my family. We realize that in today's world, it's necessary to stay connected through the use of technology. People seem really disappointed by this. Not sure why.

Edit 10: Wow, We had no idea people were still posting some 9 days later....Please give us a bit, as we play catch up. Also, someone please explain to me (objectively) how this makes us hipsters?

Comments: 2800 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

[deleted]777 karma

THIS. this is an IAmA. genuinely interesting, not a celebrity, cools pics included, great responses, the whole shabang. I like the direction this subreddit is going.
edited for spellage

depression_era312 karma

That is very kind of you to say. Thank you very much!

zgh500292 karma

You're even polite like the 20s!

depression_era131 karma

Why wouldn't we be...No reason not to be cordial to people.

p3t3r133714 karma

In 10-20 years from now will you progress to the 40s/50s, I dont wanna spoil it for you or anything, but I dont recommend any European vacations.

l_heure_bleue418 karma

Crap. We are scheduled for Germany next year... maybe we'll change location... Italy! ;)

depression_era340 karma

Shit...There goes our vacation ideas....

lawlredditlawl506 karma

not to be cheeky, but why do you live like you're in the 20's?

depression_era473 karma

No cheekiness taken. It's a time period my wife and I enjoy very much. We still go out for drinks and dinners with friends at contemporary restaurants etc. My wife and I both thoroughly enjoy antiques, historic houses, vintage clothing. We actually got started into it swing dancing several years ago and our tastes progressed away from the late 1930s / 1940s to the 1920s/30s. Our close friends also live similar lifestyles ranging from the 1920s to the 1950s/1960s. We all have our favorite eras and tend to hang out at historic locations / night clubs when time allows.

jeanlucdickhard86 karma

You have any suggestions as to where to find all the great music from this era? I have about 80 songs now, mostly Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, and of course The Aviator Soundtrack, but I want lots more music like this

depression_era133 karma

Are you looking for more Big Band music from the "swing era"? Ken Burns Jazz set is a 4 disc compilation that's pretty broad across the very early days of Jazz right through more contemporary musicians. also has a ton of old Mp3s ranging from the teens to the 1950s. also has a bunch of different things as well. I've found a lot of people post recordings on you tube of an original record playing. It's introduced me to a few decent records (I also collect 78s) that I've found later one, or am still looking for.

Minifig81475 karma

If you live in the lifestyle of the 1920s-1930s.. why are you on the internet? There was no internet in the 1920s-1930s.

depression_era396 karma

Can't argue with that logic. I work in technology so it's kind of necessary that I have some understanding of modern technology.

clobes427 karma

...So you're a time traveler?

depression_era418 karma found me, I don't know how but you found me. Run for it Marty!

Vaypo376 karma

Oh Dahhhhling, could you please throw a log in the furnace and press my tweeds while I browse the Internet?

depression_era254 karma

Now you're talking...

the_city311 karma

Man, I can't put my finger on exactly why, but if I had friends that started doing this I would find it really annoying.

depression_era279 karma

We interact on a normal social level. Not all of our friends share our interests. Variety is the spice of life. To each their own.

douggie2194113 karma

  • Why? What made you do this? It's so strange. But I must admit, I always wanted to live then.

  • Where do you live? If there just a town of people like you?

  • Do you find it weird knowing you do this from a third person point of view?

  • Do you avoid modern appliances?

  • Do you do some things socially accepted by todays standard?

  • Does your family participate, along with kids?

  • Do you intend on doing this your whole life?

  • How often to you get strange looks?

  • Where do I sign up to live in this town?

l_heure_bleue177 karma

We started it a couple years back when we thought swing dancing might be fun and then discovered vintage clothing. We both grew up with antiques and the like, so it was sort of a "natural" progression.

There are many old houses in Southern California where we live, but not everyone lives like us.

We find that old appliances work fairly well for us. We have a 1935 GE monitor top refrigerator, a 1926 Detroit Jewel Stove, various percolators , waffle irons, toasters, etc. No microwave, though. We do use a modern washer and dryer for items that we don't hand wash or dry clean.

We both have modern jobs, cars and computers (obviously). He's into gaming as well. We watch TV as much as other families.

Our family doesn't participate, really. Though they are more than fine with it. No kids, yet.

It's not really something we could just up and give up on. I suppose we could stop wearing the clothes if we got tired of it, but the house and items inside are all here to stay.

We actually get complimented quite a lot. I have never had anyone say anything mean or snicker maliciously. For the most part, people ask us why we are dressed up, if we are in a play or movie and (annoyingly) where my husband leaves his Tommy gun.

You don't need to sign up, just spread the cool around by doing it where you are ;)

[deleted]72 karma


depression_era52 karma

Yeah I think I peed a bit....ahh well shit happens.

waffletoast110 karma

Do you have any black servants friends?

depression_era81 karma

Yes we have several who also share similar interests.


Is your preferred digital distribution platform Steam?

Is your favorite show Boardwalk Empire?

depression_era65 karma

Upvote for Steam :).

BWE....not necessarily our favorite, but we hold weekly viewing parties.

[deleted]81 karma

So just how did you two crazy misfits meet?

depression_era133 karma

Local theme park :).

LBORBAH75 karma

Do you have a job that allows you to dress like this? What type of work do you do?

depression_era213 karma

I work as an IT manager and a Linux sys admin. At first people were very curious. Tt took some time to get used to "The IT guy in the three piece suit and tie" as it sort of breaks the stereotype. I don't wear one everyday but always a button down shirt and vintage trousers often with a vintage sweater vest of some kind and dress shoes.

My wife unfortunately has very strict dress codes where she works. Since she's in a public relations position for the company, she wears contemporary business attire.

TheRealTaryn50 karma

Obviously you own a computer and use the internet, What other exceptions do you have regarding modern life? Is it truly a 1920's existence or just aesthetically with material objects?

depression_era75 karma

In order to support such a lifestyle it requires us to work very hard for what we have. I work in IT so I have to have knowledge of modern technology. We recognize the need to exist and function in today's society. Since acquiring vintage counterparts to certain modern day conveniences generally happens over time, we make do with certain modern items until a time where we can replace them. For example, our vacuum was modern day until we replaced it with a 1935 Eureka.

nopointers64 karma

Are you finding it difficult to acquire vintage counterpart to replace this modern item?

depression_era81 karma

Ha...I was waiting for someone to say something. We haven't even started restoring the kitchen yet. We're working from the front of the house backward as far as restoration goes. Once the living room is done, then comes the dining room. The kitchen is going to be the largest undertaking as it was redone in the 1950s. The white cabinets and buffet to the left of the fridge are original however the knotty pine stuff is all going to be replaced including the tiles and sink. etc.

We're on the lookout for a 1930s Dishwasher in the mean time.

caveat_cogitor35 karma

I live in a building built in 1917. It still has the in-built icebox, central steam heating, separate hot/cold spigots, etc... I have no dishwasher either. Can we be friends? heehee

depression_era27 karma

Sure...the more the merrier!

gowahoo47 karma

does the vacuum do a better job than the modern ones?

depression_era69 karma

It's comparable to a modern one believe it or not however cleaning out the bag is a great big pain in the ass and MUST be done outside.

depression_era49 karma

We're currently sorting through some photos to share. We'll update the main body with them as soon as we're done.

matthank44 karma

so, does your computer have a typewriter for a keyboard?

and run on steam?

do you use sheepskin condoms?

depression_era57 karma

If I could I would own that! No condoms necessary!

[deleted]43 karma

Oh wow, so what 1920s style birth control do you use?

saltyjohnson310 karma

They had coat hangers back then.

depression_era251 karma

My wife and I roared at that one. Thanks for the laugh :)

coldfire336135 karma

Hey I think this may interest you. Typewriter keyboards exist.

depression_era28 karma

That might be fun to have on my desk at work! Thanks for the link!

Nomiss39 karma

Have you ever tested you chandelier under a UV lamp ? It looks to be uranium glass.

depression_era46 karma

The chandelier isn't. We have a collection of depression glass in the cabinet in the dining room that is though.

trollbrainwinsagain38 karma

Do you have any awesome DIY household projects to share?

Why do you do it and where do you learn the way of the 20s?

depression_era68 karma

We do actually. We've lived in our house for a little over a year's been tremendous. The first thing we did when we moved in was rip out all of the carpet to see the condition of the floors. The floors were original so we hired someone to come in and refinish those. Projects we can tackle on our own, we insist on doing. If it's out of our league, we'll call on someone who won't screw it up.

We do it because we enjoy it as simple as that sounds. People often say "it was a simpler time" to which I'd have to disagree. Different time period,same relative (or worse) social and economical problems. We enjoy history and reading, and our friends and we tend to get together and trade information and chat history, clothing, antiques etc.

Edit: The guy we bought the house from was a real character and really gave us a hard time during escrow, as we restore the house we're finding a lot of his crappy "short cuts". Nothing that's harmful or damaging, just minor shoddy work. Ask me the DIY project question again after the new year. We're restoring the fireplace at that time :).

trollbrainwinsagain22 karma

Oh we found tons of shoddy repairs after we bought our house. I am interested in your fireplace plans! What are you going to do to it? I hope I remember this after the new year... I'd love to see before and after pictures! I've recently started fixing furniture up to suit my style and love to see what other people have done as far as home DIY projects.

depression_era84 karma

Thanks for the interest! We're VERY fortunate to have been put in touch with the family that built our house. There's one surviving son who's 93 and still takes regular trips to our place to give us guideance on what was where etc. He's got a memory like I've never seen in someone his age. The fireplace was added in 1945 by his brother and we're restoring the built-in desk and bookcase that flank the fireplace. The fireplace was originally brick, however we've decided to do a majolica tile fireplace with two large koi tiles as a tribute to the original family who had a koi pond in the backyard during the 1930s. We'll eventually do one back there as well.

trollbrainwinsagain39 karma

It's really awesome that you're in touch with the original homeowners! How does he feel about the changes you've made or want to make?

depression_era65 karma

considering that the previous owner was nothing short of a complete asshole, they were delighted that the house was sold to a couple that really wanted to take it over and restore it. Four generations of the family grew up there, and the house next door. The weird thing is that we seem to be picking colors and choices that were accurate/original to the house without even knowing it.

bbbeetlejuice37 karma

Do you guys ever pretend to live through of the events during those two decades, like prohibition, depression, Orson Wells "War of the Worlds" broadcast? If time travel existed, would you choose to live in present day or go back to the 20's/30's (you wouldn't be able to come back to present day awesomeness)?

depression_era57 karma

We've been to parties etc that "celebrate" eras, we've done depression era gathering/picnics, and prohibition and repeal celebrations.

Tough call, I don't pretend to think that life would be any easier back then, however I don't think I could survive back then. If it was a one way trip/decision. I'd have to elect to stay here in order to support my family with a career path that I've chosen for myself which would not really net me much in the way of financial security back then.

Great question!

glenomenon89 karma

But you could invent modern programming languages back in the 20's. Sure you'd ultimately die as a penniless raving madman, but just think of the karma your great grandson would get for posting your 1920's journal full of C++ to reddit.

depression_era68 karma

Yeah...I don't see a flaw in your logic. You've convinced me! Thanks!

Camaroshi35 karma

I saw from one of your answers that your wife closely to the gender roles of the time period do you conform, as a couple?

depression_era67 karma

I support her in any life choices she makes. She tends to do more of the cleaning and cooking, and I tend to take care of our bills etc, though we think of it as a team effort to keep our marriage going.

[deleted]24 karma

If you work in technology, surely you understand the benefit of grounded outlets. How modern is your home behind the scenes?

depression_era30 karma

Certain outlets were grounded/added later on as mandated by city code etc...however, the original knob and tube wiring still exists in parts of the house. We're planning on rewiring those portions of the house before long using cloth covered wire.

poopydoop16 karma

How do you afford to lead that sort of lifestyle? I understand that both of you have jobs, but it seems like it would be stretching it.

Also, my roommates and I want to have a 20s style party, any tips on decor clothing or food?

Thanks, neat AMA!

depression_era28 karma

Things move a bit slower in the decor fashion. Because it is harder to find exactly what you're looking for it gives you a bit more of an opportunity to budget accordingly. Depending on certain clothing, suits are comparable in price to a good modern suit brand new. The thing is trying to address the deterioration over the years.

Whiskey and Rye is a must for your party. Certain mixed drinks date back to the 20s and before (like old fashions which I believe started in 1904, moscow mules which is more of a 30s drink I think, is actually the drink that introduced and popularized vodka in the US. Fedoras and panel caps (newsie style) suits were slimmer fitting in the earlier 20s than that later though ties and lapels weren't "pencil" thin like the 50s/60s brought on. For the ladies in attendance please stay far the hell away from "flapper" costumes. Those aren't even close to accurate (if that's what you're going for).

iconfuseyou11 karma

How is the cost of living compared to a "normal" lifestyle? Do you find things are more expensive due to the rarity of such items?

depression_era17 karma

That depends really. certain things tend to be more expensive depending on rarity etc. It's certainly harder to find suitable replacement parts for things like radios etc, but any "hobby group" can point you in the right direction for most things. Certain things you just gamble with, like the fridge.

The price we pay for suits and dresses are actually on target or cheaper than a good suit / dress that you'd find in a department store. The trick is finding ones that moths haven't moved into and is otherwise in great condition.

A_Seabear8 karma

How did you manage to find appliances / parts for them that were dated from that era? Antique Shop?

depression_era16 karma

The honest answer is. Wherever we could. Craigslist, antique shops, ebay sometimes. We often take road trips to find parts if needed. You'd be surprised at certain things and how long they last when there are no electronic parts at all. Our stove is very simplistic 1926.

The fridge is another story since the refrigerant used was Sulphur Dioxide which is no longer in use. If that leaks, you're pretty much SOL and either have to replace the entire compressor/condenser unit or rig up modern ones to the back/bottom of the thing.