Sign up for Meridian’s Free Newsletter, please CLICK HERE

The following is excerpted from the Religion News Service. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

On a recent trip to Utah I found a treasure trove: a collection of century-old issues of Improvement Era and Young Woman’s Journal, with the whole set of 19 issues going for under $100. I’ve had a wonderful time learning more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 100 years ago–including the evolution of temple garments.

I already knew, thanks to Ardis Parshall’s excellent blog Keepapitchinin, that individual retailers used to produce temple garments for sale before the Church took over exclusive production and distribution. And I understood from Devery Anderson’s fascinating Development of LDS Temple Worship: 1846–2000 that garments used to resemble full-on union suits.

But it’s one thing to know that with my head, and another thing entirely to see garments for sale over a hundred years ago from competing retailers who hawked their wares in Church publications right alongside ads for Jell-O (yes, that was apparently a Mormon obsession even then) and fire insurance.

Here are the earliest ads I have, from 1908 and 1909:

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.