When I set about to write THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC (back when it was a screenplay), I knew nothing about the Progressive Era. One of the things I did to get up to speed was to collect photographs from the 1900s. I gathered street photography, shots of clothes, portraits, pictures of art, anything 1900s. Not only did it enable me to describe what, for example, Anna's car looked like, it gave me a window into people's lives.
People weren't always as straight-laced as I had imagined them to be. Some were silly, sexy, rebellious, gay, living on the fringes. Women and people of color did amazing things that are mostly left out of the history books, which tend to celebrate white males.
I collected beautiful, silly, and surprising pictures. Now, I post these pictures on Pinterest and on my Facebook page. You can see photos that inspired THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC and the sequel, which is coming out in Fall of 2017 (working title: THE SECRET DEATH OF ELIZABETH BONSOR. What do you think?) and a whole host of other interesting things.
Here is a preview. It's the Arrow Collar Man. (Sigh)