Raisins were used in many holiday recipes a hundred years ago. They were popular because “modern” technology enabled them to be produced inexpensively. And, once produced, they were easy to transport to even the most remote locales.
People had more raisin choices back then: seeded (seeds extracted), seedless (made from seedless grapes), and cluster (on stems, not seeded). Why would anyone would want the cluster variety? Did people remove the seeds and stem them after they purchased the package? It must have been a real pain to get them into a form where they could actually be used.