Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Drunkard's Wife

A big part of the reading in a woman's life was poetry. Poems appear every few pages throughout all the ladies' magazines of the the 1800's and early 1900's. In among the short stories, serial stories, and needlework and fashion pages poems are inserted everywhere. The following is one of the many poems in the December, 1874, issue of Wood's Household Magazine ( there was no author listed). It's kind of a stand by your man piece.

The Drunkard's Wife

The mystic shadows of the night

Have shrouded all in gloom,

But there is one her watch doth keep

Within a cheerless room.

The dying embers on the hearth

Burn with a feeble power,

And the old clock in solemn tone

Speaks out the midnight hour.

All, all are wrapped in slumbers soft,

Save, she, the wretched wife;

Oh, who dare say a woman's love

Is not the pearl of life?

The candle now is flickering,

The embers grow more dim,

Yet with throbbing brow and heart

She watches still for him.

At last she hears a footstep nigh,

Her soul is filled with bliss,

She hastens with her outstretched arms

To greet him with a kiss.

She welcomes him with eyes of love,

With smiles that are divine;

Oh, God! he reels--he cannot stand,

He is o'ercome with wine.

Night after night she watches thus;

Her frame grows thin and weak;

Yet still to him, the cause of all,

Complaints she will not speak;

And when at last the lamp of life

No more its light doth shed,

And he who swore to cherish her

Is absent from the dead,

She chide him not, but did forgive

With her expiring breath.

Oh, woman, when she truly loves,

Is faithful unto death.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Going Cross-Eyed

I've been scanning and editing photos ALL day for a project I'm working on until I think I'm going cross-eyed. Just thought I'd share a few with you before I shut it all down for the day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Helps for Housekeepers

In the old Modern Priscilla they had a regular feature called "Helps for Housekeepers". It kind of makes me think of "Hints from Heloise" that was in my newspaper during my growing up years. Do "Hints from Heloise" columns still exist? Anyway...I thought I would share with you a few that were in the July 1916 issue.

To Clean White Combs
Everyone who possesses a Persian ivory toilet-set knows how hard it is to clean the comb. I find by using alcohol and an old toothbrush that it can be done in a very short time. The brush goes in between the teeth and the alcohol quickly removes the dirt.--Miss K. B. R.

To Remove Color from White Goods
When washing shirt-waists or middles which have colored collar and cuffs, the color will sometimes run into the white goods. To remove this stain place the article in very sour buttermilk for four to five days, keeping the goods well under the milk. The color will disappear from the white goods and the colored collar and cuffs will remain as before. I have tried this in a number of cases of different articles and find it entirely satisfactory.--Mrs. C. R. T.
A Use for Old Hot Water Bags
Cut old hot water bags in to round mats. These can be used under flower-pots to prevent the moisture from staining the table.-- Mrs. H. H. B.
A Perfect Way to Launder Curtains
After shaking out the loose dirt cover curtains with cold water. Cut up half a bar of good white soap, add a large tablespoon of borax and melt to a jelly with hot water. Take this from the stove and add half a cup of kerosene. Make a thick hot suds with part of this mixture and boiling water. Squeeze curtains from cold water and dip one at a time into the hot suds. The dirt will simply run out. Put through a second lighter suds, rinse in hot water, starch, adding a little bluing, and put on stretchers. The result is curtains that look almost like new and are not worn out in washing. With two large pans this can be done in bathroom or kitchen. This mixture is sufficient for four pairs of curtains.--A. K.
To Clean Black Straw Hats
To clean black straw hats and make them look like new, take two-thirds of olive oil and one-third of jet black ink. Mix them well together and go all over the hat, using a small brush. It will clean it perfectly and if slightly faded will bring back the color.--A. E. H.
Gas Economy
I have to cook the Baby's gruel for at least two hours in the double boiler, and I discovered that beets and many other things take about the same length of time, so I put them in the bottom of the boiler. The result is very satisfactory.--Mrs. G. V. H.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Knitted Sweater Vest

Sorry, but, unfortunately, I've had to delay adding the pattern for the knitted corset cover.
I haven't been able to verify the correct conversion for the knitting needles used to today's US needle sizes. I hope to have that for you next week. I will try, try, try!
So, today I am giving you the pattern for this great knitted sweater vest from 1919. Hope you enjoy it. The pattern link is on the sidebar to the right. Happy knitting!

Friday, August 28, 2009

What's in the Mail?

Mail time! I received some more postcards and cabinet photos in the mail this week and thought I would share a few with you. The first one is a flapper girl that I have named Adoree. I'm working on a project to turn my pictures into prints, postcards, and posters and Adoree is going to be in that group. The first poster has been printed and is on it's way to me. I can't wait for it to get here and have my fingers crossed that it will come out good. If not, it will be back to the drawing board!

I like to imagine that the young girl in the second photo is getting ready to go to a dance. Maybe her prom! Did they have proms back then? I don't know. I'll have to research that.

I fell in love with the picture of this little boy and just knew I had to buy it. I call him Dapper Danny. From the look of him I'm sure he grew up to be a charmer and the ladies must have loved him.

I think the last picture may be a wedding picture. They didn't always wear veils back then so it's hard to know. I love old wedding pictures and have recently bought some lovely ones to frame and put on my wall. When they arrive I will share some with you.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed these photos. I'm working on a knitting pattern for a corset cover that I will be posting in the next few days. So, please come back!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obesity Cure

Are you TOO FAT? That seems to have been the worry even back in 1898. Do you suppose our current day diet aids stem from this product? I can't imagine what must be in this, but you can get a sample box FREE (in a plain sealed package) upon the receipt of 4 cents to cover postage, packing, etc. Mrs. Helen Weber , in the upper right hand corner, reduced her weight by 40 lbs. "without sickness or any inconvenience whatever". And Mrs E. Brown, in the upper left corner, says "It's an excellent flesh reducer, and improved my health wonderfully." This was thought to be needed because "obesity predisposes to Heart Trouble, Paralysis, Liver Disease, Constipation, Rheumatism, Apoplexy, Etc., and is not only dangerous, but extremely annoying to people of refined taste." Heaven forbid, we should be annoying to people of refined taste! I, personally, find many people of refined taste annoying! They also offer $100 in Gold to anyone who can prove that any of their testimonials is not genuine. I wonder if that offer is still good?
As I spend hours going through old magazines and books, I often think to myself that no matter how evolved we think we are today, we really haven't changed at all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Whooo! Hooo!!! I just won an auction for 27 issues of "The Ladies World" published between 1895 and 1900! I'm jumpin' up and down!!! I'll be bringing you some of the articles from these wonderful magazines pretty soon. For now I'll just show you a valentine that I came across yesterday in going through some boxes. It's really beautiful when you open it up. I guess I'll have to get the camera out and take some pics so I can show you.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rose Doily

I have a very large collection of vintage knitting, crocheting and tatting patterns and am adding more vintage books to my collection everyday. I'm hoping to open an ebay store in the next couple of weeks selling copies of all my collected patterns. I collect patterns from the 1800's up through the 1940's. Although I do have a few from the 1950's. I really love the glamour patterns of the 1940's and the intricate lace of the Victorian and Edwardian periods. I will also be posting free patterns here on my blog. The first is the Rose Doily pattern pictured above. You will find a link to the pdf for it listed under Vintage Patterns on the right. Some of you who are familiar with vintage patterns may notice that this pattern is based on an old potholder pattern. In fact, if you don't crochet the outer lace and end it after the folded points are finished you will have the potholder. Hope you enjoy making this doily!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"What Grandma Taught"

While pouring though magazines this morning, I found many little articles I want to share with you. Among them was this charming poem in a Needlecraft Magazine from September, 1925 by Josephine L. Ingham. I hope you all enjoy it as I did.

What Grandma Taught

When I was quite a little girl, and sat at grandma's knee,

She taught me how to sew a seam and turn a hem, you see;

To piece the gayest patchwork and work buttonholes, so fine,

And all the little tucks I made must be right on a line.

And Grandma used to tell me that I might go and play

When I had neatly finished that pattern of crochet!


And, too, the knitting-needles I was taught to swiftly ply,

To fashion socks for father, and sometimes I would cry

When I tried so hard to "turn the heel" and couldn't do it right,

And Grandma said "My goodness, child, that surely is a sight!"

And when holes showed in those stockings, either in the heel or toe,

I must learn to darn them neatly, over, under, to and fro,


All these "arts and crafts" were taught me, as I sat by grandma's knee,

Happy when my stint was over and I once again was free,

But these two things I decided in that time so long ago

"When I became a woman I shall neither knit nor sew!

And if my heavenly father little ones to me should give,

They'll never have to take a stitch as long as they shall live.


Time has sped and my dear grandma long since has passed away,

But the good old things she taught me have been my help and stay,

Once when fortune frowned upon me, ill-luck hovered o'er my head,

The homely art of mending helped to earn my daily bread.

And the hours have been less lonely, many days have been less gray,

Just because my grandma taught me how to do "that old crochet!"

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ahhh....some young roses!

A Few Don'ts For Girls

This is from an article in an 1891 issue of The Ladies Home Journal. It is part of a feature called "Side Talks with Girls" and is subtitled "A Few Don'ts for Girls".

Don't keep the fact that you are corresponding with some man, a secret from your mother.

Don't let any man kiss you or put his arm about you unless you are engaged to be married to him, and even then be a little stingy with your favors.

Don't let Tom, Dick or Harry call you by your first name, or greet you with some slang phrase.

Don't let any man believe that simply for the asking he can get "that pretty Smith girl" to go out driving with him, to accompany him to the concert, or to entertain him for an hour when he can't find anyone else.

Don't write foolish letters to anybody, men or women; you never know who may see them.

Don't think that you can go untidy all day and then look very fine at night, for fine feathers do not always make fine birds.

Don't believe that you can be careless in speech or manner without it's absolutely having a bad moral effect upon you.

My dear girl, it's in your own hand as to what you will be. An intelligent, charming woman, or a foolish, ignorant one, and certainly if a few "don'ts" will save you from being the last, you ought not only to read and learn, but inwardly digest and practice.

The Care and Dressing of the Hair

I found this wonderful article in a May, 1891, edition of The Ladies Home Journal. It is titled "The Care and Dressing of the Hair". This article features all of the lastest styles. It tells you how to achieve them and who should and should not wear their hair in particular ways. The one I am writing about today is called The Greek Coiffure. Here is the excerpt.

The Greek Coiffure

At illutration No. 7 is shown the veritable Greek coiffure. It is only becoming to women with oval faces, and should not be attempted by the witching maid whose face is round and dimpled. The bang is short and fluffy, soft rather then frizzy. The hair at the sides and back is slightly waved either on an iron or by pins, and is then drawn up to the top as pictured, and fastened with lace pins. The band about the hair is of gold set with turquoises. It is neccessary, not only that the face should be oval with this arrangement of the hair, but the head must be well-shaped, so she must know her points who would dare it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Helpful Hints

These are just a couple of helpful hints from vintage magazines.

When dyeing cotton garments, save some of the dye bath to put in the starch. It will give the garment a more permanent finish.

Used and discarded shoulder pads make satisfactory extra pin cushions for such places in the house as closets, laundry, and kitchen. Cover with a scrap of material and dress them up with bias binding around the seams. Larger sizes may be fastened around the wrist with a loop and button, or hook and eye, for use in dressmaking projects.

To keep the kiddies' finger marks off the four poster beds, pull a pair of men's or children's socks down over the posts while they are around.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Some more of my lovely roses!

Hello again! It's been another long time away from writing. I keep being interrupted by that nasty cancer that wants to take my life, but I am winning! Anyways.....I thought I would start by showing you some more pictures of those lovely ladies from yesteryear. I hope you enjoy them. I'm going to try to put on some vintage knitting patterns in the next few days. Please come back to see them!