Skilled Labor For Old Glory

August 1935 by Luis Marden

Welcome to an “old-fashioned wool-working exhibit” on the Common in Boston, where these contestants competed to win the knitting trophy. Originating in 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. The squares of 200 women (and the one lone fellow shown above) were pinned on a board to form the Stars and Stripes. In just one day, they created this woolen flag.

Mend No More

"Going Going Gone" by Jonas & Nissenson
“Going Going Gone” by Jonas & Nissenson

When’s the last time you mended a garment? I don’t mean a simple button replacement; I mean adding a knee patch, darning a sock. For me, the answer is never. Mending is a lost art. It’s much easier to drive a mile down the road and grab a dozen socks for $10 than repair the one with the hole in the heel. That sock was weak and deserves the trash.

I wonder if some readers have never seen a plastic wicker sewing backet.

I own my great-grandmother’s sewing basket, similar to this one, but I confess I’ve never used anything inside. Sentiment over function. At this point, it’s more art than utility. Do you remember one from your childhood?

Giant Bi-Racial Maraca Hovers Over Darning Housewife


Nope. Not familiar with a darning egg. But I am familiar with eyestrain, and if she thinks she knows eyestrain, oh, honey–just wait until they invent portable phones!

As if post-war needlework wasn’t complicated enough, this next “novel idea” suggests hooking a window shade to a sewing machine to serve as an extension table.¬†


Screw eyes and hooks? My sentiments exactly. Forget that. And this last one? Oh, dear. I have no words.

1949 Popular Mechanics: Shortcuts to Better Housekeeping
1949 Popular Mechanics: Shortcuts to Better Housekeeping


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