Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Official Bob Pins of American Airlines Stewardesses!

Ever wonder how blondes pin up their hair invisibly without those ugly brown or black bobby pins?
With these little beauties!

From 1950, AND endorsed by stewardesses, how can you go wrong?  Well, flash forward to 2010.  I'll bet you can't even GET ON a plane with these on your head now.  Wonder if I can get my 10 cents back?

So what does a flamingo have to do with bobby pins?

Hair Bows and Barrettes

Ever wonder how they got those outrageously large bows to stay just where they wanted them?  They used one of these.

I know the pic is fuzzy, but my camera doesn't do closeup and my scanner did it's best with a non-flat object.  Here is a website with some for sale.  (Just to see what they look like.)  The curved front clamps to the back.  It's patented, like the ones at the other site, September 15, 1914, but there is no maker or patent number, so I can't find the patent except by looking at almost 800 objects patented on that date, but I did find this one, this one, and this oneHere is another really cool ribbon holder, though not a barrette.
By the way, the girls  are Evelyn and Dorothy Crothers, born in 1910 and 1904 respectively.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Making Tailored Buttonholes and Other Things

I was curious as to who this Marjorie Eastman, who was clothing specialist for the Michigan State College Cooperative Extension Service, was.  I found a listing of all her published works here.  It seems she started publishing pamphlets and books on sewing in 1929.  Here is a newspaper article from 1951. 

According to the Minutes of the Meeting of the (Michigan) State Board of Agriculture, May 18, 1944, there was an annual meeting of the American Home Economics Association in Chicago, June 19-24.  The college sent 10 people from the Department of Foods and Nutrition with an allowance of $10.00 each and eight women, including Marjorie Eastman, department not specified, also with a generous allowance of $10.00 to be paid from Extension funds.  It should be noted that in this document there were many men going to other meetings and conferences with their way paid in full or mostly in full.  Another interesting tidbit is that two Physics Instructors were earning $224 and $225 per month.

Not finding a biography of her online I finally found mention of her as a surviving relative of Dr Lois Gannett in 1955.  She was still being called "Miss" Marjorie Eastman, and the way the obit was worded led me to believe she was a niece of the deceased.  I looked up Lois on the 1870 census and saw she had a brother named Seymour.  I looked up Seymour in 1900 and BINGO!  There he was with his wife Editha and children William, Margery, Rodger, and Helen.  Margery was 4.  So next I went to the Social Security Death Index and found this:
MARJORIE EASTMAN 13 Dec 1895 Apr 1991 (not specified) (none specified) 371-46-3588 Michigan

Then I went back to the 1930 census and found her vacationing with several other teachers in a hotel in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

See, now?  You've learned how to make buttonholes and also how to find someone using online resources.

More of Those Indispensable Notions

First up - for the non-sewer, Bee's Universal Button Fasteners, consisting of a sharp pointy staple and a metal backing plate.  Since this envelope is still sealed after all these decades, the mystery of how to curve those sharp points into the grooves on the plate will forever remain one.

Next up - from April 9, 1895, the Singer Safety Patent Garment Ready Opener Hook.  (Say that fast!)  The particular charms of this hook include being wringer-proof, a very real problem that vintage clothes buyers can attest to.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Edwardian Blouse Set

Sorry for the blurry pic, but I scanned this card and it's not flat!  This cute blouse set is for the woman who wears detachable collars and cuffs on her blouse.  The item at the top is a collar button, used in the front to hold the two sides of the starched collar together.  The three pins are for when a lace collar is worn, to pin it to the blouse.  The cufflinks are at the bottom.  This set is called "The Washingtonion" and I was very lucky to find it.

It Hooks, and Locks!

There is a problem with snaps.  They don't always hold like they should, especially under pressure.  This could become quite embarrassing when it was your skirt placket and your undergarments began to show.  What would people think?  Hooks and eyes were not much better, especially when they have become mangled from ironing and washing.

Wilson's Patent Fastener to the rescue!  This little item was guaranteed not to fail.

It came on a card inside an envelope and is one of my treasures from the early years of the 20th century.