Monday, April 26, 2010


Sorry for the blurry photo, but I scanned this and the jewelry sticks up too high for a good scan, so I'll transcribe:
A New Creation
Patent Pending
The Perfumette is the very latest creation.  "Just drop a drop" or two of your favorite perfume thru the parforations to the perfume pad inside of the Perfumette.
"The Odor Lasts"
High grade White
Gold Filled Chain
What more can I say about this sexy little subterfuge?  "Hey Honey!  What is that lumpy thing on your chest?"  The alligator clips go on your slip or brassiere straps and the pad thingie hangs in the valley.

Here is a picture I "stole" from a recent auction for a similar item, but after they got their patent.  I cannot get to the patent document with the numbers listed, however, but this shows that this item was patented in 1928.

Mine is in better shape, but he has a better camera!  This one went for $14.99 on ebay and I found one on GoAntiques with a blue enameled chain listed for $75.00 without the card!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Victorian Nerd Strap

Here's a nifty little item.  (No, I don't know who Zed is)  This is an eyeglasses chain.  You would pin this to your blouse or belt, or jacket pocket or lapel if you were a man, and your glasses would be lassoed by the other end.  When you weren't wearing them, you would park them on the hook on the other side of the pin.  See it?  I also have several in the necklace version, which could also be used for pocket watches.  Years ago I missed out on one with a retractable chain.  I haven't seen one since.


I love collectiong old things on cards.  It's just so cool that these things even exist that I have to have them.  Here is another from my collection.  I tried to find out if there was anything on the 'net about this company but a search just turned up a lot of sex sites.  Seems anything you search turns up these things lately.  Sigh.  Anyway, if you zoom in you can see that these are 12k gold filled.

So if two bulldogs are pulling on your beads, rest assured that it won't be the knot that snaps!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Is your little girl just too active in her full skirt and blouse and you always find yourself saying "Tuck your blouse back in!" or just doing it yourself?  Is her full slip always falling off because of stretched elastic on the waistband?    Does she go out WITHOUT her slip?

Well, here's the solution:  the BlouseSlip!

Yes, that is what they call this.  If you're worried about the blouse pouffing up over the waistband, however, that is still going to happen if she is playing on the monkeybars.  But if she is doing that, you have other worries!

Shameless Plug:  You can buy this wonderful pattern if you are so inclined, at my Etsy site.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lilly May's Threader

Lilly May Widmark patented this fabric loop turner 29 June 1937 in Minneaoplis, MN.  The patent document is here.  I didn't find any other patents by Lilly May, so this will be her claim to fame.

A search of the 1930 census turns Lilly up with husband Carl Axel, 47, a contract bricklayer from Sweden, and daughter Muriel, age 17.  Lilly was a housewife of 41, born in Minnesota to a father from Sweden and a mother from Norway.  She had no other occupation.

I looked for her in Google and didn't find anything so I tried the Minnesota Death Index.  Nada.  I broadened my search at and found husband, Carl, dying in Kern County, California in 1957.  Lilly May died there in 1971 at age 82.

I'd like to think that sales of that little loop turner, sent to their home in Minneapolis allowed them to buy a nice retirement house in California.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Minuet of 1903

Another edition in the continuing series on fasteners is the skirt and waist holder.  For those of you who have correctly worn such garments the dilemma is clear:  through normal movement the waist, or blouse, becomes untucked from the skirt and you begin to look untidy.  This is usually solved by sewing hooks on the skirt on either side of the center back which fasten to either metal or thread loops on the waist.  These are necessary when wearing clothing of the 1890's through 1910's with a corset.  The silhouette was of a waist that was higher in the back than in the front. Blouses were worn with long ties coming from the center back which tied in the front and gathered and controlled the pouff of extra fabric.  The skirt went on over these ties, hiding them and was raised up in the back by hooking to the eyes on the blouse.  This gave a graceful swing to the back of the skirt and the correct sway-backed silhouette to the body.  It just doesn't look right without the proper corset, and when you see blouses of this era being shown in museums and clothing collections on the outside of the skirt with ties showing it is sloppy and wrong.  It's like bra straps showing.

I have never seen a garment with The Minuet sewn into it, but it is such a great idea!  Check out this ad in The Delineator from August of 1903.  The accompanying article "Fashions for Elderly Ladies" has some beautiful illustrations and there are some wonderful full-color fashion plates elsewhere in the magazine.  I didn't know Google had any copies of The Delineator, but now I can browse to my heart's content.