Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Workbasket (Installment #3)

I don't know if anyone else is enjoying these nearly as much as I am... but for your viewing pleasure I present the September 1950 issue of The Workbasket!Such a pretty crocheted tablecloth. It was patterns like this one that initially caught my eye in this stack of magazines.

This pattern, on the other hand, looks just a little scary! I wonder if it was cuter in real life than in the sketch? The write-up assures us that "Any youngster will be proud to wear a pair of these cute knitted mittens with a kitten the back." Well, maybe so.Quick! Cover your eyes, Mabel! It's another girdle ad! This one promises to "reduce 3 inches off your waistline instantly." Yep. Definitely gotta get me one of these. Especially since it also promises I will "feel like sixteen again!" Not that I remember an extreme tightness around my middle at sixteen. But I'm sure I need that "instant slenderizing figure control" by now.
Four and a half pages were devoted to an article by Mrs. Orin Register on "painting new faces on old things." Here's a picture of Mrs. Orin Register herself demonstrating her handicraft.
And here's a picture of Mrs. Orin Register's daughter. "Almost everyone has lots of toys that need painting."Another money-making opportunity is that of selling nylon hosiery. This housewife looks so startled to think that she could make $26 a week simply telling her "friends, neighbors, etc." about nylons. But what I want to know is, why is this woman sitting like that? To show off her nylons? Or what? I don't get it. Also note the "Free Nylon Stocking" selling point there. "Stocking" singular. Whatcha gonna do with one stocking? Use it to demonstrate the quality of your product to to "friends, neighbors, etc." supposedly, but if that's all it's for, how is that a selling point?

Here's a product I would seriously be interested in. Imported Irish linen hemstitched handkerchief for putting edges on. Even if I couldn't get them for 30 cents a piece, I wonder if they are still available anywhere today?
How convenient that the ad is on the same page as a pattern for a crocheted edge, as well as a tatted edge!

I want to try this pattern for sunflower potholders sometime. Wonder if I have thread in the right colors? I don't think I do, but I like the pattern so I may just have to get some!More pretty styles from the fall of 1950:I'm still gasping for breath from my waist being squeezed in 3 inches, but looky here! I can do something about my "problem bosoms which have lost their attractiveness through wearing unscientific brassieres"! Who knew brassieres needed to be scientific? (Be sure to click to read the fine print!)
Mrs. Rena Porter demonstrates yet another idea for making money. (I wonder why she didn't go by her husband's name? Most of the ladies in this era did.) Mrs. Porter paints commemorative plates for special occasions.
Wouldn't you just love to get such a lovely marriage plate for a wedding gift? Notice especially the tacky cupids on each side! ..::snort::..I want this dress! Seriously. I love gingham checks. Always have. I'd take one in each color: brown check with maize trim, black check with dusty pink trim, and green check with maize trim. Hmph! No red check? But red's my favorite! Oh, well. Even with my new girdle and brassiere, I doubt I would look quite as svelte as this model.
Not to worry, though. Lane Bryant offers a catalog free to "stout" women. I wonder if I'd have to prove I was stout to get it free? ..::snicker::.. And look what they consider "stout"! Okay, yeah. Compared to the above model, this one is on the "stout" side, but still. I'm just sayin'.
Thank you for joining me for this somewhat irreverent visit with the 1950 housewife. If you missed earlier posts, I have also shared clippings from July 1950 and October 1950. Stayed tuned for more snippets coming soon!


Aliene said...

Karla, I was 10 yrs old when this workbasket was printed. I don't seem to remember a lot of the stuff. Maybe because I did not get the Work Basket magazine. You are so funny! As if you need one of those slimmy girdles! I do remember the nylon hosiery though. They lasted longer and had a seam up the back. I have a couple of those hankies that are on there. Some one gave them to me. Need to go back and look at those ads again. Might see something else I have. I like the gigham dress too. Reckon we could make us one? Boy,I would need that slimmy girlde then, and more! LOL

pse said...

Karla, I have yellow and gold color crochet thread, if that is what you need, you may have it.

You make looking at the magazine so interesting for all of us.

Lidian said...

Karla, This magazine is a real treasure! I love this kind of thing. Where did you find it?

I like how the lady is making money just SHOWING her nylons! Hey, I could do that too. If only I wore nylons (well, I guess I do once in a great while, but I don't actually try to draw extra attention to them, if you know what I mean)

Ginny said...

That is great, thanks for sharing. Off to read the other posts now.

Amy said...

Gosh I wonder how long the nylon stockings lasted for?

Elizabeth said...

Love this workbook! How funny!
That bunny mitten scares the bejeezus out of me!
Maybe next week I'll share some of my doilies, inspired by your book.

The Apron Queen said...

Love these workbooks. Keep 'em coming! Thanks for sharing! They always make me laugh. :D

For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen, the home of Vintage Thingies Thursdays.

Jewelgirl said...

I luv those kitty mittens!
I long for the days when little
girls things didn't have to
have Barbies,Bratz or Princesses
on them. thanks for the memories!

Bill said...

I'm dropping in from Kitchen Retro. This Work Basket magazine is a treasure. I'll take a look at the others, too.
Is it just me, or does that kitten on the mitten look frightened out of its wits? Maybe it's the scary tablecloth.
I also wonder if the Hosiery Woman isn't sitting like that because her furniture was repossessed. That $$ for showing hosiery may get her sofa back.

Carrie said...

It's so nice of you to share these vintage magazines with us. Thanks.

Emily said...

That is so neat! What a cool magazine. I love all the old pictures. A very neat keepsake. Thanks for sharing!

Jamie - RoseCottage said...

I LOVE old stuff like this. I have a couple of old cookbooks with "helpful homemaking hints" and they are wonderfully funny! My husband laughs at me because I feel compelled to read them aloud in my best 1940's advertising happy voice. :-)

Farrah said...

LOL! I enjoyed that! :-)

MsMarian said...

I have 50 years of the 60 years this wonderful magazine was in publication. Visit my web site at: in you are interested in learning more. I also have many for sale!