Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick
1948 - 1950
I have an extensive collection of old Workbasket Magazines. The oldest ones that I have date back to 1946 and are just a single sheet of large paper folded into quarters rather than being bound with individual pages. I was glancing through some of my earlier ones the other day and was chuckling at some of the advertising and thought you might enjoy seeing some of these ads as well. There are advertisements for all sorts of amazing products including girdles and miraculous weight loss methods (as always, some things never change), but since this site focuses on sewing, I stuck with advertisements for sewing products that were available at the time.
|July 1948 Issue|
Buttonhole and Hemming Accessory
I can't tell from the ad exactly what the name of this product is but it is apparently a set of two attachments, one for hemming and the other for making buttonholes. There are a couple of statements in the text that caught my eye. It states "No more paying someone else to do your hemstitching!" This makes me wonder who provided a hemstitching service for a fee. It also promises "no more drudgery making rugs by hand." I wonder kind of rugs the ad is referring to and how they were made that a hemstitcher is so essential to the process. Looking at these attachments makes me grateful for my automatic one-step buttonhole stitch. I am glad that sewing is more convenient and easier these days.
The other comment is about the C.O.D. (cash on delivery) process. You could order an item and pay the postman what you owed upon delivery. I would imagine that you would have to go to the post office itself to pick up your items. I cannot imagine that the postman would go on his route with money ready to make change, but perhaps they did. Anyone know the answer to this?
Click to see more Workbasket ads
|December 1949 Issue|
Thread-a-matic Automatic Needle Threader
This sounds like a nifty device, but I wonder how well it accommodated different size needles and threads. Out of curiosity, I checked on Ebay and there are a number of these available for sale. There are two styles, a red and white model that closely resembles the one shown in the ad and another manufactured in blue and white. One of these would be a great addition to a vintage notions collection.
Interested in vintage sewing? Here are some books you might enjoy: